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Making International Payments While on Vacation

Making International Payments While on Vacation

International payments range from remittances sent home to money sent to someone on vacation because they’re short on cash or had a wallet stolen. In any of these cases, international payments can take a long time and come with hefty fees. Here are a few tips for making international payments while on vacation.

Credit Cards

Credit cards come with convenience, since you already own it and you know how you’ll be billed. The risk you take with a credit card for making international payments is that the credit card may not be accepted in the country you’re in.

Even if it is accepted, a 3% foreign transaction fee is going to be tacked on by most cards, and that doesn’t include currency conversion fees. If you take a cash advance against your credit card, you’ll start paying interest on it immediately. Many credit cards have daily limits, too, as protection against fraud. This means you could pay for that week in the villa or weekend cruise down the river, but you won’t be allowed to make another big purchase that day.


While you may be able to receive a payment via app, you’re now relying on the local vendors to both accept that payment app and be able to process it. When there are many small foreign businesses that don’t handle credit cards or chip cards, expect even more to be unable to accept the payment app that your local drug store could. Another issue is how regional many of these payment apps are. A payment app that’s popular in China may be outright unacceptable in Japan and vice versa. And a payment app is useless if you can’t charge your cell phone or the phone has been stolen.

Money Transfer Services

Through money transfer services, such as Veem, you’re able to easily receive money from abroad, without having to wait to receive the money until you are back in the United States. This is the best option if you need the cash to pay for an international plane ticket home or pay a month’s worth of living expenses.

One of the benefits of money transfer services is the fact that they’re nearly ubiquitous; there are small villages with a money transfer service for those receiving money sent home by relatives. Another benefit is speed; you’re receiving money through a global service that can wire it immediately.

A money transfer service is one of the best options outside of a bank when you want to transfer a large sum of money, such as paying emergency medical expenses or buying property while abroad.

Another reason to use these money transfer services is the fact that they work with you when you need to send money over an extended period of time. For example, you could lock in a set exchange rate and arrange for them to send a set amount per week or another interval to a family member traveling abroad.
International payments can be achieved through a variety of methods, each with their own risks and fee structure. When you’re selecting international payment methods, make sure you pick one that will let you receive money no matter where you’re located and won’t leave you locked out of an account.

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