Check you have enough credit to cope with your holiday. In many cases, the limit can be raised immediately if you phone and ask - even from a beach phone in Torremolinos.

Check you have a PIN number for withdrawing cash and memorise it before you go.

Don't worry about the language barrier - the cash machine will 'read' your nationality from your card.

Keep a record of the card number and emergency helpline number - separately from your cards.

If you have been having any problems with your card in cash machines, get a new one before you go abroad.

The daily limit for withdrawals may be different abroad.

Use the right card for the job. Your credit card may give you purchase protection on items you buy. Some cards offer only up to pounds 500 - others up to pounds 15,000.

Don't rely on the insurance attached to your credit card for complete holiday protection. 'Travel accident' for instance, means accidents only while in the act of travel itself.

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