Whether your traveling for business or pleasure, a credit card or two is essential to bring along for the ride. Taking advantage of the perks and protections by using credit cards over cash is a smart decision to make. Here are a few things to keep in mind when traveling and using your credit cards.

Prior to Departure
Keep in mind that credit card companies have security measures to freeze a card if there is suspicious activity. Many times the credit card issuer will use software to alert them of any unusual activity. A credit card being used at a considerable distance from the usual places may be enough for them to put a hold on the card. It would not be a fun time to have your card denied when you go to make a purchase. You may want to give your card companies a heads up about your travel plans…especially if you planning to leave the country. This way they know ahead of time about the possibility of the card being used away from home base.

Never carry more than two cards when traveling. Have one for regular use and another for emergencies. It is also a good idea to make copies of the front and back of both cards. Keep these copies in a safe place, away from your daily travel bag. This will allow you continued access to the card numbers needed to make purchases if your actual card gets lost or stolen. You will also want to have the toll free numbers to each card stored away as well. Its always best to cancel a lost or stolen card ASAP.

During Your Trip/Vacation
Keep in mind, the same security measures should be continued regardless of whether you’re traveling or not. Here are some of the basic cautions that should be continued while traveling.

1. Always keep your credit card within site and watch the entire register transaction for beginning to end.
2. All receipts with your card number on them should be safely stored or destroyed.
3. PIN Protection: “shoulder surfers” and potential cameras may record your PIN at an ATM or register. Be cautious when entering your pin. Try to cover and protect the keypad when entering your number.

You will not be able to pay for everything with credit. You never know when the situation will arise where they don’t take credit or your particular credit card. Always have some cash on hand for when these situations occur.

It might be worth considering a credit card that does not charge a currency conversion fee. You may be shocked to see a considerable charge added to the statement as currency exchange fees. Many cards will charge up to 3% as an exchange fee on every purchase made while traveling abroad. A little research into the different credit cards available, that don’t charge a fee, may save you a good amount of money in the end.

Travel Rewards, Benefits and Services
While not all cards provide the same types of benefits, many do offer some sort of travel perks. Some will include insurance coverage on luggage, auto and other accidental incidents. Premium cards often provide insurance to cover trip cancellation and even concierge services for customers to take advantage of. To determine if your card offers any special services, check out your membership agreement, the website or call customer service to enquire about coverage and services attached to your credit card prior to leaving.

Author's Bio: 

For comparisons of the best travel mile credit cards, visit ASAPCreditCard.com. Find helpful comparison charts and the latest credit card news, tips and advice.