International Student Credit Cards
Using Your International Student Credit Card While Abroad
When you join a study abroad program in another country, you not only have to find time for studying, but you also need to think about what you can do on your days away from class.
Those days usually consists of exploring your host study abroad location by enjoying its beautiful scenery and getting in some good shopping!
When you go shopping, one of the easiest ways to make payments is to use your international student credit card. By using a college student credit card you:
- Don’t have to worry about carrying around cash
- Won’t need to exchange foreign currency
Why should I use my credit card overseas?
Using your credit card while abroad is an easy way to make quick purchases and to avoid carrying cash around. The best thing for you to do would be to use your student credit card so you can still get your cash back and any other rewards associated with your provider.
What should I be aware of when I used my credit card overseas?
The most important thing that credit card users should be aware of when they use their credit card abroad is the hidden foreign currency conversion fee that may be attached to it.
What is a foreign currency conversion fee?
This is a profit that credit card companies make whenever you make purchases overseas. It is basically a fee, sometimes up to 3% extra, that credit card companies charge for converting your foreign currency purchase into U.S. dollars.
If you don’t keep track of your overseas expenses, you may end up in a lot of debt!
How do I avoid foreign currency conversion fees?
The best way to avoid this fee is to see if your credit card issuer even applies it to overseas purchases. Some companies don’t even have a foreign currency conversion fee, while others may only charge 1% extra with your credit card purchases.
- You can use Bankrate.com’s currency conversion chart to check out your credit card issuer.
- You should also limit yourself to how many purchases you make if you do have a currency fee. Try to buy things that aren’t extremely expensive to avoid being charged a huge interest fee.
- Another way to avoid foreign currency conversion fees is to use an international prepaid credit card. These cards don’t have interest that accumulates on them, and since you know how much money you put on them, you’ll know when your limit is to stop spending.
Tips for using your credit card abroad
Your credit card can be a huge savior when you’re in an emergency while you study abroad, but it can also cause you a lot of unwanted stress if it gets stolen or abused.
Here are some good tips you can follow for credit card fraud protection and for keeping your spending at a minimum:
- Always make photo copies of your credit cards (and all other documents) when you travel because if they get lost or stolen, you can cancel them immediately. Keep these copies on you at all times, and not in your bags or wallet because these could get stolen as well!
- Avoid making impulse purchases. Take time to visit different stores and compare and contrast what you like, then go back and buy only what you can afford.
- If you have access to your credit card account online, always check your statement soon after you make purchases to be sure that the purchase went through and it is the correct amount.
- Always shred any receipts that may have your account number on them because they may be used by fraudsters.
- Don’t buy too much stuff with your card because it might not fit in your luggage!
- Watch out for credit card deactivation. Some credit card companies will deactivate your card if it looks like you’re making too many purchases in one day. This is a flag that someone may have stolen your card. So if you’re overseas, you don’t want to make too many purchases because you it could look like foreign credit card fraud!
Using your international student credit card abroad can be both helpful and harmful. These cards can help you make quick and easy purchases, but they can also harm your credit score if they get stolen and abused.
Just remember that when you’re in another country, be extra cautious about how you spend your money!
Learn about and apply for some of the best international credit cards below: