Travel Tip: Credit Cards

INANE 2016 in London is just 4 months away! The Planning Committee is hard at work putting together an excellent program, which is posted on this site. Guidebook is being developed, tote bags are ordered–all in all, it is going to be a great event.

imagesOne travel tip, especially for those coming from the US, is to pay attention to your credit cards. Determine what card you plan to use primarily for the trip and then find out, does it have a transaction fee for foreign charges? Transaction fees can range from 0% to 3%, depending on the card and company. If you have a card with a fee, those 3% fees can add up, especially on top of the 20% VAT that you’ll be paying (included with most everything you buy, from the hotel room to meals to souvenirs).

If you are not sure about the fee, call your credit card company and ask. If there is a fee, can it be waived? If you don’t have a no-fee card in your wallet, you might want to consider applying for one. This article has an overview of a number of no-fee cards currently available. They also have a list of companies that offer no-fee cards; CapitalOne is on the list, as are many credit unions.

Once you have sorted out which card you are going to use, make sure to call the credit card company in advance of your trip (60 days or less) and let them know your itinerary. I forgot to do this before our conference in Las Vegas  last year, and my card was denied several times before I had a chance to get to a phone and get everything sorted. Silly mistake and I learned my lesson. Don’t let the same thing happen to you!

Regular registration for INANE 2016 is still open. Remember, the registration fee goes up on May 1! If you are planning on attending, register today. It helps with planning and gives you something to look forward to, in just a few short months!


2 thoughts on “Travel Tip: Credit Cards

  1. As a Brit who has lived in the US for the last 10 years, I have learned that the best thing to do is withdraw money from a UK ATM as soon as you land. You will invariably get a better rate than any “bureau de change”, and if you use an ATM from a “partner” bank, you won’t be charged any ATM fees. e.g. I take my Bank of America debit card and withdraw from a Barclays ATM at Heathrow airport. I use cash for all small items, and my credit card for any larger bills (like hotel room). All UK vendors have chip and pin, so if your credit card is not chip and pin enabled it will likely cause confusion and hold-ups. I have been stuck at Marks and Spencer a number of times with a line of tutting people behind me while the cashier figures out how to get the machine to accept a signature! Happy travels and see you there!


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