4. Know your bank’s hotline just in case
When you misplace the card, or have it stolen, your first reaction may be to panic and cry. This is absolutely appropriate, because you are in a heap of trouble. Amidst your tears and sobs however, you must remember the right hotline to call immediately to cancel your card.
If the issuing bank finds that you reported the loss late, they can hold you liable for the charges. “Late reporting” is any period of time deemed reasonable by the bank (i.e. it can be any number of minutes greater than zero).
The sooner you report it, the more likely you are to escape liability.
5. Check your hotel deposit when leaving
You will usually be asked to make a deposit when you check into a hotel room. This deposit allows the hotel to make sure you don’t steal the towels, set fire to the carpet, or eat any of the minibar snacks that are priced only slightly higher than the hotel’s antique collection.
It is not uncommon for people to realise they have received extra charges–or that the deposit has not been returned at all–only after they are at the airport. So check for the returned deposit before you leave if possible.
6. Always ask to convert using the local currency
Oh, you think it’s polite that they converted everything to Singapore dollars for you? Well here’s a question: what exchange rate did they use?
The same one as a regular money changer? Or one that’ significantly higher? Expressing charges in “your” currency is one of the oldest tourist scams to get more money out of you. The conversion is almost always based on the worst possible exchange rate for you, and they’re counting on the fact that you won’t think about that when you’re on your fifth Margarita.
Always ask for things to be expressed in the local currency, and then work out the amount yourself.