The demand for new credit cards has plunged during the coronavirus pandemic. The same goes for card spending, which went down considerably in the first wave as people played safe with their finances and postponed big purchases.
Nevertheless, demand for credit cards are set to rise again soon, as more and more people get vaccinated and countries open up their borders for tourists once again.
If you have been thinking about getting a new Dutch credit card, perhaps as part of planning a foreign trip, here are three important things to consider.
1 You can do most things with a (free) prepaid card
It could be smart to consider getting a prepaid credit card instead of a regular one.
Here is why:
- Prepaid cards are usually free or much cheaper than regular cards
- It is impossible to get yourself into a debt with a prepaid card
- There is no income requirement or creditworthiness assessment
- Virtual prepaid cards can be used almost instantly
All prepaid cards are supported by Mastercard or Visa, so you can pay almost anywhere.
Compare popular prepaid cards on Creditcard.nl
The only downside is that most car rental companies do not accept prepaid cards, mainly because they need some sort of proof you are not a credit risk when they let you drive their vehicles. This is why they take down your credit card details – so they can make sure incidental expenses or damage is paid for by the renter. But this feature is not available on prepaid cards.
Booking a hotel outside Europe could also be difficult without a regular credit card, although many also offer cash deposits to ensure excess expenses are covered.
2 Most cards offer a money-back-guarantee
Online shopping has become more popular, as most physical shops had to close during the pandemic. But did you know a lot of credit cards offer a money-back-guarantee if your product is not delivered?
You can even get you money back if:
- The product you have ordered is fake or not in line with the description
- You have cancelled a subscription, but the company is still deducting money from your credit card
- If you have cancelled a booking according to the terms and conditions, but the money hasn’t been refunded.
- If the travel agency, where you have booked your holiday or flight, goes bankrupt
The money-back-guarantee is often referred to as the chargeback service and comes standard with regular credit cards from Mastercard, Visa and American Express. Prepaid cards do not have a money-back-guarantee.
3 Some credit cards offer decent insurance
Most regular credit cards also offer some kind of insurance, like a purchase protection. This means that everything you buy with your credit card is insured against theft, loss or damages. A 90 or 180 days purchase insurance is most common for cheaper cards, while more expensive cards offer purchase protection up to a full year.
Exclusive cards, like the Visa Platinum Card, Mastercard Black, AMEX Gold Card are equipped with a travel insurance with cover for:
- Flight and luggage delays
- Theft, loss or damage of baggage
- Emergency medical care and repatriation
So, if you consider a more exclusive card, you may even be able to cancel your existing travel insurance.
For those interested, there are even cards that offer legal expenses insurance and rental car insurance. The latter means you do not need to get additional insurance through your rental car agency, which could save a lot of money if you are a frequent user of the service.
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