Credit Card Abroad – Guide to Using a Card Abroad

This guide tells you all about using your credit card abroad. The guide is primarily aimed at those planning a trip abroad or traveling frequently outside Finland. We explain, among other things, why a credit card may be necessary abroad, discuss its security and benefits, and give you instructions on how to use your card safely.

Why take your credit card with you?


It is a good idea to have a credit or debit card when traveling abroad, because when needed, the availability of credit gives you flexibility in your vacation budget. In addition, credit and debit cards also have many other benefits that are not included in a standard debit card. An annual fee credit card can be a worthwhile purchase for those interested in Traveling even from time to time.

Revolving credit facility In addition to a number of cards include travel insurance, access to airport lounges, purchase protection insurance products bought on credit as well as a variety of travel services. Some premium cards even include an assistant service to help with travel bookings and problems abroad. 

A credit card may be necessary abroad

A credit card may be necessary abroad

Credit cards can be used to withdraw money when needed, and often the exchange rate may be even better if the credit card is withdrawn. Cash withdrawals usually involve some sort of service charge, but may be less than the cash changeover fee.

While regular debit cards or Visa Electrons are generally well accepted as a payment instrument around the world and successful cash withdrawals, hotels and car rental companies, for example, often require a credit card as a payment instrument and do not accept a standard debit card. Therefore, in some countries, a credit card may be a necessity. For example, in the US, renting a car or paying for your hotel without a credit card can be difficult, if not impossible.

Cash withdrawal from ATMs abroad

Cash withdrawal from ATMs abroad

You are careful when withdrawing cash abroad, as the ATM can offer other options besides withdrawal, such as depositing money on a mobile phone subscription or buying a ticket to an event. In addition, some ATMs may require a six-digit PIN. In this case, enter two zeros in front of the code, and if the lift fails, switch to another machine.

Withdrawing cash from a credit card is almost always more expensive than withdrawing from a bank account, both abroad and in Finland. In the EU, it is usually possible to withdraw cash from a Finnish bank card a few times a month.

Sometimes banks charge a withdrawal fee for cash withdrawn from abroad, so you should always ask your bank for any costs. Generally, withdrawing from the credit side costs about 2 euros plus 2-3% of the withdrawal amount. Outside the EU, withdrawing from a credit or debit side is, as a rule, the same price. If you are always charged a fixed amount for cash withdrawals, you may want to withdraw more money at once. However, it is not advisable to carry large amounts of cash with you.

It is also possible to withdraw cash from the card at branches which handle cards with a Visa or MasterCard. In addition, cash withdrawals are possible at some currency exchange offices.

Be careful with your credit card abroad

Be careful with your credit card abroad

You should always be careful with your credit card, especially when abroad. The card should be carefully stored and not necessarily carried at all times. It’s a good idea to keep your PIN secret, especially when you enter the code, at the store, and at ATMs. Also, do not keep the code in your wallet.

It is also a good idea to have more than one debit card with you in case your card is lost or stolen. Good Finance offers 24-hour closing service numbers for Finnish banks. It is a good idea to store your own bank lock number in your phone.

Travel insurance on credit cards

Travel insurance on credit cards

Many credit cards also offer travel insurance. Thus, in some cases, it is not necessary to take out travel insurance separately if it is already included in the credit card. Travel insurance is either automatically valid for the credit card holder (and in some cases also for accompanying family members) at the time of travel, or alternatively, to obtain insurance, the travel must be partially or fully paid for with that credit card.

In particular, a credit card with travel insurance is economically viable if you travel at least once a year. Often it even covers family insurance. Even if your credit card has an annual fee, it will often be cheaper than separate travel insurance.

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