Credit cards can make great travel companions. They save you from carrying around a wad of cash in unfamiliar territory, allow you to book hotels and rental cars with ease and automatically keep track of your purchases. Depending on your card, you may even have free benefits such as hotel discounts, airline miles or cash-back earnings on purchases, and built-in rental car insurance.
Your plastic travel companions can also pack unwanted surprises, such as currency conversion fees on foreign purchases, incompatibility with payment kiosks abroad and a headache should a thief make off with your wallet or purse. While federal law limits your liability in the event of fraudulent transactions, the resulting hassle of preventing or dealing with them can suck the joy out of your vacation.
In this series of articles, Bankrate.com explains how to minimize fees, fraud and inconvenience while maximizing your card benefits during your trip.