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One Note about Using the Chase Sapphire Preferred Overseas

One of the nice benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is that there are no foreign transaction fees. That alone is worth about a 3% savings when traveling overseas.

But I did want to point out one quick warning, especially if you’re traveling to a developing nation: I’ve found that a small-but-significant number of shops still use the old credit card imprint machines rather than swiping your credit card. This happened in a few locations last week in Curacao, for example, and I found it to be the case in Costa Rica as well.

This isn’t normally a big deal, except that the Sapphire Preferred card is completely flat, with no raised numbers. This makes it impossible to take an imprint of the card. That led to a couple of annoying exchanges with clerks who refused to take the card because they could not make an imprint of it (this was the case at 2 car rental locations). If you’ve ever argued with a clerk in a third world country you’ll know that you cannot win that argument. In this case, you will have to pay with another card.

It’s not going to ruin your trip, but just know that you may want to ensure that you have at least one credit card with raised numbers with you when you travel overseas.

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  1. Thanks for the tip! Need to remember to bring a second no international fee card on my trips!

  2. A needed tip for those Toronto travelers, as many of the slightly nicer, slightly more expensive “Limo” cabs at Toronto Pearson still use the imprint process.

  3. I will keep this information in my mind while travelling overseas.

  4. I’m thinking the Chip-and-pin version of the BA Visa will be a good back-up travel CC, for this reason now also.

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