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No. of Recommendations: 3
I don't feel I'm unsafe by inserting my card into a reader.

Totally agree. I don't feel unsafe either. For me, it's just a matter of convenience and not having to reach for my wallet. Plus, it's just faster. :)

I DO feel unsafe if I ever need to hand my card to someone. I used to have a hard and fast rule that I'd only pay cash in restaurants. That's notorious for fraud to occur as they walk away with the card. But now, I have a dedicated card used only for restaurants, so I don't worry, but of course keep a close eye on the online account.

...of course, restaurants are not something that's part of our culture right now.

Tony
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I want a credit card for use when I travel to Europe, Australia, or the Caribbean. What is the best credit card, or combination of cards to use for international travel?

Is one card better for booking air travel, another for rental car, another for hotels, and another for general usage?


Are you looking for rewards when you say 'best'? Unless you are very loyal to a specific brand of airline, hotel, or rental car, I probably wouldn't recommend getting a brand-specific card. Here's one look at travel rewards cards: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/credit-cards/best/travel/ You may want to check to see if your bank offers a card with travel rewards and how those rewards compare to other cards.

If you aren't necessarily looking for rewards, then I'd just look for a Visa or American Express that fits your needs.

AJ
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No. of Recommendations: 2
In the US, I've occasionally had Discover turned down, but never MC or Visa.
International establishments can be a little more picky about what they accept.
I kind of assumed that if they took MC they would take Visa, but not always.

Years ago, when we were visiting in Okinawa, we couldn't use either of our 2 cards at a restaurant. We had a Discover, and either a Visa or Mastercard (I don't recall which).
American Express would have been accepted. Best to have several options when traveling overseas.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Maybe obvious, but one important feature will be no foreign transaction fees.
I would travel with one each Visa, MC, and Amex with that feature. Use one as a preferred card and the other two as back-ups in case a merchant doesn't accept one. It can be hard to find an Amex with no foreign transaction fee and no annual fee.

As for acceptance, using graphs from:
https://nilsonreport.com/publication_chart_and_graphs_archiv...
In 2018, Visa had more purchase volume than MC in Europe (60% vs. 36%), in the Middle East & Africa (58% vs. 38%), in Latin America (56% vs. 36%), in Canada (41% vs. 26%), and in the Asia-Pacific region (11% vs. 6%). UnionPay dwarfs both in the Asia-Pacific, with 80%. Amex is <7% in all of those regions.

MC may give a fractionally better exchange rate than Visa, according to this: https://nomadgate.com/visa-vs-mastercard-exchange-rate/

Capital One does not charge foreign transaction fees on any of their cards, I believe, and has several cards with current sign-up bonuses:
https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/compare/

Barclaycard also offers several with no foreign transaction fees, with current sign-up bonuses:
https://cards.barclaycardus.com/banking/cards

And here's a list of some current cards with no foreign transaction fee:
https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/credit-cards/no-foreign-tran...

Gotchas to look out for:
Note that even if a transaction is conducted in USD, a card may charge the foreign transaction fee if the merchant is based outside of the US.
Some merchants will offer to process your transaction in USD rather than local currency (known as Dynamic Currency Conversion). You should almost always turn this down, as their exchange rate is almost certainly worse than the one offered by your card.
And even if a card has no foreign transaction fee, it may still charge a cash advance fee if you use the card to withdraw foreign currency from an ATM or other source. Usually you can find a bank that will allow no-fee use of foreign ATMs (they just charge their current exchange rate on the currency), but that means you need a bank card in your wallet too.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Most Visa and Mastercards now have chips but are still chip and signature. A chip and pin card would be better for international travel.

No international fees is important. One of my cards has started charging for international transactions and not just foreign currency transactions. It is my preferred card for domestic transactions.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Most Visa and Mastercards now have chips but are still chip and signature. A chip and pin card would be better for international travel.

The Barclaycard is a chip and pin.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
A chip and pin card would be better for international travel.

Interesting tidbit I discovered on my last UK trip. My regular chip+signature card added to my Samsung watch works like a chip+pin when I pay with the watch. It requires me to enter a pin to unlock payment functionality, and apparently that step also satisfies the payment terminal. I found it to be extremely convenient, as contactless payment terminals were available just about everywhere.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
My regular chip+signature card added to my Samsung watch works like a chip+pin when I pay with the watch. It requires me to enter a pin to unlock payment functionality, and apparently that step also satisfies the payment terminal. I found it to be extremely convenient, as contactless payment terminals were available just about everywhere.

Interesting. I will experiment with other contactless pay possibilities in the future. A contactless CC worked fine for public transport in Sydney and Melbourne (it was my Capital One Venture One, I think).

I always have at least 3 with no international transaction fees(and I always recheck before a trip) - Chase Sapphire Reserve is usually the first choice but it hasn't switched to a contactless card yet. For cash withdrawals, the Schwab checking account debit card is best for me. You have to have a brokerage account(or at least did) but no need to fund it. All fees rebated.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
My regular chip+signature card added to my Samsung watch works like a chip+pin when I pay with the watch. It requires me to enter a pin to unlock payment functionality, and apparently that step also satisfies the payment terminal. I found it to be extremely convenient, as contactless payment terminals were available just about everywhere.

I couldn't agree more.

Anytime I'm in a store now, I'm wearing a mask, and that makes it annoying when trying to pay using my iPhone with facial recognition. It's so annoying to have to constantly put in the the unlock code.

However, I never bother with that anymore as I make all my contactless payments with my Apple Watch. What a pleasure! I just have to hit the side button on the watch, and the credit card appears. As long as the merchant accepts Apple Pay, it's a breeze.

For those merchants that don't let me pay this way, and I have to swipe my card, I do that, but always with an angry face (which you can't see under the mask) and a groan!

Tony
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No. of Recommendations: 6
For those merchants that don't let me pay this way, and I have to swipe my card, I do that, but always with an angry face (which you can't see under the mask) and a groan!

I don't feel I'm unsafe by inserting my card into a reader.

PSU
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No. of Recommendations: 3
I don't feel I'm unsafe by inserting my card into a reader.

Totally agree. I don't feel unsafe either. For me, it's just a matter of convenience and not having to reach for my wallet. Plus, it's just faster. :)

I DO feel unsafe if I ever need to hand my card to someone. I used to have a hard and fast rule that I'd only pay cash in restaurants. That's notorious for fraud to occur as they walk away with the card. But now, I have a dedicated card used only for restaurants, so I don't worry, but of course keep a close eye on the online account.

...of course, restaurants are not something that's part of our culture right now.

Tony
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