Especially if you do not have a huge budget available, how you pay when abroad can make a significant difference. Fees vary considerably depending on the type of payment. Depending on the country or the situation you may be able to use only certain means of payment. And not all means of payment are equally safe. Valuable tips for spending abroad:
1. Cash is not the only king
You can pay cash almost everywhere. In some countries, such as the USA, however, it’s more common to use your credit card rather than cash. And in Europe you can use your debit card too in many shops and vending machines.
2. Cash is cheap, but risky
If you pay with cash, you can keep the fees relatively low. Before travelling read up in forums as to how you get the best deals at your destination. Purchasing foreign currency at your bank costs, at best, virtually nothing - although sometimes you pay a fee of a few francs. Abroad you can draw cash using your debit card inexpensively. For taking money out of the cashpoint you can shell out a fee of about 5 francs per withdrawal. With credit cards, the drawing of cash is often more expensive.
Withdrawing a large chunk of cash at one time to carry around is still not recommended. If it is lost or stolen - then the cash is gone and you have scarcely any chance on getting some of it back.
3. You are safest with cards when travelling
Your credit or debit card can be blocked if it is lost. This prevents anyone spending your money. And your bank will replace the cards within a few days. So there is no need to fear spending the rest of your holiday without any cash.
Watch out for card payments that you pay in the local currency. If you let the amount be converted directly into Swiss francs in the shop, you usually get a worse exchange rate.
4. Your prepaid card offers additional possibilities
The prepaid card you load in advance - and therefore you can only spend as much money as you have paid in. On your credit card you may have a higher limit. This entices you to spend more. For emergencies, though, the higher limit may also be useful. It can be a good solution to have both cards.
5. It is best to go with a mix of payment options
In general, you will ideally have multiple means of payment in your luggage when you leave to go abroad. Although the choice depends on which methods of payment are accepted in your destination country. With a mix of cash in foreign currency and cards, however, you are always flexible and safe to travel abroad.
If you have multiple cards here, take only one of them when shopping, sightseeing or on outings. The others leave in the hotel safe, if one exists. Or they keep them in another safe place. If a card is lost, you have a second one to hand.
6. If you lose money, act quickly
At some point you are not paying attention, and suddenly your bag or wallet wallet is stolen. If this happens, you should immediately block your cards. You should also report the incident to the police. With luck you can get at least some of your things back.
Your budget is no longer sufficient since you lost your cash? Contact your parents or friends. They can quickly and easily transfer some funds to your account with e-banking, mobile banking or TWINT. With your remaining card or the replacement card from your bank, you can get access to the money.
Staying longer abroad? Here’s how to have your finances under control
You can also easily manage your Swiss bank account from abroad. E-banking and mobile banking are available worldwide. Do you also have a foreign account? Then you should take care to utilize the cost-effective SEPA payments system for transfers. Then, the sum is there in a few days. In an emergency, even in one day - but then for a higher fee.