Major changes to the way vacationers pay for their trips abroad mean that the use of travelers’ checks, once the main means of payment when overseas, is declining rapidly. Many financial institutions will no longer change them, and many major retailers are following suit.
The principal choice of payment for vacationers is now the credit card, and a growing number of travelers are turning to the Green Dot credit card. I first heard about my Green Dot credit card through online social media networks, and once the concept had been explored it was straightforward to get more information and find Green Dot Corporation on Linkedin.com.
Reasons to travel with a Green Dot credit card
Green Dot credit cards differ from standard credit cards in that they require the card to be prepaid. Standard credit cards give a credit limit, and one of the major problems that users find is that they spend more than they mean to, simply because the credit is available. With Green Dot credit cards that option is not open to them, because users can only spend up to the cash deposit with which they have pre-loaded the card.
This allows much closer control over spending, an important factor when traveling abroad and the cost of everything in a different currency can at times be bewildering. Some initial research on the country or countries to be visited is always useful, as travelers can compare the costs of eating out, traveling on public transport, or buying basic foodstuffs if self-catering.
Green Dot credit cards are accepted in all establishments that take Visa and MasterCard, and using them cuts down on the necessity to carry around large amounts of cash. Cards can be used free of charges at ATMs that are part of the MoneyPass® network, and because cards are prepaid there are no overdraft fees, penalty charges or minimum balance.
Prepaying a Green Dot card
Putting money onto a Green Dot credit card is quite simple. A number of top retailers offer the facility for transfer, or it can be done through a standing order with a bank. It is even possible to direct payroll or government benefits to the card, so the control factor over the money is always there. There is also protection if the card is lost or stolen, but it is important to check on what needs to be done in this case. Reporting loss or theft as soon as possible will help protect the user from unauthorized use.
Checklist before traveling
Although Green Dot credit cards are one of the best and safest ways of paying for goods and services when abroad, there are some golden rules that should be adhered to before traveling.
- The bank where the card is registered should be informed of your travel plans so that a transaction from a foreign country does not set alarm bells ringing and lead to the card being blocked.
- There are always fees applicable when using cards abroad, so researching these and planning the most cost effective use of cards is a wise move.
- Some countries may not have the facilities to accept cards, so checking on this before traveling will ensure there are no problems at the vacation destination.