When it comes to travelling, are you a pay for everything in cash kind of person or a credit card cowboy? If you are thinking about changing credit cards prior to your trip to one that will benefit your travels, take a few minutes to look into credit card options to be sure you get the one that’s right for you. Cash carries no benefits as far as points and perks but it is actually money. I wouldn’t recommend going on a trip with just one or the other, as each have their advantages, but take a look below at some of the pros and cons of travelling with cash or credit.
While it does really depend on where you travel, a huge benefit to having the local currency on hand is you can pay for things immediately. You don’t have to worry about finding a bank machine that supports your card as soon as you arrive to a new location. Even in the places where the local currency isn’t so stable, like the Caribbean or certain parts of Africa, keeping US dollars on hand is a smart move to do a little shopping and having some money on hand for tipping.
Cash – Con
Without a doubt the biggest drawback for cash is the vulnerability of it and by extension you when you have it. With Japan, it’s not a strange thing to pull out a fistful of bills in the middle of a busy district or shopping centre and feel completely safe – but this would be anything but common. Some people like to bring all the cash they need with them and this can be a huge risk, especially in your hotel as you never know who is in your room.
Credit – Pro
Flashing a bit of plastic when it’s time to buy something is easy and quick. Most modern cards are equipped with very sophisticated theft and security features that go a long way towards protecting your identity and unauthorized purchases. Also, if you select a card that offers perks, like points or included insurance for rental cars, you can end up coming out ahead if you put most of your spending on credit!
Credit – Con
Even though credit cards have security features that protect against fraud, they are by no means foolproof and you can be at risk of a number of problems, such as identity theft or having your card locked and being unable to use it. Some places just don’t accept credit so if you are relying on it to buy souvenirs or food, you may be surprised when you are denied service. Finally, if you are the kind of person who doesn’t keep an eye on their spending and budget accordingly, you may not have the funds to cover your bill when you get home.