The Sable Credit Card exchange rate is Mastercard’s exchange rate on the date you make a purchase, plus any foreign transaction fees. While Mastercard exchange rates change daily, the Sable Credit Card foreign fee is always 2% of the transaction.
It’s best to use a credit card with no foreign transaction fee when making purchases from international merchants. As long as you have such a card and avoid dynamic currency conversion, the exchange rates you’ll pay on international spending with a credit card will be much lower than those you’d get from converting cash with banks, credit unions, or airport currency exchange services.
Secured credit cards have both pros and cons, just like any other type of credit card, but the advantages of secured cards ultimately outweigh the disadvantages. Most importantly, secured credit cards are inexpensive, easy to get, and capable of helping you improve your credit score
High approval odds, even with limited or bad credit
Approval is not guaranteed
Monthly reporting to 1-3 major credit bureaus
$200+ security deposit is required
Lower fees than unsecured cards for bad credit
Credit limit usually equals the deposit amount
Hard to overspend
Rewards are rare
Deposit is fully refundable
No access to the deposit while the account is open
Chance to graduate to an unsecured card with consistently on-time payments
Upgrades are not guaranteed
One of the biggest pros of secured credit cards is that they’re available to customers with poor or limited credit. Secured cards also report account activity to the major credit bureaus just like unsecured cards do. This means cardholders can begin to rebuild or establish credit by using the card responsibly. In addition, secured cards usually have lower fees than unsecured credit cards for people with less-than-good credit.
Among the biggest cons of secured credit cards is the fact that cardholders need $200+ to spare for a refundable security deposit. These funds usually don’t accrue interest while securing the account, either. Plus, your credit limit equals the amount of your refundable deposit, so you won’t be able to borrow money for expenses you cannot already afford.
It’s also worth noting that secured card approval is not guaranteed, although the odds are far higher than with an unsecured card.
Bottom Line: Is a Secured Credit Card Worth it?
Yes, a secured credit card is worth it if your objective is to establish or rebuild credit and you make timely payments every month. When used responsibly, secured credit cards have far more pros than cons.
After all, it’s better to place a refundable deposit that you’ll get back upon closing your account with a $0 balance than it is to pay expensive, non-refundable fees. Such fees are all too common among unsecured credit cards for bad credit in particular. Secured and unsecured cards also appear no different on credit reports.
If you’re looking for long-term financing or an abundance of rewards, however, a secured credit card may not be for you. But it might be a necessary stepping stone for you to get the credit card you really want.
Just remember that even though secured cards are the easiest credit cards to get, you’ll still need some kind of income to be approved. A major negative on your credit report such as non-discharged bankruptcy may also prevent you from qualifying.
Taking the following credit-card precautions will help you save money and avoid unnecessary hassle while using your credit card abroad.
Get a no foreign transaction fee credit card. Do this before booking flights, hotels, etc. Foreign transaction fees will be assessed on any purchase made through a foreign merchant, even before you leave the U.S.… read full answer
Call your credit card company. Most credit card companies require you to notify them of international travel plans. If you don’t, your account may be suspended due to suspicions of fraud. Capital One and American Express are the only major issuers that automatically detect when you’re traveling.
Know your info. Write down your account number as well as your credit card company’s phone number, and keep this information somewhere safe (not in your wallet). If your card gets lost or stolen, you’ll need both to get a replacement.
Don’t forget your ID. Some countries may require identification to authorize a U.S. credit card transaction. So don’t forget your passport when you go shopping abroad.
Pay in the local currency. Decline any merchant’s offer to convert prices into U.S. dollars. This could be a trick known as dynamic currency conversion, which merchants often use to assess high exchange rates and line their pockets.
Yes, using a credit card internationally is the best way to go about paying for things when you’re abroad. It’s safer because you don’t have to carry as much cash, and all major credit card companies offer $0 fraud liability guarantees. Using a credit card internationally also gets you the … read full answerbest currency exchange rates, and it’s a great opportunity to earn rewards.
Here are some tips for using a credit card internationally:
Full protection from unauthorized charges: Credit cards allow you to minimize the amount of cash you carry abroad and provide the opportunity to earn rewards. They also come with $0 fraud liability.
Avoid foreign transaction fees: Many credit cards come with foreign transaction fees when you buy from internationally-based merchants. These fees are typically 1%-3% of the purchase amount. If you go abroad, you should get a card with no foreign transaction fee.
Set travel alerts: Many credit card companies ask that you set a “travel alert” before leaving the country. It’s not mandatory. But if you don’t, they might suspect that international purchases are fraud and suspend your spending privileges until you notify them otherwise.
Wider acceptance and more protection with chip cards: You’ll have a smoother experience using a credit card internationally if it’s a “chip” card. Many unmanned payment terminals abroad will not take cards that have only a magnetic stripe. And merchants may even give you a hard time if your card doesn’t have a chip.
Refuse Dynamic Currency Conversion: Choose to pay in the local currency. Merchants may offer to let you pay in U.S. dollars, a practice known as Dynamic Currency Conversion. But it’s often an excuse to use an unfair exchange rate (often as much as 7% higher) and overcharge you.
Avoid cash advances: Credit card cash advances allow you to get cash from your card’s credit line. However, cash advances are subject to hefty fees and interest rates that accrue immediately, with no grace period. So it’s best to avoid them outside of emergency use.
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