Travel smart. With the right way to pay.

Would you like to learn about foreign countries and discover new cultures? With the right travel payment methods, you can do just that – and avoid falling into fee traps. How to pay by credit card and debit card when traveling, and when you need cash during your trip.

A bank card: the secure way to pay when traveling

Bank cards are indispensable when paying and withdrawing cash during a trip. Whether you're booking a hotel and flight, shopping, renting a car, or eating out at a restaurant. But which card is the right one when you're abroad?

Travel with a credit card and a debit card

A debit card is your go-to bank card. You can use a debit card to withdraw cash during your trip and pay at a number of locations. Fees vary depending on the card provider. It's best to find out about fees before you travel by contacting your bank. In general, a debit card is ideal for withdrawing cash. This is because the charges for using a debit card for cash withdrawals abroad are lower than they are for a credit card.


However, as some shops and service providers – such as hotel websites, airlines, and car rental companies – only accept credit cards, it's a good idea to have one with you as well.


Credit card holders can often enjoy the benefits of their bank's cashback rewards program. For example, they can earn points with every payment or receive part of the payment amount as cashback credited to their account.

Traveling with the Debit Mastercard

You can use the Debit Mastercard to pay everywhere you see the Mastercard logo, shop securely online, and keep your costs under control at all times. Charges are debited directly to your account. So you can meet all of your needs with a single card.

Unlimited freedom. Also when paying.

With a digital CSX account and the associated cards, you'll have everything you need for your trip. You receive attractive insurance benefits for carefree shopping and travel – for example, with CSX Pro.


Money-saving tip

When making a payment, you're often asked if you would like to convert the transaction currency. You can opt for the local currency or choose to have the amount converted into Swiss francs, i.e. your card currency. In such cases, you should always choose the local currency, since this gives you a better conversion rate.

Has your card been lost or stolen?

If you're prepared for an emergency, you can react quickly. Before your trip, write down your card number and your bank's blocking hotline. With many banks, you can block the card yourself on the bank's website. Doing so is free of charge.

Quick assistance. Especially in an emergency.

If you have a digital CSX account, you can easily block your cards yourself in the CSX app at no charge. What if you need to unblock your card later? No problem. Your card can be reactivated with the tap of a button.


If you need assistance, you can call the hotline directly from inside the app.


While it is possible to pay with a card and withdraw cash just about everywhere in large cities and in many highly developed countries, it may be almost impossible in other regions. That means you should find out what the situation is in the country you're visiting before your trip.

The practical way to pay: Cash when you travel

Imagine you've just arrived at your dream destination, and you want to get a snack and then take a taxi to your hotel. Then you see the sign: cash only. This is hardly unusual because taxis, public transport, and small food or drink stands rarely accept card payments.


Experienced travelers always carry little local cash with them. The rule of thumb here is: as much as necessary, as little as possible. If you travel off the beaten path, you should have an emergency reserve of US dollars or euros in addition to the local currency. This will help bridge the gap in emergency situations when you can't withdraw money from an ATM.

Changing money

Change a small amount (up to CHF 200) of money into the local currency before you depart or at the airport. If you need major currencies such as euros, dollars, pounds, or yen, it is best to exchange an amount at your bank while you're still in Switzerland. Exotic currencies, such as baht or krona, are usually cheaper in the destination country. Official banks and hotels are reputable options for exchanging money abroad.

Cash withdrawals

If you need the local currency quickly while you're traveling, you can withdraw cash from an ATM. However, cash withdrawals abroad are subject to a fee that varies depending on the provider. The operator of the ATM may charge a fee as well.

Money-saving tip

Try to avoid using third-party ATMs for cash withdrawals and rather than making regular withdrawals of small amounts, take out a larger amount once or twice.

Keep your money in different places – this will help foil pickpockets!

Smart travelers never keep their belongings all in one place. It is best to keep your bank card and some cash reserves in a different bags, and only to take out small bills or coins when paying. If your travel funds are secure, you can focus fully on your adventure. Now you can go out and explore the world!

You might also be interested in these articles:

How secure are credit cards?

Phishing, credit card fraud, skimming? The risks when paying with a card and how to protect yourself.


Seven tips for secure online shopping

Shopping online is easy and fun. But is it secure? Here are some basic rules for online shopping.


Is there a way to be ideally prepared for your next trip? Of course.

Financial management at your fingertips: with Debit Mastercards from Credit Suisse.