Going On Vacation, What About My Credit Cards?

By: Roger A Lee

It can be the journey of a lifetime making that special trip getting prepared for the flight, packing clothes and learning about your stops and visits. It also pays to know how American credit cards are easy to use around the world

Accepted in Worldwide

MasterCard and Visa are both widely accepted in almost every corner of the world,. Diners Club cards have an agreement with MasterCard so they can be accepted at nearly 25 million locations worldwide. But what about American Express, the credit card so synonymous with the USA that they account for 24% of the total dollar volume of credit card transactions in the US? There is acceptance of AMEX in just as many places; the company tends to charge retailers more to accept their service, which puts a lot of businesses (particularly small family owned operations) off the idea of accepting them. If you have a Discover credit card, leave it at home. It is not accepted in many countries, although they are working on it.

Not Accepted in Some Countries

Most nations are similar to the USA in that credit cards are generally accepted in most locations, although you might find your card being refused by smaller retailers. Check beforehand, by either looking for signs or asking the store assistants. Smaller hotels and guesthouses may not offer credit card facilities and other places listed that sometimes don't accept credit cards include some restaurants, cafes, fitness clubs and even tattoo parlors. There are some taxi companies which don't accept credit card payments either (not even Visa), so be aware of how to pay for your services or products.


It is common for credit card issuers to charge from 1% to 3% for purchases made in other countries. If you are using your credit card for every purchase whilst on vacation these charges can quickly mount up. Use a card that offers a low currency conversion fee or even one that has 0% on foreign transactions,

Store Charges

Generally, you shouldn't get charged extra for making a purchase in a store if paying with a credit card. However, there are some stores which will charge you for using this payment method so look for signs warning that charges will be made or ask the cashier before using your card.

Always travel with your cards they are safer and easier to use then cash, and no worries about foreign currency or conversion rates.

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Barry Norman is a contributor to and blogger at firstcredit.net. For over ten years FirstCredit.net has provided consumers free information helping them make sense of credit cards and the financial industry. Whether you are a longtime cardholder or looking for your first credit card, FirstCredit.net can help you make informed credit decisions.

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