Types of money and how it is carried is important when studying abroad. Become familiar with the options for types of money and how to protect your money and identity. For best practices and safety please attend our information session.
Types of Money
- Credit Cards*
- Pros: A major credit card can make purchases almost anywhere. Not tied to a bank account. Easier to fix get money back if the card is stolen and used.
- Cons: Linked to your identity. Fees for every foreign transaction. Higher interest rates on ATM withdraws.
- Debit Cards*
- Pros: Can use at ATMS. Easy to cancel if stolen. A major debit/credit card can make purchases almost anywhere.
- Cons: Linked to your identity and bank accounts. If stolen and used there may not be any money left in the bank account if any auto bill pay before the issue is resolved which can be a slow process. Fees for every foreign transaction.
- Travel Money Card/ Pre-Paid Card*
- Pros: Not linked to your identity or bank accounts. Made by major credit card companies so it can be used almost anywhere. Can pull cash from an ATM. Usually has companion card so if the primary card had to be cancelled when stolen there is still access to the money immediately.
- Cons: Fees for every foreign transactions. Can’t use at street side vendors.
- Foreign Currency
- Pros: Can use anywhere. No fees for use.
- Cons: There is no getting it back if it is stolen.
- Traveler's Cheques
- Pros: Access to cash without having to carry it all at once. No fees to redeem the cash.
- Cons: A lot of fraud, so many countries will not accept them anymore, especially in Europe. Must be at airport or certain banks to cash.
- *Note: many European countries have changed to a card type that has a microchip instead of a magnetic strip. This means that cards obtained in the U.S. may not work. The Perils of Plastic, the Cachet of Cash by Rick Steves.
Ways to Protect Your Identity and Money
- RFID protecting wallets
- Protects the card number, expiration date, and other personnel data stored in the card’s chip.
- Anti-Theft purses/Bags
- Bags are usually made with metal wires inside the seams and fabric making it very difficult to slash a whole in the bag or slash a strap.
- Neck & Wastes Stashes
- These store cards/cash/ID in a small comfortable pouch that can be hidden beneath clothing.
- Passport Holders
- A place to store and protect passports
- NEVER give your PIN (personal identification number) to anyone.
- ALWAYS use your body or other hand to shield the key pad from snooping eyes when entering your PIN anywhere.
- Best to use the ATM with a buddy so that someone can keep an eye out.
- Do NOT carry your wallet in your back pocket. It is best to not carry money or IDs in a backpack on your back either. Keep backpacks, purses, and wallets in front of you.
- Don't keep everything in on spot. Separate your money into multiple places, so that if one thing is stolen you still have some money.
- Don't open a "tab" if you don't have to. That is longer you card is out of your sight for someone else to copy down the information.
Where to Find Travel Money and Travel Merchandise
Travel Mechandise includes products such as luggage, passport holds, anti-theft purses/bags, RFID protecting wallets, etc.
- Credit Cards – Can be applied for at your local bank or online
- Debit Cards – Must have a checking account that provides debit cards at a local bank
- Foreign Currency – Some local banks, major airports, AAA
- Traveler’s Cheques – Some local banks, AAA
- Merchandise – Online stores , AAA, Target, Wal-Mart, Pathfinder