There are many things to stress about as an international student, but physical currency is no longer one of them depending on the country you are visiting. Thanks to international credit cards, there’s no need to fiddle with unfamiliar coins or crumpled bills because your funds can all be kept within a few inches of convenient plastic. Since the process of choosing a credit card can be a bit overwhelming, here are some tips to make the decision a little easier.
1. Do your research – There are many credit cards out there and choosing the one that meets your needs at the onset is important. Applying for multiple credit cards can jeopardize your credit score so compare your options and try to limit the number of cards you apply for. Thanks to the internet it’s easier than ever to compare interest rates and benefits from the comfort of your kitchen table.
2. Ask the right questions and lots of them– The process of finding the perfect card can be tricky and full of fine print, so find your reading glasses and get comfortable. This process may be time consuming but it is worth every minute. It’s important to also remember that most credit companies have representatives available 24/7, so if you don’t understand something simply pick up the telephone and ask. The friendly voice on the other end will be knowledgeable about the company’s products and services.
3. Look for the perks – Luckily, credit cards aren’t all fine print and when used correctly they can be a great asset. Keep in mind that many companies offer student credit cards geared specifically for a younger generation who may lack an established line of credit. So in addition to easier enrollment process, it’s possible to find options without annual fees and great perks like late payment forgiveness and cash back.
4. Ensure your card is as international as you are – When choosing your credit card, it’s important to take into account the reach in the country that you are studying in and any other countries you may want to visit. As a rule of thumb, Discover and American Express have the largest global reach, but there are countries that even they don’t cover.
Have you chosen which credit card you want to apply for? The next step is doing the application online. Read our article for more on How to Apply for a Credit Card.