Why you should carry a backup credit card while traveling


The common American has 4 bank cards, in response to the Experian credit reporting agency. Nonetheless, journey rewards fans could also be barely totally different from the common American in relation to bank cards and have approach more than four cards. However in case you’re new to points and miles or simply taking it slowly, you may not have a wallet full of credit cards.

Whether or not you’re above, beneath or on common relating to the variety of bank cards you maintain, you most likely don’t carry all of them with you whereas touring. However have you ever ever stopped to consider what number of you must carry and what varieties?

Let’s dive into why it’s necessary to journey with not less than two playing cards and a few finest practices to your backup card, whether or not you’re touring inside the US or internationally.

Card community points


There are 4 main credit card networks in the US: Visa, Mastercard, American Categorical and Uncover. Bank card networks facilitate transactions between a service provider and an issuer. Some, akin to American Express and Discover, are each a community and an issuer. However, Visa and Mastercard are solely networks and have separate issuers. In case you have a Visa bank card, it will likely be issued by a financial institution, akin to Chase or Bank of America.

Visa and Mastercard bank cards are usually extensively accepted in the US and overseas; American Categorical and Uncover are much less so, particularly overseas. Suppose your main or everyday spending card at house is an Amex or Uncover. In that case, it’s a good suggestion to carry a Visa or Mastercard with you whereas touring on the prospect you encounter retailers that don’t settle for Amex or Uncover. And within the uncommon occasion {that a} community suffers an outage and you’ll’t make any purchases, you’ll have the ability to swap to a backup card on one other community.

Financial institution or issuer issues


You may additionally want one other card in instances the place your main card is misplaced, stolen, declined or locked resulting from a fraud alert. If attainable, you must have a card from a distinct financial institution than your main card.

Worst-case state of affairs, if a financial institution or issuer flags your accounts for suspicious exercise and locks your entire accounts whereas touring, you’ll have the ability to swap to a card from a distinct financial institution. But when your entire playing cards are from the identical financial institution, you’ll be out of luck till you’re capable of clear up the difficulty along with your account, which may get problematic in case you’re in the course of a transaction or in a time crunch.

Preserve a backup card within the lodge room secure


In some instances, like in case your card is declined or locked, it might be useful to have a second card with you always to nonetheless have the ability to full your transaction. Nonetheless, the overall recommendation is to maintain your backup card someplace safe, like in your lodge room secure. In case your pockets is misplaced or stolen and your entire playing cards are in it, you’ll want you had put aside not less than one card for safekeeping.

Some vacationers even go so far as retaining a second, or decoy, wallet. Some carry a decoy pockets with a small amount of money and a few closed or expired bank cards to idiot a mugger or pickpocketer if an unlucky incident happens. Others use a second pockets to hold round simply the cardboard they want for the day, whereas the primary pockets and different playing cards stay secure within the lodge room.

With the rising acceptance of mobile payment methods (akin to Apple Pay and Google Pay), even internationally, you may additionally wish to add a number of playing cards to your cellular pockets. You should still want to make use of the bodily card, however not less than you’ll know the cellular pockets possibility is there in a pinch.

Must you take greater than two playing cards?


Positive, but when any are misplaced or stolen, it might be a giant headache as you’ll make many cellphone calls to cancel playing cards. And who needs to spend their trip doing that? It’s comprehensible why you might wish to carry quite a lot of playing cards in case you’re attempting to maximise rewards through the use of a number of playing cards for various spending bonus categories in your journey, however maintain not less than one card again in your lodge room secure.

If touring internationally, you’ll wish to guarantee your main card and any backup playing cards haven’t any foreign transaction fees. Two wonderful choices that we suggest are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

Associated: Best cards with no foreign transaction fees

Backside line

When planning what to pack to your subsequent journey, don’t neglect to pack an additional bank card. There are fairly a couple of situations throughout journey the place having a backup card can turn out to be useful. On the very least, even in case you solely use one card throughout your journey, you’ll have peace of thoughts that if one thing goes incorrect along with your main card, you continue to have a option to pay to your purchases.


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