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Money Fix: saving on foreign transaction fees when traveling

If you're getting ready to travel overseas this

If you're getting ready to travel overseas this summer, check what's in your wallet. Credit: Bloomberg News / Daniel Acker

If you're getting ready to travel overseas this summer, check what's in your wallet.

The good news, according to, is the number of no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards is climbing. In a review of credit cards offered by the nation's 12 biggest issuers, Capital One, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, HSBC and Discover didn't charge this fee. The other institutions have 38 no-foreign-transaction-fee cards.

Foreign transaction fees are typically 3 percent, which adds up when you're swiping freely.

In addition to asking about fees, here are other ways to save money and grief.

Call your credit card company: "Before you travel, contact your credit card company. Tell them when and where you're traveling to avoid having your card red flagged and shut off while away," says Leslie Tayne, a Melville attorney specializing in financial issues. Keep the number handy while traveling.

Less is more: "Research and identify which of your cards offers the best incentives, like miles or reward points. Stick to one card the whole trip," she says.

Be vigilant: Keep receipts and review statements later. "Check for double billing," says David Hyrck, an attorney with Reed Smith in Manhattan.

Use a credit card over a debit card: If your card is breached, it's easier to dispute the charges with your financial institution, says Paige Hanson of LifeLock in Tempe, Arizona. Also, a card with a chip is more secure, says Coleen Pantalone, a business professor at Northeastern University in Boston.

She adds, "Be mindful that computers in hotels' business centers can be rigged with simple devices that fit into the USB port to steal your information."

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