Debit and Credit Cards
Before traveling abroad, make sure to inform your bank where you will be traveling and find out what will be charged to your account each time your withdraw money. Some banks charge you a percentage of the total amount withdrawn, while others just charge a flat fee. Be aware of bank limits on daily withdrawals and make sure you know your PIN. ATM’s are very common worldwide and may be more convenient than traveler’s checks if you have a debit or credit card. Remember that ATM’s at your destination will give you money in the host country currency.
The Education Abroad Office encourages students to take abroad at least one debit and one credit card in case of an emergency. Here are some helpful tips:
- Make sure that your cards are chip activated and are signed, as many countries (especially in Europe) will not accept your card unless it has a chip and has already been signed on the back.
- Print copies of your cards (front and back) and keep them in a safe place. That way, if your card is stolen you'll have immediate access to the card number, as well as the international 1-800 number on the back of your card.
- Leave a copy of your card copies with someone at home who you trust.
- Understand the foreign transaction fees associated with your card. Some companies will charge as high as 5%/transaction to convert the currency into USD.