Credit Savvy’s travel checklist
Winter is coming (slowly) and for many Australians, it’s nearly time to head to warmer climates for a mid-year break. Whether you’re heading to Noosa, Bali, Europe or somewhere exotic, make sure you’ve taken care of a few basics:
If you’re heading overseas, be careful about foreign transaction fees if you’re paying by card. There are a number of travel credit cards like the Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard and the 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard that offer $0 annual fee, no international transaction fees and a range of other benefits (conditions apply). For more information, check out our article on travel cards.
Set up direct debits
Whether you’re going to the Great Barrier Reef or The Grand Canyon, repayments are probably the last thing on your mind while on holidays. Ensure peace of mind (and help protect your credit score) by setting up direct debits where possible.
Notify your credit provider
It’s a good idea to let your bank know that you’ll be travelling overseas so that they expect to see foreign transactions on your cards and accounts, and don’t mistake it as unusual activity.
No matter how short your vacation is, or how safe the activities are, travel insurance can be extremely important. Don’t forget this one. Many premium credit cards come with complimentary travel insurance when you use your card to pay for part of your holiday. But make sure you check all the terms and conditions so you’re not caught out by the fine print.
Register with Smart Traveller
Register your travel plans with the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller. You’ll also find travel advice and alerts on this handy website.
Protect your credit reputation from identity fraud
If you’re using your credit card to make accommodation and other holiday bookings, it’s important to use trusted, secure websites. When entering your personal and credit details, make sure the website URL starts with https and the website has a SSL certificate (there should be a small padlock in the address bar). It’s a good idea to check your credit file information regularly using a free service like Credit Savvy.
A few more things to consider
We’ll breeze through these, but they’re just as important:
- Get the appropriate vaccinations
- Check your passport expiry date
- Ensure you meet the entry requirements e.g. ESTA for US travel
- Keep a copy of your passport with you
- Power adaptor: make sure your appliances work overseas
- Phone: Are you using a local or travel SIM? Switched off roaming?
- Write down the customer service number of your bank somewhere safe so you know the number to call if your credit card is lost or stolen
This isn’t an exhaustive list but hopefully it’s jogged your memory about a few things you might’ve overlooked. Happy holidays!