Americans Use Credit Cards to Travel But Don’t Budget for Fees

Americans Use Credit Cards to Travel But Don’t Budget for Fees

July 25, 2019         Written By Lynn Oldshue

In the first quarter 2019, over 9.5 million Americans traveled internationally. TD Bank took a closer look at how Americans plan and pay for their travels in the Spending Abroad Study. They found that 95% of travelers create budgets for their trips, but their budgets may not include all the fees they encounter.

Of the 1,000 travelers surveyed, 78% said they use their credit cards to pay for international purchases. However, 35% do not include credit/debit card fees within their budget. The average foreign transaction fee on a credit card is 3%.

The average travel budget for a family of three is $5,800. If these purchases were all made in a foreign country, a 3% foreign transaction fee would add an extra $174 to the expenses. This does not account for other potential charges, including bank fees, payment processing fees, or foreign exchange fees.

Before traveling abroad, research the fees you may encounter for your specific credit or debit card. A number of credit cards offer 0% foreign transaction fees, making them ideal for foreign travelers.

Notify your bank or credit card provider of your upcoming travels. This will reduce the risk of your card getting declined for an unauthorized purchase. Credit card disputes were cited as a top concern in the 2018 Visa Global Travel Intentions Study.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of July 25, 2019. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
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