Should You Use Credit Cards Overseas Or Not?

Are you planning to travel out of the country? Carrying hard cash when you are travelling isn’t a recommended option due to security reasons. What can be the alternative for this? Carrying a credit card of Indian origin? Sure, credit cards can be a safe option to access your money in foreign countries due to the ease of carrying it around. 

From another perspective, using an Indian credit card in foreign countries will lead to particular charges just because they are international transactions. Unlike the earlier days, most Indian credit cards are now accepted worldwide. The issue is with the currency conversion. 

What you must know before using credit cards for overseas transactions

  • Transaction Fee:
    A credit card swiped outside India requires the payment to be made in the currency of the country in which the transaction is done. Network charges of up to 3.5% of the transaction value may be charged.
  • Cash Advance Fee:
    Though the cash advance fee applies to domestic cash withdrawal from a credit card, it can cost up to 3% of the transaction amount when done overseas. Also, foreign currency transaction markup fee may be charged. 
  • Right Credit Card:
    If you have to travel often, it is better to apply for a new credit card that offers rewards and benefits on foreign usage. Some credit cards may also offer minimal transaction fees. 
  • International Website Transactions:
    Making transactions on a foreign website with your credit card from India are also considered overseas transactions. This may attract a markup fee of up to 3.5% on the transaction value.

It is recommended for you to use prepaid forex cards to make foreign transactions. As they are pre-loaded, it facilitates you to access cash in the required foreign currency without additional markup charges. There are provisions for you to top-up the card with more funds as and when required. You may still hold onto the credit card for use in emergencies.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at apoorva.n@cleartax.in

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