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Is it better to pay on vacation with a bank or credit card?  The wrong decision can cost you extra money |  travel guide

Is it better to pay on vacation with a bank or credit card? The wrong decision can cost you extra money | travel guide

Spaargids.beIf you are going to spend your vacation days abroad, is it better to pay with your credit or debit card? What about withdrawing money? And what if there is another local currency? Spaargids.be Provides an overview of which payment cards are best (not) to take with you on vacation.

In collaboration with Spaargids.be

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There are many payment options abroad. But some will cost you more than others. A lot depends on the country you live in. Researching everything in advance or seeking advice from your bank is not a luxury. It is important to know in advance whether the country where you are going on vacation accepts your payment methods anyway.

Payment within the Eurozone

Your debit card is the most trusted payment method in your country. You can also use this card abroad. Paying with a debit card is always free within the Eurozone. Paying with a credit card within the Eurozone is also free.

Payment outside the Eurozone

If you are vacationing outside the Eurozone, your bank can temporarily open your debit card. You must request this in advance. The bank must first unblock your card before you can use it outside the Eurozone. Some banks allow you to open the card yourself via their apps.

If you pay with your debit card outside the Eurozone, you will be charged. As a KBC customer, for example, this relates to €1.09 for €25, €3.51 for €50 and €10.29 for €500. You will not be charged on most credit cards. So outside of the Eurozone it is better to pay with your credit card.

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If you are planning to spend your vacation in the United States, it is best to contact your bank first to check if your credit card should be opened. Same thing when you go on a cruise.

Withdrawing money within the Eurozone

It is best to withdraw funds within the Eurozone using a debit card. It’s usually free, but sometimes your bank charges a fee. With BNP Parisbas Fortis, for example, it’s free for those with a Comfort Pack or Premium Pack account, but with another package they get paid. So it is best to check this in advance on the rate card of your bank.

Withdrawing money outside the Eurozone

Outside the Eurozone, costs are often charged when withdrawing funds with a debit card. So check in advance, for example at your bank, how you can withdraw cash at the cheapest rate: with your debit or credit card.

At ING, for example, you pay 0.305 percent of the amount withdrawn and €4.24 fixed costs for cash withdrawals with a debit card outside the eurozone. Collecting 100 euros will cost you 4.55 euros. With a credit card of the same bank, it comes to 1 percent of the amount withdrawn and 6 euros in fixed costs. Collecting €100 with a credit card will cost you €7.

advice: Check here how much bank fees you charge when you are outside the Eurozone Withdraw money using your Visa card or Withdraw money using your MasterCard card

exchange rate conversion

If you’re paying with your card outside the Eurozone, be sure to consider dynamic exchange rate conversions. Some merchants give you the option to pay in Euros or in the local currency. Don’t forget that merchants charge a commission for it. This commission is usually higher than the commission charged by your bank. Therefore, it is better to always pay in the local currency and thus avoid falling victim to high exchange rate conversion commissions.

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advice: If the local currency is not the Euro, you can request some cash in that currency from your bank. With some banks this can be done online. It is better to order foreign currency in advance.

Smartphone and contactless

Pay by smartphone in. But keep in mind that this is not possible in every country as smoothly as in Belgium. With Apple and Google Pay, mobile payments should not be a problem in principle.

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This article was brought to you by our partner Spaargids.be. Spaargids.be is an independent comparison of banking products looking for competitive rates and better interest rates.