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
  • If you are travelling within Europe, you can make all your payments using your debit card, since Maestro is automatically activated in certain countries. Which ones? Find out in this recap. 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.


  • Outside Europe, you have several options:

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 the Maestro function of 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 can I activate my ING debit card with the ING Smart Banking app?

If you don’t have it on your smartphone, download the app in five minutes. Then go to the drop-down menu on the left > Self-service corner > My accounts and cards > Using my debit card outside Europe.

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! 


Avoid withdrawing cash on your debit or credit card at the airport, since this can be very costly. A better option is to order your foreign currency directly online before departure: 

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

Keep an eye on your spending easily, even when you’re abroad, via our mobile app. It allows you to send money in euro (SEPA) or check your balance at a glance: handy, if you realise that you’ve forgotten to transfer money into your current account or need to pay an urgent bill, for example.

Heading off soon?

Make your life easier with ING Smart Banking app: download the ING Smart Banking app now. Then all that’s left for you to do is to sit back, relax and enjoy the journey.