booking airfare http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14091/all en-US Route, Connections, Price: How Far Will You Go for a Cheap Flight? http://www.wisebread.com/route-connections-price-how-far-will-you-go-for-a-cheap-flight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/route-connections-price-how-far-will-you-go-for-a-cheap-flight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5878300387_f37183d6ff_z.jpg" alt="reading map" title="reading map" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I despise booking airfare. It's a laborious, tedious process rife with loopholes and changing price points that I don't understand. And I know &mdash; <em>I just know&nbsp;</em>&mdash; that as soon as I click &ldquo;buy&rdquo;, I'll find another fare (probably on a better airline no less) for a fraction of what I paid.&nbsp;</p> <p>So, instead of clicking &ldquo;buy,&rdquo; I spend days and days (weeks, really) manually performing searches to try and find the best combination of route, connections, and price. And unfortunately, the three are not harmoniously correlated. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-frequent-flier-program-has-the-best-awards-availability">Which&nbsp;Frequent Flier Program Has the Best Awards Availability</a>)</p> <h2>How to Find the Best Route</h2> <p>If you're short on travel time, then you probably don't want to go too far out of your way for a cheap flight. But don't just do a point A-B search; if you're flying from Miami to London, consider other major ports of departure (or arrival). It might be best to hop on a cheap flight to New York or Atlanta and catch a seat sale from there to London instead.</p> <p>Personally I find this to be the most tedious part of the process, but a necessary evil. How do you search for alternate destination/arrival points? A few ways:</p> <p><strong>Widen Your Search</strong></p> <p>Many flight search engines have the ability to &ldquo;search nearby airports.&rdquo; Make sure this box is checked.</p> <p><strong>Consider Different Arrival and Departure Points</strong></p> <p>Popular routes often have seat sales. Search different major departure and arrival points (and if you can, be flexible with your flight dates/times).</p> <p><strong>Book Directly With the Airline</strong></p> <p>Once you've found a few airlines that fly your route, ditch the search engines and see what the airline's website has to offer. You might discover a seat sale that fits your needs.</p> <h2>How to Find the Best Connections</h2> <p>This is the biggest variable; one that, in conjunction with finding the best route, can result in the trip being a soul-destroying ordeal or a walk in the park. Much of it depends on what you're willing to pay for.</p> <p>I made a trip from Toronto to Melbourne a few years ago that lasted over 50 hours. This is because I already had a cheap flight from New York, but I waited too long to find a connecting flight from Toronto to New York. I ended up taking an overnight bus and waiting the better part of a day in the airport, thus extending an already long trip by about 18 (unenjoyable) hours.</p> <p>A subsequent trip from Auckland to Madrid took over 45 hours. Granted it's a long journey no matter which way you slice it, but since I was on a mission to fly in business class using my <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">frequent flier miles</a>, I conceded to spending 12 hours overnight in the Bangkok airport en route. (After sleeping on the airport floor for six hours, the business class lounge opened and I enjoyed a contrasting six hours getting free massages, free food, WiFi, and comfy lounge chairs. It was a good trade-off!)</p> <p>Here are some tips for working out your connections.</p> <p><strong>Leave Time Between Connecting Flights</strong></p> <p>I despise missing connections. So I generally refuse to book a flight with anything less than a two-hour connection time. Even with this buffer I've found myself on delayed flights, tearing through the airport to make the connecting flight in time &mdash; with varying degrees of success.</p> <p><strong>Consider Other Forms of Transportation</strong></p> <p>Instead of doing a short-haul flight to connect to a longer one, it might be easier &mdash; and/or cheaper &mdash; to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-flying-other-ways-to-get-from-here-to-there">take a bus or train</a> to/from your major departure/arrival point.</p> <h2>How to Find the Best Price</h2> <p>Price is usually the bottom line for people, but the question remains &mdash; how far will you go to get that cheap flight?</p> <p>Last year I had to travel from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale. Following the route and connection tips above, I had a few options:</p> <ol> <li>Fly direct return from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale for $400 (and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2011/12/financial-travel-tip-8-flying-for-free-or-almost-free/">collect preferred air miles</a>&nbsp;in so doing).