How to pay for purchases on European trips — we break down the pros and cons of using cash, credit cards, and debit cards

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There’s more than one way to get the cash you need for your trip to Europe. You can use a credit card, get cash out of an ATM, or exchange currency before you leave the country.
Credit cards offer the most affordable way to make purchases abroad, but only if you have a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.
Beware of liability involved with using a debit card or ATM card abroad. If you report fraudulent activity between two and 60 days after it takes place, you could be on the hook for up to $500 in fraudulent charges, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Planning your first vacation to Europe can be exciting and overwhelming. There are huge details to pore over, accommodations to book, and long, pricey flights to prepare yourself for — unless you’re using airline miles, of course. Plus, you’ll want to plan an itinerary that includes all the famous sights, ancient art and ruins, and restaurants you want to visit.

While there’s plenty you can book and pay for ahead of time, you’ll also need to have a strategy in place to pay for items once you arrive. How will you pay for that homemade truffle pasta you’ve been craving? Gelato? Trains? Will you exchange currency before you arrive, get cash out of an ATM, or pack a credit card for the trip?

It’s totally up to you to decide whether you use cash or credit in Europe, and there’s really no right or wrong choice, either. Just know that there are notable pros and cons with each payment method, and plenty to mull over as you decide.

Exchanging currency before you arrive

One way to financially prepare for your first trip to Europe is exchanging currency at your local bank before your trip. Most banks let you exchange for almost any currency in Europe, although you typically need to provide some notice (one to two weeks should be fine).

While having currency in-hand when you arrive in your destination may sound ideal, note that this is not the most affordable way to pay for your vacation.

Banks and credit …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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