Credit Card Tips if Traveling to Greece
Yesterday, Greece held an historic vote on a referendum to accept terms on a new loan from other European countries. The loan terms called for more spending cuts and an increase in taxes. After years of similar loans and policies, the Greek people overwhelmingly voted no to the latest loan and terms.
While television shots show the Greek people celebrating their vote, it probably means their banking system is now completely unstable.
The banks in Greece were shut for most of last week, and with this latest vote, they will likely be closed for the foreseeable future. The other nations in the European Union have widely indicated that a no vote would probably lead to Greece being kicked out of the Euro zone and possibly the European Union.
So Greece is bankrupt, and they just voted no to any more loans.
If you are planning travel to Greece, take cash with you, probably in Euros or U.S. dollars. You can still take your debit and credit cards, but they may not be very useful. Theoretically as a tourist, you can withdraw about $600 a day, but finding a machine that has money and is open is going to be a challenge. If you do, those machines will have long lines. Hotels and shops are supposed to accept credit card payments but there are reports of many demanding cash. Western Union closed its office in Greece last week, so there will be no quick money transfers if you get stuck.
Be sure to call both your credit card company and bank to let them know you are going to Greece. Your debit and credit card transactions may be considered fraudulent activity if you don’t let them know you will be in that country. These financial institutions may have some tips and hints about dealing with the current situation.
About Bill Hardekopf
Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.