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fly from Toronto to Miami for $50 less, and contend with my Floridian friend's overwhelming distaste for the Miami airport and extra time on her part spent picking me up and dropping me off.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fly from Buffalo to Fort Lauderdale on a super-budget airline for $150.</li> </ol> <p>Really, the competition was between options one and three, since the $50 savings wasn't worth the hassle on my friend's part.</p> <p>And since Buffalo is a mere two-hour drive from Toronto, it appeared that option three would be the best balance of routes, connections, and price.</p> <p>Sadly, though, the airline's departure from Buffalo was at 7 a.m. (awkward flight times are a budget-airline signature). And I just couldn't find any way to get to Buffalo in time for that flight, shy of taking a bus the night before and either paying for a hotel or sleeping in the airport. The cost of the bus plus paying for a hotel would have negated the flight savings, and sleeping in the airport would have left me wrecked for my first few days in Florida.</p> <p>And as much as I specialize in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">cheap full-time travel</a>, if the cheapest option isn't remotely reasonable or comfortable, I'm happy to pay a little more (especially if I can collect valuable frequent flier miles in the process.</p> <p>Budget airlines are an obvious option when searching for the best price. Here are a couple of other variables to consider in finding the best price.</p> <p><strong>Ditch the Search Engines</strong></p> <p>Search engines can be effective to get a general sense of what major airlines fly which routes, but they don't include many budget airlines and don't leave you privy to seat sales. Here's a technique I've used in the past to <a href="http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/cheap-travel/#tip1">save up to 80% on airfare</a>.</p> <p><strong>Monitor the Fare After You Buy</strong></p> <p>Some airlines will give you a refund on the price difference if your fare changes even after you purchase a ticket. Check out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-lowest-price-on-airfare-even-after-you-buy">How to Get the Lowest Price on Airfare, Even After You Buy</a> for more info.</p> <h2>How Far Will You Go?</h2> <p>You'll notice that price, connections, and route are interrelated, yet conflicting &mdash; and most often confusing.</p> <p><em>What are your experiences? How far out of your way (or comfort zone) would you go for a cheap flight? Are budget airlines really all they're cracked up to be after everything is said and done? And where is the line between saving money and being comfortable? </em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Froute-connections-price-how-far-will-you-go-for-a-cheap-flight&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FRoute%2C%20Connections%2C%20Price-%20How%20Far%20Will%20You%20Go%20for%20a%20Cheap%20Flight-.jpg&amp;description=Route%2C%20Connections%2C%20Price%3A%20How%20Far%20Will%20You%20Go%20for%20a%20Cheap%20Flight%3F" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Route%2C%20Connections%2C%20Price-%20How%20Far%20Will%20You%20Go%20for%20a%20Cheap%20Flight-.jpg" alt="Route, Connections, Price: How Far Will You Go for a Cheap Flight?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/route-connections-price-how-far-will-you-go-for-a-cheap-flight">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">Travel and Money: Using Your Credit Card on the Road</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extreme-mileage-hacking-creative-ways-to-earn-flier-miles">Extreme Mileage Hacking: Creative Ways to Earn Flier Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-frequent-flier-program-has-the-best-awards-availability">Which Frequent Flier Program Has the Best Awards Availability?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-lowest-price-on-airfare-even-after-you-buy">How to Get the Lowest Price on Airfare, Even After You Buy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps">Get Started With Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel booking airfare cheap flights frequent flier miles Mon, 25 Jun 2012 10:36:09 +0000 Nora Dunn 935296 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get the Lowest Price on Airfare, Even After You Buy http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-lowest-price-on-airfare-even-after-you-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-the-lowest-price-on-airfare-even-after-you-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000003052294Small.jpg" alt="waiting at the airport" title="waiting at the airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As much as being a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/">full-time traveler</a> might sound glamorous, I spend a lot (I mean it! <em>A Lot</em>) of time researching the best way to get from A to B, and the cheapest way to book it. And as somebody who&rsquo;s always on the hunt for the best deal, I often get &ldquo;click paralysis&rdquo; when it comes to clicking on the big final ominous &ldquo;Purchase&rdquo; button, fearful that I&rsquo;ll find a way better deal as soon as I commit. (Yes, it has happened before).