Spending Abroad: Cash, Credit Card, Travelers Cheque – What to Choose?

Bank notes or cards? Which payment method should you use when you travel? The ideal solution would be a “mixed” of cash, credit cards and travelers cheque.

Each of these payment methods has its own advantages and disadvantages.


Although it is a useful means of payment across the world, it is recommended to limit the number of bank notes you carry.

Just a minimum that would suffice for the day can be enough. Otherwise, when you go out for the day, you only have to take what you need.

If you need to withdraw money in your destination country, is is recommended to limit the number of withdrawals to avoid unnecessary fees such as foreign transaction, withdrawal, etc.

Cash is certainly the least secure solution. This is because you will not be able to do anything in case of theft/lost or wear and tear. Even if you try to reach out police for any theft, they may not be able to help much.

Credit Cards

This is the payment method preferred by many individuals around the world because of the security, ease of use, benefits such as rewards points, air miles, lounge access, and more.

When you can pay by credit card, it’s a good option. It’s easy and safe. It’s ideal to pay as much as you can by credit. There’s nothing embarrassing about buying a pack of gum with your card. The main reason is – credit cards offer protection against fraud.

To avoid problems, it is suggested to bring two credit cards from different issuers (a Visa and a MasterCard, for example). If you’re travelling as a couple and you each have a different card, that’s fine.

Traveller’s Cheque

Yes, to the surprise of many, this payment method still exists and is recommended mainly because of its main quality: security.

Only the holder of travellers cheques can cash them and will not lose if they are lost or stolen, as travellers cheques can be replaced.

Final Conclusion

Since there are difference in fees between each of these payment methods, it is recommended to analyze each of the options taking into consideration the security factor.

No matter what means you choose, here are some basic advice:

  1. Separate your bank notes and credit cards between the people taking part in the trip. This will help as in the case of loss or theft, you will not lose everything as the other person will have some form of money.
  2. Write down the emergency numbers of your financial institutions in case of theft. Some also offer a collect telephone number for their clients outside the country.
  3. Watch out for pickpockets as they are present everywhere mostly in public places. And such places are most commonly visited by the tourists.
  4. Get a pocket that blocks RFID waves so you can put your passport and credit cards in it and avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

Also one thing to note, none of the payment option is safe. There are risks associated with each and so are the cons.

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