Which Is Better: Cash or Credit Cards for Travel?

Being in an unfamiliar environment may be both thrilling and terrifying. You’ve probably spent a lot of money and time planning your vacation, from getting there to making reservations for activities and lodging. Then, you’ll need to give some more thought to the logistics of your trip, including how you’ll pay for things while away and whether you’ll bring cash or rely on a credit card. Believe us when we say that before you spend money, that’s when you should be thinking about it the most.

Best currency exchange rates, international transaction fees, and ATM fees are just a few of the extra travel expenses to think about before, during, and after your trip. All things considered, you’ll have to make up your own mind on whether cash or credit cards are more convenient when traveling.

Which, cash or credit cards, is more convenient for a trip?

It’s time to get down to business. Is it more convenient to bring a credit card or debit card or to use local currency when traveling? Many travelers choose to get cash from ATMs once they get to their destination so they don’t have to pay extra for foreign currency or credit card fees. However, some travelers swear by their credit cards and only use them while they’re away.

Is there a preferable option here? Well, that depends. There are benefits and drawbacks to both using cash and using credit cards when traveling internationally.

Advantages and disadvantages of using a credit card when traveling


  • The exchange rate may be more favorable than when paying in cash.
  • An advantage of using a card is that it can be replaced if it is lost or stolen, and the funds on it may be refunded if necessary.
  • Added security compared to carrying cash.
  • Accumulate reward points for future travel and other purchases.


  • Your bank can mistake your transactions for fraudulent if you fail to give them a heads up (and they may shut off your card, leaving you stranded)
  • A potential downside is that you may have to pay transaction fees every time you make a purchase due to the transnational nature of the transaction.

Advantages and disadvantages of using cash when traveling


  • Avoid foreign transaction fees on your purchases
  • The pro is that you won’t have to worry about running out of cash for things like gratuities or purchases from stores that only accept cash.
  • For one, it provides greater direct aid to the local economy.
  • Your bank or best currency exchange Surrey BC company can help you order foreign currency in advance.


 Withdrawing money from an ATM while overseas can result in high costs, particularly if you use an ATM that is not part of your bank’s network. It’s tough to estimate how much money you’ll need, which might leave you stuck if services like ATMs and Western Union are in short supply.

Is it cheaper to use credit cards or cash abroad?

Knowing the best currency exchange rates can help you decide if using a credit card or cash will be less expensive when traveling. Exchange rates, or “the value of one currency for the purpose of conversion to another,” are something that many people deal with daily but may not fully understand. Your money will need to be converted into local currency if you plan on making any purchases while abroad.

While it may be possible to pay in your own currency and have the seller convert it for you, the “when in Canada” mentality suggests doing the conversion yourself at a kiosk, hotel, or another reputable establishment that provides exchange services.

It’s important to remember that different places have different currency conversion rates. If you need to get the best currency exchange Surrey BC, it’s advisable to do it through a local bank or exchange bureau rather than at an airport kiosk, for instance, where rates are often higher. The appropriate rate may be quickly determined via online research.

Another consideration when using a credit card is a currency conversion. There might be a difference in interest rates between cards (this information is also searchable). Now we may discuss the topic of foreign transaction fees and international trade. You may still be hit with a foreign transaction fee when using your credit card overseas, regardless of the exchange rate you get. The good news is that certain credit card companies have agreements with foreign banks to provide customers with reduced or even waived costs when using their cards overseas.

Do your homework before you go to find out which of your credit cards will give you the greatest rate (or whether you should just bring cash on this trip)!