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Credit/debit cards have made traveling convenient for everyone, allowing people to travel light and still have access to their money. Amid this advantage comes the unexpected bank fees these cards incur in certain countries.
So, everyone is searching for the best card to use while on the road, and one name that comes up constantly is Mastercard. This article provides important information about using Mastercard for purchases and at Mastercard casinos while traveling. It’ll also show the various fees that can be incurred while using this card and if there are any security hazards involved.
Is Mastercard Good for Travelling?
The short answer is yes. Mastercard is good for regular and slow travel as this card is widely accepted around the world. Whether for purchases or withdrawals, this card can be used anywhere.
When traveling outside the US, this card can be conveniently used in different ways, like:
- Using the 4-digit pin: This is the norm when withdrawing cash from an ATM or gas station. Basically, any unmanned payment station will require customers to provide their 4-digit pins.
- As a contactless card: This payment method is becoming popular in Canada, Australia, and Europe. Whenever the contactless symbol is displayed, the Mastercard holder can just tap their card, and the transaction will be complete.
- Using the magnetic stripe: When dining at some restaurants, the waiters swipe the Mastercard and ask for a signature. They do this in place of a pin.
- For betting on Mastercard casinos: As Mastercard is a widely accepted payment method online, bettors can use this card to fund their betting activities abroad.
Mastercard Fees for International Usage
While Mastercard offers the same ease of usage as using it at home in the US, there is a price to pay. These are the charges that users incur when using the card abroad, and they’re all explained below.
- Foreign transaction fee: Using the Mastercard outside the US means the user will purchase in a different currency. Hence, when purchases are charged to the card, the user’s issuing bank uses Mastercard’s currency converter to change it to USD. Ultimately, the bank takes their cut (the foreign transaction fee) for their troubles.
- Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC): This is a deceptive charge when people make purchases with their cards. In such cases, they’ll be asked if they want to be charged in USD or the local currency. While this sounds convenient, the exchange rates used in a DCC are worse than Mastercard’s rates. As such, it’s important to choose the local currency so the cardholder’s bank can convert the currency.
- ATM fees: Using the ATM in a foreign country has troubles, as its services are never free. There is always an ATM fee in cases like this, but how the fees are charged differs from bank to bank. Some issuing banks charge a fixed fee for all ATM withdrawals, while others charge a percentage according to the amount withdrawn.
What Happens When a US Mastercard Gets Stolen Abroad?
When a Mastercard is stolen while traveling abroad, the cardholder can contact their bank to block it. After this, the bank will either issue a temporary card or provide the customer with some emergency funds.
People who want to avoid this lengthy procedure can get card protection insurance before traveling. This way, replacing the stolen card will be much easier.
Should a Card Holder Tell Their Bank That They’re Traveling Abroad?
Yes, Mastercard holders need to inform their banks when they travel abroad. This is because some banks quickly block cards on which they believe fraudulent activity is occurring. So, an overseas transaction for a card issued in the US could count as fraudulent activity.
Mastercard is a card that no one will have any issues using while traveling, as it’s widely accepted and offers great versatility. This card can be used with its 4-digit pin, as a contactless card, and with its magnetic stripe. The only price for such versatility is the fee attached to overseas transactions.
Despite this, Mastercard holders should be prepared for local shops, taxis, and establishments that do not accept their cards. So, having some spare cash handy will be useful when traveling abroad.