MOST SECURE WAY TO PAY ON HOLIDAY?
Q I’m going on holiday soon. Can you advise me on the best payment options? Are credit cards best? A Credit cards are without doubt one of the more accessible options, offering convenience and ease of use. But you need to be aware that they may have certain security issues. That aside, you need to know the fine print of the credit card while using it outside the home country as there might be supplementary charges such as a substantial exchange fee, per transaction fee or charges on cash withdrawal when using foreign ATMs. Also, the interest rates may vary from card to card. Using a credit card will also require some degree of discipline as it will be harder to track the spending than when you are using cash.
In the UAE, we have several credit card options that are designed for use overseas and earn you extra miles or reward points on overseas purchases. Always pick a cost-effective plastic card while travelling.
I would also advise having a choice of spending options. That would give you peace of mind when you travel. Pick up a credit or debit card designed for worldwide usage and do most of your spending on that. Also, take some cash converted into the currency of your destination to pay for taxis or tips at restaurants.
You could also consider transferring the cash on a prepaid card, known as a travel card, for the extra security, as it provides an easier and flexible way to handle spending and is accepted widely. It also comes with reloadable and multicurrency options through which one can access the money in a foreign country in a more secure way.
DHIREN GUPTA, managing director of 4C Mortgage Consultancy, is a financial expert