Several weeks ago I introduced you to the hidden underbelly of traveler debt and asked if some of you are using credit cards to finance your travels, and to what extent. I was a little surprised that only a few of you responded you’ve got some debt on your accounts, but glad that’s the case.
Debt is difficult to manage and can help you travel in the short run but negatively effect your plans down the road in a big way. There are many good ways to reduce debt and save for your travels like cooking peasant meals, cutting your electric bills in half, or using some unconventional methods. Personally I recommend the direct approach and overcoming debt all together.
credit cards give you a crappy exchange rate and include a built in fee (usually 2.5% in canada). i would never use a credit card while traveling. i only give the number to hotels if they absolutely insist and tell them we’ll pay cash (which usually gets you a better room rate anyway)
I used to use unactivated cards (from the mail offers) so I had a # to give for places that required it. It’s funny, in the world outside of the US it’s not as easy or cheap to use a CC. In the States everything runs on credit.
i should clarify that what i wrote only applies when using a credit card while traveling. i think it’s good to use credit -even for the smallest purchases in canada – points! (which, of course, only makes sense if you pay it off every month)
I put everything on my card so i can get flight miles quicker…
A good reason to use them…if they’re paid off each month. Always the big “if” with credit cards.
Despite charges and exchange rate issues, I use them but pay them off in the month. Besides, clocking up points can help fund the next trip!
More power to you. I’m deathly scared of them, maybe I’m missing out on some good perks though.
I have had a different experience to that of Mina’s where I have found that credit cards have been more cost effective than cash. My travel for the last 2 years has been mainly business related (which has now come to an end) so I have had to keep detailed cost records to be re-imbursed by.
I use credit cards to pay for my travels, but just as a payment mechanism as I pay off the full amount when it comes due (and to earn the miles).
I too have a separate business account to keep track for my LLC but it’s a check card tied to a bank account. Makes the expense tracking easier but without the miles or points unfortunately.
I used my credit card A LOT in the past. I feel fortunate that I’ve never had any credit card debt though. Paying with cash has its advantages too.
I need the in between, the check card but no cash. For some reasons when I’ve got lots of bills in my pocket I spend them faster. It’s tough though since in most parts of the world cash is the only thing that’s accepted.