What you need to know about money when you travel abroad
If you're planning a trip abroad, it's important to think through how you're going to pay for things at your destination. In some situations you might need to use the local currency, while in others it might be advantageous to use a credit card.
Here are some international travel tips to help you plan:
- Alert your bank
Let your bank or credit card company know that you're traveling before you leave so that they don't suspect fraudulent activity. Bank of America customers can set a travel notice by signing in to online banking and following the prompts to set a travel notice.
- Get foreign currency before you go
It's smart to obtain foreign currency before you go. That way you'll have cash in hand when you arrive at your international destination, and you may be able to lock in a favorable exchange rate. Bank of America customers can order foreign currency easily online.
- Have cash ready to pay for local transportation
Not all local cabs, buses or trolleys accept every type of credit card, so be prepared to pay in the local currency.
- Verify that hotels take your credit card
Credit cards are a convenient way to pay for lodging, but check beforehand to make sure your hotel accepts your credit card. Be aware that some cards charge fees for every international transaction. Consider using a card designed for travel, such as the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card. The BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card also includes chip technology for enhanced security and protection when making purchases at chip-enabled merchant terminals outside the country.
- Bring your card and cash for meals out
Have enough cash on hand to pay for your meal in case local restaurants don't accept your credit card.
- Limit fees by using the right ATMs
Although using an international ATM is simple, you could be charged extra fees. If you're a Bank of America debit card holder, you can help limit these fees by using our international partner ATMs. Be aware that many international ATMs may not accept PINs longer than four digits. If your PIN is longer, contact your bank to change it before you leave.
- Use cash for small souvenirs, credit for larger gifts
If you're buying a gift at a small shop off the beaten path, you may need to use cash. However, if possible, consider using a credit card for bigger purchases so that you don't have to carry around large amounts of cash.
Finally, as you look ahead to your next international trip, the travel rewards offered by some credit cards can help you save on costs. For example, you earn travel reward points for purchases made with the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card. You can redeem these points for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees—helping you offset the cost of your next getaway.