How to do it

Why I don’t travel without my credit card

Passport. Tickets. Money. The top three things on my packing list, although I sometimes think that just passport and money means the world is your metaphorical oyster.

And more and more these days, it’s not money but plastic that I pack. While I wouldn’t recommend putting thousands on your credit card, even to see the world, mine are still travel essentials.


TSB asked me to share my top benefits of using a credit card sensibly when travelling – here’s why.

1. Protection
As I was reminded after being scammed earlier this year, credit cards protect your payments – spend over £100 and (under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act) you’re covered if the holiday company goes bust or the villa turns out to be non-existent.

2. No fees
Choose your card wisely and you’ll pay less in fees than a debit card, which normally hits you with a charge for each transaction. My own credit card has no overseas fees plus a decent exchange rate.

3. Collect air miles
Choose a card that gains airmiles as you spend could mean buying one holiday (or your weekly supermarket shop) helps pay for part of the next.

4. Deposits
When you hire a car – and often when you’re checking into a hotel – they’ll swipe your card as security, in case you crash or run off without paying your bill. Without one, the alternatives are usually more costly and complicated, while some rental firms aren’t an option at all..

5. Emergencies
No-one likes to think about things going wrong when you travel. But sometimes they do. So when you need an urgent solution but don’t have the cash or are waiting on a refund, they can tide you over.

Compiled in association with TSB*