13 May 2019

Which payment methods should you choose when going abroad?

Are you going abroad soon? That's great! Are you wondering which payment method to choose? Do you need to use a credit card or continue to use your regular debit card? Here is a very practical overview of the possibilities available to you:

Paying with a debit or credit card?

You can make all your payments using your debit card, since Maestro is automatically activated in certain countries. Which ones? Find out in this list. However, please be aware that if you are planning to hire a car or buy something to eat on the plane, you may find that only credit cards are accepted.

You can use your credit card virtually anywhere in the world. Outside the EU, it will be accepted in bars, restaurants and other shops without needing to be activated in advance. However, avoid withdrawing cash using this credit card, because the fees can be high.


For security in case your credit card is blocked or lost, you can combine it with your debit card. Don’t forget to activate your debit card for the countries you are visiting. Already there? Don’t worry: you can easily activate Maestro wherever and whenever you want, using the ING Smart Banking app. It is also possible to activate it through Home’Bank or call + 32 2 464 60 04 (Monday-Friday from 8 am to 10 pm / Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm).

How to activate an ING debit card online?
  1. Connect to the ING Smart Banking or Home'Bank app
  2. Go to the Self-Service corner (from the home screen)
  3. Select "My accounts and cards"
  4. Select "Using my debit card outside Europe" and follow the steps.
Ordering foreign currencies: always a good idea

For security, it is often a good idea to make sure you have a bit of cash on you. That way, you always have money available for taxi fares, purchases at the market, or for restaurants that don’t accept cards. That is especially true if you are heading to a secret spot in the middle of nowhere! 


Simply order online your foreign currencies with ING
  1. Fill in our currency order form online
  2. Select the currency and the amount
  3. Add your details and you're done!
Keep an eye on your spending via the ING Smart Banking app

The ING SMart Banking app allows you to send money in euro (SEPA) or check your balance at a glance. It's very handy if you realise that you’ve forgotten to transfer money into your current account or need to pay an urgent bill, for example.