When you travel anywhere, whether it’s for work, fun, or maybe even a bit of both, there’s one thing you absolutely need: money. You’ll need it to pay for transportation, food, lodging, entertainment, and more, as well as in case of emergencies.

Ideally, you’d bring a combination of cash and credit card. But should you mostly use cash and save the credit card for things like checking into a hotel and paying for taxis? Or bring just a little amount of cash to use only when credit cards aren’t accepted?

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There are pros and cons to each. Here are 5 reasons to use cash, and 5 to use credit cards.

10 It’s Easy To Limit Spending: Cash

If you bring a wad of cash, it will be much easier to manage how much you spend. You can create a budget, bring that amount of money, and when you run out, you run out. Or at least you know that you’ve now gone over and can prepare for that.

While you can log into your credit card account from your smartphone or computer to see how much you’re spending, it’s much easier to whip out a credit card and declare “I’ll cover this bill” or “sure, these shoes are worth it,” and not realize how quickly things add up. Which means you’re likely to spend more when using a card.

9 Cash Is Easier To Steal: Credit Card

Safety is always a concern for tourists, so the less money you carry on you, the less likely you are to lose. Someone could steal your wallet or skim your card and use your number illegally. However, your credit card company will probably contact you if they notice anything suspicious, or you can contact them and report your card as lost or stolen and they will offer protection against fraudulent purchases.

Whereas if someone steals your wallet and you were carrying around hundreds of dollars in cash, there’s no way you will get it back.

8 You Can Save On Exchange Rates And Fees: Cash

If you exchange money little by little over time as you save up for a vacation, or exchange when there’s a favorable rate at the bank, you can come out ahead by using cash.

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When using a credit card, you will have to pay fees, plus exchange rates based on the current rate, and potentially even interest if you don’t pay it back in time. So there’s the potential for your money to go further with cash if you think ahead and load up on bills to take with you.

7 You Can Keep Track Of Purchases From Your Bill: Credit Card

Especially for those traveling on business, or who are dividing up bills among friends, colleagues, or family members, charging things to your credit card makes it easier to tally everything up in the end, or see what was spent where.

You can do this with cash by keeping receipts and manually sorting everything out after and doing the calculations yourself. But using a credit card makes this much easier. And even for the average vacationer, you can also use the record of charges for your own personal budgeting and banking, to know how much you spent that month on entertainment, for example, versus groceries and shopping.

6 Identity Theft: Cash

Identity theft is a scary and rampant thing these days. Especially when traveling to another country or shopping at unfamiliar stores or those with low security. There is always a chance that your credit card information could be stolen. It could happen anywhere – a restaurant, a store, the hotel, or even someone with a crafty device who walks by you on the street.

With cash, while there’s the risk of losing more if your wallet is stolen, for example, with a credit card, someone can steal you information and rack up plenty of bills before you, or the credit card company, notice anything is happening. And that can lead to a lot of headaches when you return home.

5 Rewards Points: Credit Card

If you love loyalty and rewards points, a credit card might be preferred, allowing you to rack up extra points for items you purchase, hotel stays, car rentals, entertainment venues,  flights, and more.

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The points you accumulate might be worth just charging everything to the card and paying it all back as soon as you return home. Then use the points towards your next vacation, or essentials back home. This, of course, only applies to those who have credit cards attached to loyalty point programs, though many cards today do.

4 Credit Card Might Not Be Accepted: Cash

Most places these days accept credit cards, but you still might run into the odd establishment that doesn’t. And if you’re traveling to a third-world country and buying items at a street sale or from private vendors, or hanging out on an all-inclusive resort, you probably need cash, or can get a better deal when paying with cash.

While Visa and MasterCard are accepted worldwide, you might not be able to use cards like American Express and Discover. So even if you bring them, having some cash on hand as well just in case is not a bad idea.

3 Cash Is Easy to Misplace, Lose: Credit Card

It’s much easier to misplace cash than it is a credit card. And a credit card can be replaced if you lose it, while cash cannot. You might also forget cash back in the safe in the hotel room, whereas chances are you always have your wallet with you. And even if you don’t, these days, with mobile payment options, you might have your card loaded onto your smartphone as well and can pay at a contactless payment terminal using that.

With cash, it’s easy to have bills spill out of your wallet, purse, or beach bag as you walk about. And much more difficult when you have to stuff away mounds of change, bills, and coins.

2 Easy for Splitting Bills: Cash

If you’re traveling with another family or business colleagues, using cash makes splitting a bill simple. Everyone can put in their share plus tip, and you can leave and go on with your day.

There are ways to do bill splitting online, and e-transferring money to do it electronically when using credit cards. But cash makes it easier for all parties, including the waiter. And it will be especially helpful if you’re somewhere that doesn’t have Wi-Fi and you don’t want to pay for cellular data to be able to log in online (nor want to log into your banking app from a public Wi-Fi network for safety reasons.)

1 Leave the Wallet At Home: Credit Card

As noted, with mobile payment options today, you can easily leave your wallet in the safe in the hotel room and just use your phone to pay for things at places that accept contactless payments and tap and pay. Or just bring the card in your pocket or slotted into a convenient smartphone credit card case.

With cash, you need to bring a full wallet and rummage through to find bills. You’ll also end up with coins for change, which is extra added weight no one needs when walking around on vacation.

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