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Cash v/s Credit Cards – Which is better during travels?

January 25, 2014 2 min read

Ahh, the question that haunts every traveller. Millions of travellers all over the world have pondered over this question, asked their friends, looked to fellow travellers for guidance and done everything in their power to get the answer to this question.

The truth is, there is actually no answer to this question, as the phrase “to each his own” stands truer than truth in this situation. Let's take a look at both the commodities and see what pros and cons they have.

Cash:

Even if you plan on using your card more than cash, you must take plenty of cash with you.

  • Firstly, you cannot pay by card at shops in those nooks and corners while buying little knick knacks such as something to eat off a street shop or buying trifles.
  • Secondly, you will not be stranded without money in case your card does not work internationally. You might not even be able to take cash out via ATMs.

You will have to be very careful with your cash, especially for your safety. Here are some tips for you:

  • Do not store all your money at one place, rather keep it safely at multiple places.
  • Take out smaller amounts for daily use. Do not pull out a wad of cash to pay for a hot dog. You will attract unnecessary attention and maybe get mugged (God Forbid!)
  • Do not tell anyone know how much cash you are carrying. Keep that piece of information to yourself.
  • Invest in a good and sturdy travel purse or wallet and keep your money safe.

Credit Cards:

  • The major reason why some people prefer credit cards is because they are easy to carry and store. You can keep as many cards you want in your wallet.
  • Even if they get stolen (God Forbid) you can call your credit card company and block your cards and get new ones issued.
  • Most places accept MasterCard and Visa credit cards so you don't have to worry. Unless of course, you want street food. Then you need cash!
  • Again, with credit cards you have to be careful. Get a RFID protected travel wallet so that tech thieves cannot steal your private information through your wallet.

Banks sometimes add a huge amount of fee for using credit cards internationally. Get that info beforehand and ask your bank about it. In fact, you will have to inform your bank much in advance about your international travel plans.

There are many more options other than cash and credit cards available these days, such as prepaid travel cards and travellers checks. It would be a good idea to be able to have two-three payment options, especially if travelling internationally, to be on the safer side of things. Depending upon your expenditure, bank fees and a million other things, you can choose the method of payment that suits you best.

Be safe and travel free! :)


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