</p> <p>Booking airfare in particular seems to be an area mired in confusion, changing rates, and endless schemes. From cookies being buried in your browser that raise the rates every time you perform the same search, to having to search at Tuesday at midnight to get the &ldquo;best rates,&rdquo; it seems that we have to contort ourselves into these awkward positions to get a decent price.</p> <p>Wives tales and rumors abound about getting the best rates; the next thing you know we&rsquo;ll be told that we have to eat only spinach for two days and perform a search while standing on one foot and listening to classical music in order to get the lowest price on airfare. I mean, really.</p> <p>Despite my little rant here, I recently found a few free sites that ease the pain of booking airfare and helped me get the lowest price. Not only were they instrumental in my finding the best rates for my recent booking of a trip from Toronto to Florida, but I got the peace of mind in knowing that if those rates go down, I&rsquo;ll get a refund.</p> <h2>Yapta</h2> <p>Did you know that some airlines will give you a refund if the price goes down even after you buy your ticket? Yapta knows.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.yapta.com/">Yapta</a> specializes in tracking flight prices, both before and after you buy. It&rsquo;s a fairly user-friendly site with a standard search engine. You can track the price changes (and you register with only your email, first name, and a password), receiving emails with weekly summaries, as well as special alerts when prices go down. (My only beef with this widget is that it tracks only the specific flights you enter, so if your plans are flexible you have to enter many possible flights to track them individually.)</p> <p>Yapta&rsquo;s big claim to fame is that they help you get a refund on the difference if your flight goes down in price <em>after </em>you buy. With an easy tracking system and even pre-populated forms to submit to the airlines, it&rsquo;s simple to track flights and to apply for a refund.</p> <p>Be warned though, only a handful of airlines have formal <a target="_blank" href="http://www.yapta.com/airline-refunds/">refund policies</a> if the price goes down after you buy a ticket, and oftentimes the price difference needs to be above a certain dollar amount (eg: $75 or $150). For long-haul flights though, I can see value in using Yapta to track prices. And although there&rsquo;s value in choosing an airline with a refund policy, it never hurts to approach an airline without one and to ask for a refund on a price difference. This applies to airlines and retailers alike; you&rsquo;ll never know <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-discount-every-time">if you don&rsquo;t ask</a>.</p> <h2>FareCompare</h2> <p>As another airfare comparison search engine, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.farecompare.com/">FareCompare</a> works almost the same way. I enjoyed reading their take on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.farecompare.com/articles/when-to-buy/">the best times to buy flights</a>, and it has lots of gee-gogs that Yapta doesn&rsquo;t have. For example, you can use a map to see where you can go given your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-and-track-expenses-for-your-next-vacation">travel budget</a>, or you can search flights for price-per-mile (for people wanting to get the most distance for their airline dollar &mdash; great if you&rsquo;re on a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">frequent flyer mile run</a>).</p> <p>Other than these great little search features and a useful collection of articles and tips on when to buy/where to fly etc, I found using FareCompare to be considerably less user-friendly than Yapta when it comes to the brass tacks of tracking flights. I could enter an email address to track flights, but I didn&rsquo;t seem to get tracking emails regularly, and navigating the flights I was tracking on the site itself was cryptic.</p> <p>But as a well-rounded search engine and educational resource for booking flights, FareCompare stands its ground for me.</p> <h2>Kayak Explore</h2> <p>The one downfall of both Yapta and FareCompare is that in order to track flights, you need to know where you&rsquo;re going! <a target="_blank" href="http://www.kayak.com/explore/">KayakExplore</a> has little to do with tracking airline prices, but may be a fun way to choose a destination. You enter your starting point, and can filter results by selecting maximum price points, countries/continents you&rsquo;d like to visit, flight times, stuff you&rsquo;d like to do, and even the weather you want (from &ldquo;Freezing&rdquo; to &ldquo;Hot&rdquo;, and even &ldquo;Ouch&rdquo;)!</p> <h2>Tips for Getting the Lowest Price on Airfare</h2> <p>Getting the lowest price on airfare is no small task, and something that can suck you into countless (fruitless) hours online. I speak from experience, as the queen of spinning my wheels yet getting nowhere. &ldquo;Click paralysis&rdquo; is my nemesis. Here are a few tips to help you book your next flight with confidence.