Creditcard while travelling?

"After quite a journey, you've finally arrived at your hostel. With a packed backpack you're checking in. From behind the counter you are asked if you want to pay the amount for the 3 nights you booked in advance with a lot of enthusiasm.

From your wallet you take the ATM card to pay. The pin device refuses and you try again. Shit, it won't accept your debit card again..."

Okay, you don't want to go through this when you're traveling. There is a lot to arrange before you leave, like: passport, visa(s), vaccination, insurances, flight, and so on. You should also think about a credit card on your trip.

Do you really need a credit card on your trip or is only your debit card enough? Here you can read the pros and cons of taking a credit card with you on your trip.

Pros and Cons credit card while travelling


Having a credit card when travelling has its advantages.

In some places an ATM card does not always work or your ATM card is stolen (hopefully this will never happen to you). With a credit card you can pay almost anywhere in the world, so you always have a backup plan.

Super useful of a credit card is that purchases are insured for 180 days, so almost everything you buy with a credit card when you travel is insured for free against loss, theft and damage.

If you book a hostel (or other accommodation) or excursion online and the hostel goes bankrupt or your excursion is cancelled, you are entitled to a refund. Also if you

If you book a hostel, hotel or excursion online with your credit card and it goes bankrupt or is cancelled, you are entitled to a refund. Even if you buy a product online and it is not delivered. If you pay with a debit card, you are simply unlucky.

So the advantages of a credit card are:

  • You can pay with it (almost) anytime, anywhere.
  • Always a backup plan
  • Purchases are insured for 180 days.
  • Delivery guarantee


A credit card when travelling has not only advantages, but also a number of disadvantages.

Before you receive a credit card, you must meet certain conditions that depend on your bank. For example, if you have a (study) debt, it may be more difficult to get a credit card.

Another disadvantage is that it costs extra money when withdrawing cash abroad, when it's not euros. Because of the exchange rate surcharge, this amount can sometimes be as much as 2% of the amount you want to withdraw. In that case it is better to use your debit card and only use the credit card in case of emergencies.

You also pay an annual amount for owning a credit card. This can be between € 10,- and € 700,- per year. With both, payment is safe and possible everywhere. You pay for the service and extras you get. In general the costs are around € 20,- per year.

So the disadvantages of a credit card are:

  • Can be difficult to obtain.
  • Cash "out of the wall" pins is expensive.
  • Annual fee.

Take a credit card with you on a trip or not?

I leave that choice entirely up to you and hope that after reading you have a better idea of the pros and cons of having a credit card on your trip. I do recommend that you take one with you when you travel.

You will be better prepared for travel, because you can withdraw money (almost) anytime and anywhere. With this big advantage it is actually a must-have for every traveler, despite the annual costs.

Unfortunately, withdrawing money is definitely a disadvantage, because it can be quite expensive. Keep in mind that you only use it in case of an emergency.

When I travel, I take my credit card with me. This takes away a lot of uncertainty and I can always pay for it.