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Travel smart

Travel smart with your credit card

Our travel tips will help you understand the best ways to pay abroad.

Wherever your next adventure is, our top travel tips are your new holiday essentials

You wouldn’t forget to pack sun cream, mosquito repellent, or sunglasses in your suitcase. But how about some financial know-how? Our travel tips help you understand some of the best ways to pay abroad and how to avoid some unnecessary charges. So you’ll be able to enjoy your time in the sun.

Use your credit card to help protect your purchases

Say you’re abroad and spot a local work of art that would look great on your wall, or a day trip tickles your fancy. Just like in the UK, if you buy an item or service between £100-£30,000 abroad and it’s proven to be faulty, not delivered, or information given was misleading, you could be eligible to claim it all back for certain types of transactions, even if you've only paid part of it on your card. This is standard with all UK credit cards.

Learn more about Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 to see how your purchases could be protected.

Be aware of fees and charges when withdrawing cash or making purchases

Remember, some cash points abroad may charge you a usage fee. Card providers may add extra charges for taking out cash abroad, so it’s worth checking beforehand to understand the best way to pay.

With Barclaycard, you’ll just pay one single non-sterling transaction fee of 2.99% – every time you buy something or withdraw foreign cash when you’re overseas. You won’t get charged any interest so long as you pay your balance in full by your payment due date.

Exchange rates

Keep an eye out for high exchange rates

Foreign exchange bureaus in airports, shopping centres or tourist areas often charge high exchange charges. That’s because they know you might be desperate for foreign cash to pay for a taxi or sun bed (or that third ice cream). Consider exchanging your money online or your local high street for a better rate.

It's often best to pay in the local currency

You’ve arrived at your destination and planning lots of activities to get stuck in to, like scuba diving, eating at restaurants or maybe shopping for fridge magnets to take home. If you’re asked if you want to pay in pounds or local currency on your card, it’s often best to say local currency. Otherwise the retailer does the currency conversion and the rates can be more expensive.

Use a currency conversion app when you're about to pay for things abroad. That way you'll know exactly how much you're about to spend.

In a sticky situation abroad?

Whether you want emergency cash in case your card is lost or stolen, need a local English-speaking doctor, or assistance contacting someone back home, we’ve got your back. Our worldwide assistance helpline is open 24 hours a day to help you out. You’ll also be able to register any important details like passport numbers and any valuable tech serial numbers, with us before you travel. This’ll make it easier to file police reports or insurance claim forms in case they go missing or are stolen. Look at our Worldwide credit card assistance page for more information and emergency numbers.

It’s also good idea to check your contact details are up to date before you jet off. That way, your fraud team can get in touch with you if necessary (for example if they suspect unauthorised purchases).

Keep track of your spending

For a handy way to keep track of your holiday outgoings, download your app to make sure you’re not overspending on delicious local dishes or even quirky souvenirs. If you’re a Barclays or Barclaycard customer, you can download the app to your device from the App Store or Google Play.

Paying off your balance

Your holiday has come to an end. You’re back with great memories, stories to tell about each photo and some extra spending on your credit card. If you can't pay off your full balance right away, focus on clearing it as soon as possible.

Use the Barclaycard Repayment Calculator to see how by just paying a little more each month, you could clear your balance sooner than you think, and pay less in interest. T&Cs apply.

Travel smart. Start today.

Travel smart. Start today.

For more money-saving pointers for before you book your holiday, check out more of our tips for how to travel cheaply. They’ll help make sure you’ve got enough for a well-deserved mocha frappuccino while you’re away.

Katherine Ryan’s holiday essentials are sun cream, a lilo and paying in the local currency to get a better rate

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Katherine Ryan’s travel smart tip is about how using your credit card could help protect your purchases between £100 and £30,000

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