</p> <p><strong>Act fast. </strong>If you get an alert that the price has dropped, jump on it. Price drops can last as little as a few hours, depending on how many seats they release at the lower price and how popular the route is.</p> <p><strong>Buy at least 7 days in advance. </strong>I&rsquo;ve been burned by this before; cheap last-minute flights are non-existent (or at least, not to be counted on). As soon as you get to less than a week from departure, the price skyrockets. My flight to Florida went up 25% overnight between eight days and seven days before departure. (Thank goodness I bought my ticket prior.)</p> <p><strong>Airline&rsquo;s don&rsquo;t refund with cash. </strong>If you can convince an airline to give you a refund on the price difference, don&rsquo;t expect cash. Instead, you&rsquo;ll receive a credit or voucher with that airline for future travel. Also, beware of processing fees, which not only detract from the refund amount, but are often paid out-of-pocket.</p> <p><strong>Stop searching after you book. </strong>Once you&rsquo;ve bought your ticket, do yourself a favor and stop searching. If you&rsquo;re like me, you researched and researched your options before you bought, and you&rsquo;re not likely to find something wildly cheaper afterwards. (And if you do, you&rsquo;ll only beat yourself up for finding it too late.) By tracking your flight prices with a tool like Yapta or FareCompare both before and after you buy, you can rest assured that you&rsquo;re likely getting the best prices available.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-get-the-lowest-price-on-airfare-even-after-you-buy&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20to%20Get%20the%20Lowest%20Price%20on%20Airfare%2C%20Even%20After%20You%20Buy.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Get%20the%20Lowest%20Price%20on%20Airfare%2C%20Even%20After%20You%20Buy" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Get%20the%20Lowest%20Price%20on%20Airfare%2C%20Even%20After%20You%20Buy.jpg" alt="How to Get the Lowest Price on Airfare, Even After You Buy" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-lowest-price-on-airfare-even-after-you-buy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">Travel and Money: Using Your Credit Card on the Road</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/route-connections-price-how-far-will-you-go-for-a-cheap-flight">Route, Connections, Price: How Far Will You Go for a Cheap Flight?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety">Vacation Safe: 11 Tips for Hotel Safety</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clipped-wings-can-consumers-fix-air-travel">Clipped Wings: Can Consumers Fix Air Travel?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel booking airfare FareCompare.com searching flights Yapta.com Tue, 14 Jun 2011 10:00:25 +0000 Nora Dunn 579541 at http://www.wisebread.com Travel and Money: Using Your Credit Card on the Road http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/607077826_70d09d914e_z.jpg" alt="travelers" title="travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your next vacation won&rsquo;t happen without money&hellip;both prior to and during your trip. But with currency conversion discrepancies, high surcharges, and the risk of theft or loss, managing your money on the road isn&rsquo;t as simple as you may think. This <em>Travel and Money </em>series discusses various ways to address your money issues while you are abroad.</p> <p>Today we will discuss <strong>using your credit card on the road</strong>. There is no denying that credit cards are very necessary for travel, as they&rsquo;re often required to book travel arrangements (like flights and accommodation) in advance. They&rsquo;re also incredibly convenient and useful &mdash; but must be used correctly, and with caution. I don&rsquo;t recommend charging any travel expenses to your credit card if you don&rsquo;t have the ability to pay it off (in full) immediately. The massive interest rates alone make no financial sense, and can put you in financial strife if you come up against an emergency and have no cash and a maxed out card.</p> <p>Having said that, my credit card is one of the most useful travel tools I have. