Finance - Credit/Debit Cards
The most important way of accessing your money is the credit card. Cash advances on credit cards have replaced traveler's cheques because of better exchange rates, wider acceptance, and 24 hour availability. Carrying a credit card from two diffferent credit card companies will increase the likelihood that one of your credit cards will be accepted at stores, bank machines, and bank tellers. The debit card may be a cheaper alternative to credit cards if it can be used in your destination country.

Cash advances can be the cheapest way to get cash if you take a few precautions. First of all, research which of your credit card companies charges the smallest transaction fee for cash advances. Usually there are different fees for the bank machine or the teller and whether the transaction originates within Canada, the US, or abroad. Furthermore, exchange rates may be different and credit card companies may levy an additional conversion fee. With so many variables, it is quite tricky to find out which credit card is the best to use for cash advances. We ended up asking about a specific example, such as how much is charged to our account if we take out a cash advance of 100 Singapore dollars in Singapore today. Even then, some companies had great difficulties in providing us with an exact answer. Because most credit card companies charge interest on cash advances immediately but delay interest charges for purchases until the payment due date, it is useful to have one credit card for cash advances and one for purchases. In this way, you can keep a positive balance on your card dedicated to cash advances at all times to avoid the accumulation of high interest charges.

Set up Internet access to your credit card account to keep track of your expenses. To facilitate punctual payment of credit card bills when you do not have regular access to the Internet, set up automatic monthly payments of the full bill amount.

Try to extend the expiry date of your credit cards beyond your anticipated return date. Some companies allow advance reissues of your card, some do not. Finally, inform the companies of your plans to be abroad to avoid your card being flagged for abnormal activity (who knows what happens then!).