You've just completed an exquisite dinner on your European vacation, only to have your credit card rejected because your bank suspected a fraudulent international charge and froze your account. Or, maybe you didn't have time to exchange your cash before catching your plane, but because you're leaving a “closed currency" country you're leaving behind a significant amount of money. Or, upon returning home and reviewing your vacation expenses, you find you were charged a litany of ATM and foreign transaction fees.

Vacationers often overlook financial planning that may save precious time, money and just plain headaches when traveling internationally. Much of this planning surrounds the handling of your cash, debit and credit cards.  Here are a few tips and considerations for foreign travel, along with a look at Morgan Stanley’s suite of cash management services that can help.

Using Cash Abroad

Cash can be one of the most cost-effective and convenient forms of payment when you're out of the country, but key considerations remain. For instance, you'll still need to know the exchange rate and whether it's a closed currency country—meaning money can't be exchanged outside the borders. Keep this in mind because you'll need to either spend or exchange any remaining foreign currency before you leave the country.

For certain open currencies, Morgan Stanley's GlobalCurrency ExpressSM service may help you bypass the hassle and expense of foreign exchange counters GlobalCurrency Express delivers as many as 17 different currencies and your order is directly delivered to your door via FedEx approximately one (1) business day after your phone order is placed.

Debit and Credit Cards

These days the ongoing battles between thieves and financial institutions can create some unexpected collateral damage. Banks can quickly shut down your account after noticing your card was used in a foreign country. Also, foreign transaction fees can rapidly add up when using your debit card to make purchases or cash withdrawals abroad. If you withdraw local currency at an ATM, your bank could charge you $1 to $5, and you could pay 1% to 3% of the transaction amount. The owner of the ATM may even tack on an additional fee.

The Morgan Stanley Debit Card through the Premier Cash Management program offers you no foreign transaction fees and unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide at more than 2 million ATMs.  The Morgan Stanley Debit Card also helps reduce the risk of fraud through chip and PIN technology, a global standard in security that encrypts your information.

You can also avoid foreign transaction fees on everything you purchase with the Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley.

Part of a Wealth of Cash Management Services

Even when you’re not travelling, the Morgan Stanley Premier Cash Management program provides enhanced savings, a package of credit and identity protection features provided by Experian and 24/7 access to Cash Management Service Professionals.

To learn more about the Premier Cash Management program, contact us today or visit www.morganstanley.com/premier.