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Digital currencies are fast proving themselves to be far superior alternatives to cash and/or checks for travelers. Light, secure and increasingly accepted in a wide variety of places, digital currencies are a great choice for the savvy traveler. Be it a credit or debit card, an e-wallet app, or even an online money transfer service, digital currencies will go a long way in making sure you can enjoy safe travels with great convenience.
One of the most widely-used forms of digital currency, credit cards are accepted in almost all countries. Their lightweight, fuss-free form also makes them a favorite with those who want to travel light. The advantages of using credit cards include being able to put an upper limit to your spending and not running out of money. However, in countries that lack a good credit card infrastructure, it may be hard to pay for goods and services with credit cards except at major international retailers. Also, if you use your credit card to make cash advances during your travels, this can potentially incur a lot of additional charges from your card provider.
Just like credit cards, debit cards are widely accepted all over the world and the best thing about debit cards is that you can only withdraw or pay for what you have in the bank account linked to the debit card. This will help you prevent spending cash that you do not have so that you do not need to face a huge credit card bill when you arrive home after your travels. In fact, many frugal travelers only use debit cards because credit cards simply present too high a risk for them to overspend.
Online money transfers
Online money transfers are a great way to travel. Secure and fast, using an online money transfer service when you travel is a good way to avoid the hassle of carrying too much cash, and the temptation to overspend with a credit card. Online money transfers also offer favorable exchange rates nowadays, and the transfer fees are kept reasonably low. Especially for digital nomads who might need to tap on their savings from back home and the cash pickup feature in online money transfers perfectly suits those who are in a foreign country without a local bank account.
Arguably the most complicated form of digital currencies, Bitcoin is getting more widely accepted. The only problem is that the number of bitcoins is limited. Only 21 million of these will ever be in existence, so their value has fluctuated significantly over the past few years. Bitcoins can be mined, bought/sold, or received as a form of payment for goods/services. There are many third-party wallet apps that deal with bitcoin, and some users like the lack of governmental control over bitcoins. However, this type of payment is not as convenient or as secure as digital currencies like debit or credit cards.
Dogecoin draws its name from the Doge meme, a popular meme featuring a Shiba Inu. It went viral in 2013. Dogecoin was originally created to reach a far wider demographic than Bitcoin, and seems to have succeeded in some ways at least – Doge’s face is one of the most beloved memes on the internet. However, due to the fact that there are so many dogecoins in existence, their value is extremely low.
E-wallet services are growing in popularity, particularly in markets with high smartphone penetration. E-wallets combine the best of debit cards and cash – you have control over how much you want to spend, and the debit function of e-wallets makes it easier to track your spending. They are also a lot more secure, with some of the best e-wallet services having sophisticated authentication systems in place. However, depending on where you are traveling to though, there may be many places that are not yet able to deal with an e-wallet ecosystem yet.
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