Debit vs. Credit Card When Traveling Abroad???

Should You Use A Debit Or Credit Card When Traveling Abroad?


How much thought do you give to your spending habits before you leave on vacation abroad? Money is usually the last thing on people’s minds; however, that way of thinking could be very detrimental to your budget as you very well could rack up fees if you don’t plan ahead.


I guarantee those racked up fees don’t sound too glamorous while having fun. Here’s the real question, what can you do to avert those pesky fees before going away? It comes down to finding the best way to connect you with your money while on vacation.


In our day and age, there are numerous ways of connecting to your money while traveling abroad. If you decide to go with credit cards, you ultimately choose to keep your cash safe in your bank account until after the trip when you need that money for the hefty bills that come after the fun. If you decide to go with a debit card, you’ll want to watch out for overspending. It’s easier to manage overspending with debit cards than credit cards since it’s easy to swipe whenever you want. So which is the best option for you?


There are many components in choosing that can sway your choice of debit or credit, such as your credit habits. Do you have an inclination of one over the other? How educated are you on the differences between them? When making your decision, be mindful of any fees attached to both cards. Also, look if the card you choose could help you earn money as well.


Debit or Credit Cards – Which is Preferred?

Debit Cards

The number one thing to keep in mind is that using a debit card is the equivalent of using cash. Regardless of if you have the option on the pin pad to choose debit or credit, money is still withdrawing from your account. It’s important to plan your spending because it could result in steep overdraft fees. If you need an option to help you be more disciplined in your spending, this is a great one. 


Another good reason you may want to choose your debit card while traveling abroad is to use it as an ATM card. That is a significant perk when on vacation. If you run into a situation where you need cash ASAP, you can easily access your account using your debit card. The downside to using your debit card in an ATM? You will have to be on the lookout for ATM charges and fees that may appear in your bank account. Another risk to watch for is the possibility of losing your debit card or getting hacked, which puts your bank account in urgent danger.


If the worst-case happens and you do get hacked, it could be a serious issue if you do not own a credit card. Stay aware and vigilant of financial problems that could arise should you get hacked or lose your debit card. Those examples are as follows, not having access to your money, your information gets stolen, your credit score takes a hit, and transactions that are pending may end up not going through at all. 


Credit Cards

Credit cards can come with fewer limitations to your money should you have a higher credit limit to connect to your funds. But a drawback is that it can be easy to overspend since you aren’t using the money you already have. 


Even so, credit cards are incredibly convenient, which makes their travel advantage two-fold. While you may be able to spend what you like, you also need to keep in mind that you will be paying it back later.


Another advantage of traveling abroad with a credit card is that if it ends up lost or stolen, you still have access to the money in your actual bank account. Also, the credit card provider will quickly cancel the card and help you with possible fraud disputes. Remember that if you need fast cash, international ATMs may not accept your card.


What Is The Ideal Approach?

Inevitably you will run into issues with both credit and debit cards on your travels abroad. Since there is no way to avoid unforeseen mishaps, why not just take both on your next vacation? Rather than worrying about what would have happened if you brought one over the other, you will prepare yourself for the unknown.


If you are still curious to know which one is ideal for you, I highly encourage you to research your spending habits further. Look at your budget and see if there are habits of overspending and where you can improve your money habits. Choose the best option that fits your lifestyle and where you are currently in your financial journey.


  • Creditmantri. “Debit Cards Vs Credit Cards: Which One To Use While Travelling Abroad.” CreditMantri, CreditMnatriCreditmantri, 29 Sept. 2020,