Cash versus Card – Why Ghoomophiro sisters recommend having a card while traveling abroad

Posted on October 25, 2019 by

Cash or card? A brief answer would be both. Naturally, it is imperative that you should have cash at your disposal when traveling; especially abroad. However, to make a trip entirely on the back of cash is absurdly impractical.

Cash is the go-to solution for those who won’t be bothered with too many troubles as almost all merchants the world over will accept the local currency.

However, financing your travel entirely through cash will bring a number of disadvantages such as:

1. Cash is easily lost and can’t be replaced.

2. Cash is easily stolen and carrying large amounts of it is bound to attract thieves and robbers.

3. You risk losing value while converting cash from one currency to other.

4. If you carry extra cash for contingency, you risk losing extra value on conversion. If you don’t, you take unnecessary risks.

5. You are more easily get cheated and are more likely to be cheated on transactions made in cash.

6. You lose on discounts that might be availed with card payments.

However, relying exclusively on credit cards also has certain disadvantages as well such as:

1. Cash only businesses. A problem that grows stronger in third world countries where street vendors, small businesses refuse to accept payment in any form other than cash.

2. Other merchants might accept cards but only EMV cards leaving magstripe cards unnecessary.

3. Some merchants or rules of some places might so require that only cards of local places leaving that of yours useless.

4. Your bank might charge you some percentage of payment (2 percent? 5 percent?) on international transactions you might make on your card.

5. Some merchants might require a verification id.

We thus highly recommend the use of Card for most of your Trip’s expenses with only very little pocket money to be carried as cash. This pocket money is needed to pay where card payments won’t do. But wherever possible, card payments should be preferred because:

1. It is convenient. You don’t have to pay lots of cash.

2. It is easier to make online payments.

3. You can cancel your card if it gets stolen. So, it is at best an inconvenience. While if your cash gets stolen, your loss is real.

4. You get fraud coverage – some banks also provide insurance covering loss due to stolen cards.

5. You have a chance to get bonuses, discounts and other rewards depending on your bank.

6. Credit cards get you best exchange rates

To reduce your inconvenience, you should keep the following tips in mind:

1. Carry EMV cards rather than magstripe cards. EMV cards are more useful, more secure and more likely to be accepted.

2. Carry more than one card. Preferably 2 or 3. Placed at different places so that even if you lost one, you should have another to see you through.

3. Prefer credit cards over the other kinds to benefit in exchange rates.

4. Ensure that you have credit enough and some on your card before you start.

5. Tell your bank that you are going abroad in advance. Otherwise, an international transaction might be considered suspicious likely to get your card suspended or, at worst, banned altogether.

6. Keep contact details of your bank handy (save them in a note in your mobile); they will be needed if your card gets stolen.

7. Try to make sure your card has liability insurance on your purchases. Be in the know, the offers banks are giving.

8. As far as possible make payments through the card.

9. Don’t carry unnecessary cash in your pocket.

10. Wherever you go, check over the internet to ensure the usefulness of your card in that place in advance.

We at Ghoomophiro celebrate the increasing popularity of paperless money as it is empowering for travelers in general and women travelers, in particular, reducing their vulnerability to fraud, theft or loss.

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