Here’s our tried-and-tested experience crafted into a quick and easy read to help you decide which way of overseas spending is best for you when travelling in 2022.
How far we’ve come since the days of money-changers and envelopes packed with foreign currency. While having cash on hand is still a good idea, there are a ton of other secure (and financially savvy) ways to carry out the majority of your overseas spending. And because Vaccinated Travel Lane tickets are about to be re-released in about a week or so, we’d thought that now’s as good a time as any to talk about the various ways you might be spending — before and during the trip. We’re talking about the Crypto.com Visa card, credit cards, our multi-currency card, as well as cash. So in the chance that you find yourselves planning for a future adventure, read on for the 4-1-1 on all things overseas spending!
Our Initial Plan
For a recent 10-day trip to Germany via the Vaccinated Travel Lane, my partner and I collectively brought €320.45 (~S$557.70), two credit cards, a Crypto.com Visa card, and, of course, our trusty YouTrip card. For context, we assumed that we would not be using much cash and would only be needing it for places where cards were not supported. We were pretty much banking on the Crypto.com Visa card (for its 2% cashback), as well as our YouTrip card (to escape any bank fees) for most of our purchases. The credit cards we brought along (Citi’s PremierMiles and OCBC’s 365) were backups — just in case, everything else didn’t work. As with life, things didn’t turn out as we had planned.
What Actually Happened
We quickly realised (right at the car rental pick-up point) that our Crypto.com Visa card did not work in Germany. And soon, we found out it wasn’t the car company. Our card wasn’t working for anything. This included petrol kiosks and even hotel bookings that we had made in Singapore. It was quite a bummer because we were drawn by their attractive cashback function. Later on, we heard through the grapevine (i.e.various Reddit threads) that it was mainly cards issued in Singapore facing the same problems we had — most think that this all boils down to the lack of authorisation to handle overseas merchant payments just yet. On the other hand, users from other countries seem to have no issues.
Thus, we were left to choose between the €320.45 we had brought along with us, our YouTrip card, or our two credit cards. Credit card markups of currency conversion and bank fees were something we just did not feel like dealing with. Plus, on top of all that, a lot of Christmas markets, small kiosks and small stores required cash instead of digital transactions. Thus, we ended up using our YouTrip card to withdraw about another €100 (S$5 withdrawal fee) — and collected another €130 refund when an activity that we had booked didn’t happen due to weather conditions. For everything else, we paid via our YouTrip card.
Pros & Cons Of Each Overseas Spending Method
|Cash||🎉 Not reliant on technology|
🎉 Preferred method of payment for most stores in Germany
|🙅🏻♀️ Not the most hygienic method of transaction|
🙅🏻♀️ Coins can get quite bulky/heavy
🙅🏻♀️ Higher risk of getting scammed with fake bills
|Credit Cards||🎉 Good for raking up points or miles for rewards|
🎉 Bank can easily deal with fraudulent charges if any
|🙅🏻♀️ Conversion fees and bank fees can add up quite quickly|
🙅🏻♀️ Tendency to overspend
🙅🏻♀️ Can rake up interests if the debt isn’t paid off ASAP
|Crypto.com Visa Card||🎉 Earn from 1% to 8% cashback (cashback depends on staking requirements)|
🎉 Functions like a regular debit/credit card
|🙅🏻♀️ Card issued in Singapore didn’t work in Germany|
|YouTrip Multi-Currency Card||🎉 No markups, bank fees or conversion fees|
🎉 Sweet wholesale exchange rates – updated constantly
🎉 Up to 10% cashback on hotels and flight deals on YouTrip Perks
|🙅🏻♀️ Only certain transactions (those on YouTrip Perks) will bring cashback|
Take Your YouTrip Multi-Currency Card Along For Your Next VTL Adventure!
And just like that, you’re ready for your next adventure overseas! Just remember, when you go on your next holiday or on your next online international shopping spree, take your YouTrip card with you in order to make full use of our wholesale exchange rates (i.e. no pesky bank fees!).
If you don’t have a YouTrip card yet, use <BLOG5> during your sign-up to enjoy a free S$5 in your account!
Stay safe, and happy travels!
*All currency conversion rates are accurate to the nearest 10 cents on 14 January 2022 SGT 14:30. Bank card prices are calculated based on 3.25% foreign currency transaction fee.