Hi Skint pals,
I’m writing this post today with a million things on my mind. I’m getting ready to go on a week’s holiday soon and I really ought to be digging out my shorts or buying suncream or wasting time on tripadvisor, but instead I’m sitting here cursing my poor memory and wondering how to pay for the hire car.
See, I planned to pay for the car and some other big expenses by credit card whilst abroad. Here in the UK I often use a debit card for day-to-day stuff but they have their limits abroad, so a rewards credit card is what I use on my hols. But today, when I started looking stuff out for the holiday, I realised I don’t have a clue what my pin number is. And of course the bank can’t tell me. I wouldn’t want them to – I could be anyone, after all. A new pin will be posted, but not in time, so it’s adios credit card and hola . . . what?
What did people use pre-credit cards when travelling? I can just about remember the days when credit cards weren’t so common and instead it was travellers cheques that people turned to, but what a hassle having to go to the bank abroad and cash them in. You might remember that I found an ancient travellers cheque still lurking in my cupboard not so long ago, and how the woman in the bank actually laughed when I fished it out of my purse.
For me, credit cards really come into their own when travelling and a credit card that offers rewards points makes sense to me. The idea is that you collect reward points from things that you’d be buying everyday anyway: fuel, food etc. Sort of like a bunch of store loyalty cards and a credit card rolled into one. I like the convenience. I guess it makes best financial sense though if you only collect the rewards on stuff you’d be buying anyway, right?
Anyway, despite this little hassle I’m still excited about our forthcoming hols with our pals. And whilst abroad we’ve got some other friends from out of town housesitting our place for the week. They get to enjoy being skint in the city for a change and we get the peace of mind knowing that the house is safe. Just a little nervous after the break-in, you know, and so it’s great that they’re here to keep an eye on the place.
What about you? Do you use credit cards when travelling or do you do it the old-fashioned way and just stride boldy out towards the horizon clutching a fistful of dollars? Did you do a lot of comparing credit cards to find the best one for your lifestyle? And do you have any nifty ways of remembering your pin numbers? You know how none of us are meant to write them down, but how on earth do you keep them all in your head? Any top memory tricks gratefully received!
Photo credit: on the beach
Today’s post is a guest post from MBNA.