One of the concerns we’ve had while traveling is how to safely carry money and pay for things.  Looking into it, I think we’ve decided on a few rules:

  1. Pay everything with a credit card, which not only gives you peace of mind if it’s stolen, but also gets points you can use during the trip itself.
  2. Speaking of credit cards, we’re thinking of having two – an American Express Gold for  hotels and flights, since AMEX has always been great for travel insurance and other services, as well as a MasterCard or Visa.  Having a backup in the hotel/in your luggage will come in handy if your primary is ever lost or stolen.
  3. And speaking of getting stolen, we’re going to save our primary funds in a high interest savings account and only move a bit at a time into a chequing account so that if, heaven forbid, our card is skimmed or stolen, the thief can only get so much from the ATM.  We’re thinking of moving to HSBC for the trip since they’ll have ATMs in most of the places we’ll be visiting (to avoid withdrawal fees), though there ARE Canadian banks in some major foreign cities…  so maybe laziness will win out for this point.
  4. Mega Mommy also has a U.S. based account for her work, so we’ll actually have a third account specifically for emergency purposes.
  5. Some places we’ll be visiting will be cash only, and our bank will always offer a better conversion than currency converter kiosks.

There are a few websites we’ve found to try to get the most points and best credit cards for our travel.  They include:

One of the common recommendations we’ve seen is to get a good travel card where the first year’s fees are waived, then ditching the card when the travel is done.  Considering some of those fees can be ridiculously high for the average folk, I’ll be keeping my eyes open when the time comes.  (Though, in the end, a $250 year fee for something that offers amazing perks and peace of mind during  $100,000 trip is worth it).