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Credit Card Advantages</h2> <p>Despite some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-getting-your-credit-card-canceled">challenges I&rsquo;ve had</a>, credit cards are my preferred way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">pay for everything while traveling</a> for a number of reasons:</p> <ul> <li>It provides a detailed record of my purchases<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The currency conversion surcharges are reasonable (although rates vary with different credit cards)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If my card or identity is stolen, I am usually not liable for the erroneous purchases<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>I get some automatic <a title="The Dirt on Travel Insurance" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirt-on-travel-insurance">travel insurance</a> coverage by charging flights and car rentals<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The <a title="How to Earn a Free Flight Every Year" href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">frequent flyer miles</a> help to fund further travels</li> </ul> <h2>Credit Card Precautions</h2> <p>But using a credit card on the road isn&rsquo;t all roses and cherries. Here are some things to be aware of:</p> <ul> <li>If you use your credit card for cash advances, interest is charged from the date of withdrawal (instead of after 30 days as with regular purchases).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Depending on the credit card,currency conversion surcharges can vary as much as 10% between the best and worst cards. Take care to read the fine print.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Some merchants charge extra for using credit cards &mdash; up to 10%. The last time I was in Mexico, for example, almost every merchant charged exorbitantly for me to use my card. (In this case I used my <a title="Using Your Debit Card on the Road" href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-debit-card-on-the-road">debit card</a> at the ATM to withdraw cash instead).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>In dodgy countries or areas, it&rsquo;s not unheard of for vendors to &ldquo;double-swipe&rdquo; your card or record your number for later use. Don&rsquo;t let your card out of your sight, and insist on a receipt.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Some merchants will give you the option of charging the purchase in your home currency. Usually it&rsquo;s best to decline the offer (and you can do so), because they tend to use less favorable conversion rates, and your credit card will sometimes still levy the foreign currency surcharge. This can cost you up to an additional 6% over simply charging the expense in the local currency.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Although it may seem convenient, resist the urge to use your credit card for long distance calls with a payphone! Twice I was in a jam at an airport and made extremely quick calls, and was charged up to $150 for less than five minutes of conversation. Consider yourself warned!</li> </ul> <h2>Using Your Credit Card Abroad</h2> <p>Here are a few things you should take care to do if you use your credit card abroad:</p> <ul> <li>Call your credit card company before you leave for your trip to advise them of your travel plans. Otherwise, if they see purchases coming from out-of-town, they may freeze your account in suspicion of the card having been stolen. Although sometimes they freeze the account despite your advisory, they&rsquo;ll almost certainly freeze it if you don&rsquo;t give them the head&rsquo;s up.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check your statements religiously. Go through every expense on your credit card statement each month, to ensure all the charges are legitimate and accurate. If you see any discrepancies, call the credit card company right away. Later in this series, we&rsquo;ll discuss the best way to view your statements online and pay your bills securely.</li> </ul> <h2>Rewards Cards</h2> <p>As I said earlier, one of the perks of using my credit card to charge my expenses is in the accumulation of <a title="How to Earn a Free Flight Every Year" href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">frequent flyer miles</a>. But there are a number of different types of <a title="Credit Card Rewards Programs" href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-rewards-programs">credit cards rewards programs</a>.</p> <h3>Other articles in the Travel &amp; Money series:</h3> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-debit-card-on-the-road">Using Your Debit Card on the Road</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Using Prepaid Travel Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely">How to Get and Carry Cash Safely and Securely</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-carrying-decoy-wallets">Carrying Decoy Wallets</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-passport-carrying-tips">Passport Carrying Tips</a></li> </ul> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ftravel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FTravel%20and%20Money-%20Using%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20on%20the%20Road.jpg&amp;description=Getting%20Your%20Greens%20on%20the%20Road%3A%20How%20to%20Eat%20Well%20While%20Traveling" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Travel%20and%20Money-%20Using%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20on%20the%20Road.jpg" alt="Travel and Money: Using Your Credit Card on the Road" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Credit Cards Travel accommodations booking airfare business travel vacation Thu, 24 Jun 2010 12:00:05 +0000 Nora Dunn 147806 at http://www.wisebread.com