Do I need a credit card when travelling South East Asia?
If you don’t have a credit card yet, you might wonder if you need to get one before you leave on your trip.
Nowadays, many booking websites accept online payments methods like Paypal, Alipay or Ideal. However, this is not true for all booking websites. The cheapest flight you found on Skyscanner can sometimes only be booked with a credit card or charges extra fees for payment methods like Paypal.
Also booking accommodations without a credit card can be quite a challenge. Some accommodations on Booking.com can be booked with Paypal or Ideal, but most reservations cannot be completed without a credit card.
Good news for travellers from Europe: N26 Bank offers a free Mastercard that you can use to complete all your bookings.
The debit card is completely free and works exactly like all other credit cards. It has the same number and a security code that you need to use for every booking or payment. Don’t have the card with you? No problem, their mobile app is one of the best banking apps out there what makes it really easy to manage your transactions while being on the road.
Another big money-saver of this card is that they don’t charge extra commissions for foreign transactions and only charge 1.7% ATM withdrawal fees (most cards charge 3%-5%).
Unfortunately, this perfect travel card is only available for people living in the EU. You can visit the N26 website to see the full list of countries that they send the Mastercard.
*When you sign-up for a new account, you will receive the Mastercard in a few days on your doorstep.
The Pros and Cons of the N26 Mastercard
Lowest ATM fees
No charges on foreign transactions
No salary requirements (even students can apply)
Exclusive to Europeans
No interest earnings on your balance