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How to avoid high fees and money fraud when travelling abroad

Sunday, 05 July 2015

Posted by Mozo

There’s nothing worse than having to deal with a money crisis when you’re supposed to be sunning yourself in the Greek Islands.

Here, Mozo gives you some handy tips to keep your money safe and your budget intact when travelling abroad.

1. Choose your travel money wisely

Credit cards can sneakily eat into your travel budget with multiple hidden fees that you wouldn’t even notice until the bill arrives. For instance, every time you make a transaction using your card, overseas transaction fees on purchases and high conversion charges, can really raise your travel budget over the course of your holiday. But you can avoid those pesky extra fees by doing some research in advance to find a travel debit card or travel credit card that doesn’t levy these charges. Once you find a competitive card, use it to pay for your chunky up-front travel costs like flights and accommodation, which may incur these costs.

2. Tell your bank you’re jetting off

While you’ve been thinking about your holiday for the past three months, your bank still thinks you’re doing all your normal spending so chances are, they will freak out, when they start seeing ATM transactions in Athens and cocktail tabs in Mykonos. Let them know where you’re going and for how long, and you’ll avoid having your card ‘frozen’ when you need it most. Also, make a note of the number you should call if your card is stolen.

3. Check your accounts online

Log in to your accounts every now and then to make sure your purchases are showing up and nothing more. It’s a handy way to move money easily if you need to and will be a good way for you to see what all those extra charges are for purchases and ATM withdrawals overseas.

4. Watch out for crowded tourist hubs

Pickpockets are notorious for distracting travellers when you’re out and about or travelling on typical crowded tourist routes. Keep your money in close contact with you, especially at bus/train stops or turnstiles where thieves can jump or run off quickly. Asking you to make donations or sign petitions are also common tricks of pickpockets in major cities, so keep your wits about you.

Mozo tip: If you find yourself the victim of pickpocketing, be sure to get a police report detailing where it happened and what was stolen so that you can claim it on your travel insurance when you get home. 

5. Spread your money around

Don’t rely on putting all your money in one form, as you never know when your card could get gobbled up at a foreign ATM or declined at a retailer for whatever reason. Carry a small amount of cash, and at least two cards. Also, remember to put these in different places in case a bag / wallet is stolen you’ll have a backup option.

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