These days it is nearly impossible to travel without a credit and debit card. They make life easy…there’s no need for traveler’s checks, currency conversion, or even calculating exchange rates. You simply present your credit card to a merchant, they “run it” and print the receipt, you sign it, and you’re on your way. How much simpler can it get?
However, many a traveler has been foiled because they failed to follow the credit card provider’s rules.
I’ve just spent my entire layover in Atlanta calling credit card companies. You see, our credit cards are really not “ours” at all, they belong to the credit card companies. An important benefit of our credit card is the guarantee provided by the credit card company that we’ll not be ripped-off by con-artists and thieves should our “information” be compromised. In other words if our credit card is lost or stolen, or someone obtains the number, we are not responsible. That’s a good thing!
But there is one drawback. If you leave your area of residence, you must notify the credit card company and provide information about where you will be and where you’re likely to be making charges on your (their) card. If you don’t, you’ll get the dreaded statement from the merchant, “you card was declined.” That does not sound too nice in French!
So, if you travel outside your normal area, CALL THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY and tell them when and where you’ll be making charges.
I’m off to catch my flight to Provence. I’ll talk to you later.