Playing your cards right – tips for traveling with credit cards

Using credit cards while traveling is a good idea for a number of reasons:

–You have a record of your expenditures for record-keeping and tax purposes (especially important if you travel for business)
–You may get a better exchange rate when obtaining foreign currency when using your credit card.
–Credit card companies can refund disputed charges and may offer extra guarantees, special deals or warranties.
–Your liability in the case of a stolen credit card is limited to $50

But, traveling these days is often a juggling act of luggage, boarding passes, identification cards, passports and a gauntlet of security measures. These identification acrobatics can leave one slightly addled and perhaps more at risk of being targeted by an enterprising pickpocket or purse snatcher.

And, even though your liability is limited, costs can quickly add up if multiple cards are involved. Factor in the hassle and increased risk of identity theft, and it is apparent a few preemptive measures can save you from a boatload of heartache.

Consider the following tips as guidelines to traveling safely and affordably with your credit cards….

Plan Ahead:

Anytime you travel you should make photo copies of all of your credit cards airline tickets and documents, both front and back. You should leave these photocopies with a friend or family member. Be aware that if you make copies of your cards and documents to take with you, you may be giving thieves another opportunity to rip off your personal information. Consider blacking out details such as expiration dates, verification codes and social security numbers.

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