Tips for paying safely while travelling

Keytrade Bank logo

Keytrade Bank

Finally – time for a holiday! Some people jet off to sunny climes, while others prefer winter sports. Whichever destination you choose, it’s best to always have money in your pocket. But what's the best option for this: cash or a bank card? And what's the best way to deal with it abroad? With our tips, you can set off on your journey with peace of mind.

Cash or bank card

Suitcases packed? Then you're ready to go! But don't forget to make sure you take enough money with you. This could be cash, but many people prefer the convenience of a bank card. You have two choices: a debit card or a credit card.

Debit cards abroad

Everyone knows about debit cards. This is the normal bank card you use to make payments in shops in Belgium. The card is linked to your account. When you confirm a transaction, the amount is deducted immediately. This bank card works in the same way in other countries in the eurozone. Check in advance in your mobile app that the default area where the card can be used is set to “Europe”. Not the case? It's better to change it now to avoid problems once you are abroad. Travelling outside the eurozone? You will be charged transaction fees. To avoid them, you can use a credit card.

Advantages of a credit card

Renting a car or booking a hotel room? Companies often ask you to pay by credit card. The biggest benefit is that you can use it to pay for things anywhere in the world. The amount will be collected from your account at a later date. Payments by credit card within the eurozone are free – the same as with a debit card. However, if you are travelling outside the eurozone, you should keep an eye on the exchange rate. You will be charged for converting from another currency into euros. This is done by comparing the exchange margin to the reference exchange rate of the European Central Bank. Please note that your credit card may not be activated automatically for payments worldwide. In the US, for example, you cannot use a credit card automatically because a secret PIN code is not used everywhere. This increases the risk of fraud. Check in the app or contact your bank before you set off. Prepaid cards work in the same way as credit cards. They are also accepted worldwide. The only difference is that you deposit a certain amount on the card in advance, after which you cannot spend more than that specific amount.

Paying with cash

If you are travelling within Europe, you can simply pay cash in euros. If you are travelling to a country with a different currency, you can ask your bank to sell you a certain amount of this currency in advance. They apply the exchange rate and provide you with the correct amount in the currency you need. If you wish to withdraw money using a debit card from an ATM within the eurozone, this is generally free of charge – unless stated otherwise in your bank’s terms and conditions. Just keep in mind that some ATM operators charge transaction fees. By the way, withdrawing money with a credit card in the eurozone costs you significantly more. Still want to withdraw money within the eurozone using a credit card? If so, withdraw a large amount once instead of several smaller amounts at different times. Is your travel destination outside the eurozone and you want to buy cash once you get there? In this case, you need to factor in the cost of the exchange margin. To find out which card is the most advantageous (debit or credit), read your bank's terms and conditions and fees. The benefits will also vary depending on how much you withdraw. For higher amounts, you are often better off with a credit card.

What to do if your debit or credit card is lost or stolen?

Choose one of the following 3 ways to have your Visa Debit, Classic, Gold or Platinum blocked: • The quickest method: block it yourself in the app or on the transaction site. Do it temporarily if you think the cardcan still be found. Or permanently in case of theft and/or fraud. • Call CARD STOP (available 24/7) on +32 (0)78 / 170 170. Do not forget to tell them that you have a Keytrade Bank card. • Call our contact center. In case of theft, notify the local police within 24 hours after the fact. When your card has been permanently blocked, we will send you a new one.

Other articles that might interest you