The Top Reasons to Take Your Credit Card on Holiday


When you head off on holiday there are some essential items you won’t want to leave behind. Your passport, your sun cream and your baggy shorts are a few of these things but what about your credit card? There are also some very good reasons for taking this away with you.

Get Money Anywhere

It can be frustrating to be far from home and not be able to get hold of money. Even if you are carrying traveller’s cheques or an internationally recognised currency like US dollars it can be a hassle to get hold of the cash you need. If you are off the beaten track you might find that banks are thin on the ground and there is no bureau de change or other place to change your money into local currency. The good news is that credit cards can now be used even in places you might not have thought possible. By having your card with you at all time you can take money out of an ATM or pay in stores just about anywhere you go. This is sure to put your mind at ease before you travel, although if you are going somewhere off the beaten track you could check ahead online to see what ATMs are available in the region.

Treat Yourself

If you don’t treat yourself when you are on holiday when are you going to do so? When you are far from home you are sure to come across lots of things to spend money on which you hadn’t budgeted on. This might be the chance to stay in a great hotel or maybe a tour which you don’t want to miss. There is also the chance that your initial budget is enough to see you through but wouldn’t it be nice to have the option of spending a little bit more at times?

Stay Safe  

As long as you don’t keep your PIN number with your card then this is also just about the safest way of having access to a lot of money when you are in a foreign country. Instead of carrying about cash with you all you need is your card. If you lose it or it is stolen then you will need to notify the card issuer right away but you shouldn’t lose any of your money.

Deal with Emergencies

The fear of running into an emergency is something which crosses the minds of most travellers at some point. No matter where you go in the world it can be a real disaster if you don’t have access to the funds needed to sort out a medical issue or some other problem. In this situation most people would need to contact a friend or family member back home and ask them to send through some money one way or another. Having a credit card with you makes life a lot easier, as you can take out what you need as you need it. Of course, before you leave home you will need to check that the card you are planning to take away has a suitable limit and available balance on it.

Any Drawbacks?

Probably the biggest drawback to taking your credit card on holiday is the risk of going overboard and spending more than you can really afford to do. If you don’t really trust yourself to keep a grip on your spending and use your credit card wisely then you might worry about overspending on it. Some cards can also charge quite a lot for foreign transactions, so you should check the fees with your card issuer before you start your journey.

10 Responses to The Top Reasons to Take Your Credit Card on Holiday

  1. Debt Blag says:

    Makes sense. I also like that many cards now come with some manner of purchase protection and rewards. You’re going to spend while afield anyway, so might as well make the most of it.

  2. Those cards that do come with cashbacks and rewards should come in quite handy during holidays, you splurge (responsibly ofcourse) and at the end of the day get something back…win-win if you ask me.
    That said however, Cash is king in most places I know.

  3. Moneywise says:

    You can take the card with you on holiday, but to be more in control of your finances, you can just withdraw money and leave the card in your room.

    Simon @ Modest Money
    I agree with you on the “cashbacks and rewards” point, that is a good bonus for spending money on your vacation.

  4. I always have my credit card with me. Besides using it instead of a debit card so that I can get cash back rewards, I also have it on hand for emergencies (as you referenced). I think it’s a no-brainer to take it with you on vacation.

  5. Stuart@DailyMoneyBucket says:

    Credit cards cover most of the bases for travel money.

    Just make sure you know how much your provider charges for spending in a foreign currency, withdrawing cash from a foreign ATM etc.

    It can make sense to get a prepaid credit card just for using while aboard. If you pick the right card both spending and withdrawing are free.

    But having said that, I’d still take a credit card as a backup for emergencies.

  6. I always take my credit cards on vacation…for convenience and for rewards! I’m not a big fan of cash anyway.

  7. Holidays are one place where we love using our credit cards, for, like you mentioned, safety’s sake. I feel so much better knowing that if we put the expenses on a credit card, it doesn’t affect our actual money balance if we get ripped off.

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