Is it Safe to Use Credit Cards Abroad?

What about credit card fraud?

Is it safe to use credit cards internationally?  YES

I remember ten years ago trying to use credit cards in Thailand.  It was difficult; slow; required your passport; and a supervisor had to look it over first.  It was a pain.

That is how Philippines is now for many stores (including the worst ever — WILCON!).  Wilcon Home Improvement Stores (actually, Wilcon Builders Depot!) even has their own special rules — you must present your INTERNATIONAL ID if you use an INTERNATIONAL CREDIT CARD.  Even if you have a Philippine Government ID (Drivers License, etc.), that is not acceptable if your credit card was issued somewhere else.  Only in the Philippines folks.

Back to Thailand.  It is not like that anymore.  Every chain takes credit cards, and they process so much more now that it is done without all the delays and aggravation of the past.  In fact, my only issue with card fraud happened many years ago when cards were not being accepted like today.

So my answer is YES.  YES it is safe to use credit cards in foreign countries.

I called my credit card bank and told them I wanted to decrease my credit line because I would be living in a foreign country.  They talked me out of it — stating that my card agreement allows ZERO LIABILITY for any charges and that I shouldn’t worry so much.  If I have a problem, “call them” and they will remove the charge from my account without a problem.

The only place I don’t use cards are bars.  Something about running up a tab and paying it with a credit card just doesn’t sit well for me.  That is a cash transaction only — in my mind.  Everywhere else, I’ll pay with my card.

The only problem you might have using your credit card in foreign countries are the staff.  Most staff are taught to charge the customer in their home country based on where the card was issued (The dynamic currency conversion ripoff).  When they do that, YOU GET RIPPED OFF.  We tell almost EVERY STORE where we make a purchase, “Pay in Thai Baht” (pay in the LOCAL currency).  There is more about this on the site.

What are the best credit cards to use internationally?

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