Traveling soon? Planning a getaway with your family and friends? Perhaps you're a seasoned traveler and over the years you've found, to your disappointment, that the credit and debit cards you use here at home just don't work the same overseas.
Maybe you've done your research and heard from others, to your great surprise, that carrying cash is still the way to go if you're traveling abroad. Isn't it a bit absurd, you poignantly remark, that when traveling the globe, we're forced to travel through time as well? To those around us we must look like the tourists of 25 years ago; paying cash for most purchases, hitting up ATMs whenever possible. Are travelers checks still accepted here?
If you're like me, you use your credit card every opportunity you get so that you can rack up the rewards points. If you're forced to use your card at an ATM just because you're traveling however, it means losing those rewards points and possibly even paying extra fees.
Thankfully, this is all about to change. This past summer we dropped foreign transaction fees and this fall we're making the switch to EMV Chip and Signature credit cards. Your days of paying in cash while traveling (like the days of the foreign transaction fee) are officially a thing of the past.
What this means if you're fond of traveling is that you no longer have to pay extra for the privilege. You can continue to earn points on your card and the ATM or cash advance fees to which you were subject previously won't need to concern you any longer because you won't need to buy everything in cash. If you have this card and you like to travel, life just got a lot easier. If you're thinking of taking a trip and you don't yet have this card, it might be worth your while to apply for one. Convenience and ease of use (especially for those who travel) is the idea.
Is convenience abroad the only benefit to the new cards? Not by a long shot. The EMV technology that supports these cards is an important step forward in card security. As more and more American merchants start to adapt to the use of EMV technology, all of us will benefit. The next time you use your EMV-enabled credit card (whether it's at the coffee shop down the street or a boutique in Paris) you can rest assured that the highest standard of card security is in place to protect your account. That alone is something to get excited about.