Save on expenses: Choose the right travel credit card

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The desire to travel is unbroken, and the Mediterranean is particularly popular as a holiday destination. But because of inflation, Austrians will be paying more attention to spending and safety on vacation in 2024.

Credit cards play an important role here. “A credit card is safer than cash and can offer a range of additional services that make traveling more pleasant and safer,” says Christian Bammert, managing director of the Austrian comparison portal Capitalo. Such services primarily include insurance coverage for travelers. A second credit card is therefore being chosen more and more often.

A credit card offers a number of advantages, especially for vacation. First of all, paying with a credit card is easier than using cash. In non-Euro countries you save yourself the hassle of converting a foreign currency on site. Credit cards are safer than cash - if lost, the card can be blocked quickly.

Keyword security: If travelers have more than one credit card, the second card can be stored in a different location. “Although a credit card is often already included in the bank account packages, this usually does not offer the corresponding services,” says Bammert. Additional benefits include travel insurance and discounts from providers such as rental car companies. In addition, a second credit card offers more freedom when it comes to purchases and additional services. Credit cards that are included in checking accounts often do not offer mobile payments like Apple Pay.

The range of credit cards is growing, which is positive for travelers. On the other hand, the choice is not easy. Christian Bammert warns: “At first glance, the offers from credit card companies are similar, but if you look closely, there are sometimes considerable differences that can cost you money.” What should you pay attention to when choosing a credit card?

With or without an account: There are credit cards that are tied to a checking account and credit cards that are available without an account.
Costs & Fees: Annual fees as well as foreign transaction and cash withdrawal fees are important differentiators, as are foreign currency fees.
Credit limit: The limit of the card (available or purchasing limit) represents a mini-credit for current expenses. Money can be spent interest-free within a period of usually 30 days; If you overdraw, interest will accrue.
Insurance cover: Travel insurance can include, but is not limited to, liability, cancellation, baggage and accident insurance. What is important are the coverage amounts and the conditions for the insurance coverage, for example paying for the trip with a credit card. Travelers should also pay attention to who the insurance coverage applies to, i.e. only the card holder or the family.

Credit and debit cards (Photo: Robert Spohr).
Credit and debit cards (Photo: Robert Spohr).