7 tips for using credit cards while traveling

Travelling without a credit card is not an insane, but carrying it may ease the vacation, as it is all about relaxation. The compact plastic cards can be conveniently packed in your small wallet, yet can give you the exact record of your travel expenses. Moreover, it is a safer approach than using cash.

Travel Offers You Didn’t Know

Apart from the general usage of credit cards like filling the tank and shopping, your card might hold multitude travel benefits, which you may not know. These cards may afford a bigger suit within your budget, a free lunch or late checkout facilities. Therefore, before packing your luggage, talk to your credit card issuer to figure out the benefits.

travel_credit_cards

Medical Insurance

Medical insurance is a mandatory document, if you travel abroad. A few cards may offer you discounted or free medical insurance in their package. Very often, the availability of medical insurance is offered through online, to further ease the process.

Transaction Fee in Abroad

International transactions are charged by the banks, but now the number of banks that do not charge for foreign transaction fees is growing. Citibank Indonesia offers 1 Premier Mile for every Rp 5.000, spent offshore. Similarly, Rp 8.750 spent within Indonesia through Citi PremierMiles earns 1 Premier miles. These miles can be redeemed in the traveling expenses. If you travel frequently, then try airline credit cards or air miles card for more benefits.

Additional Card

Carrying different types of travel credit cards from different credit card companies (like Visa travel card, Mastercard air miles card) is wiser, while travelling abroad. When a card is rejected for any reason, there should be an alternative option to manage in an unknown country.

Intimate The Issuers

Letting the bankers know about your travel is important to avail the concierge services, to block the card when it gets lost, to get the toll-free numbers at the destination, etc. Further, ask them if there are any daily spending limits or ATM withdrawal, to plan your finance. Similarly, you can also request a time extension for repayment, if necessary.

Legal Holds

Many hotels, gas stations and restaurants hold or block your card for a specific period and it is legal. Although it reduces their risk, if it crosses your credit limit, you may be trapped. You may not know the fact, until your card gets denied. Further, watch out if there is double billing due to a technical error.

Completely Credit Card

Using different types of cards for different types of expenses may fetch you more benefits. At the same time, it helps to budget for the future travels.

When you travel, avoid using public Wi-Fi network for banking. Use internet cafes or hotel public computers only for reading newspapers or for checking weather. Instead you can download the official mobile application into your smartphone and use it. It is good, in terms of privacy as well as security. Even though if you have 15 types of credit cards for travel, carry some hot cash to pay out where credit card facility cannot be availed.

Overview of health insurance in Indonesia

What is health insurance?

Health insurance helps cover the risks of medical and surgical treatment for various types of illnesses and accidents. Depending upon the type of coverage you can either pay medical costs from your pocket and get reimbursed by the insurer or have the insurer make payments directly to the medical service provider.

Can you provide a few examples of health insurance packages available in Indonesia?

There are two major types of health insurance packages available; these are:

  • Group health insurance

This is a health insurance cover paid for by employers for their employees. A few examples of such packages would be the Group Health Insurance from ACE Jaya Proteksi, Group Health from AXA Indonesia and two packages – Manulife Direct Protection and Manulife Total Protection from Manulife Indonesia.

  • Individual health insurance

These are meant for individuals; depending upon the product, such policies can be availed by individuals for themselves and/or their families. We will look at a few examples here:

The New Save in Safe offered by PT Panin Dai-Ichi Life and Citibank provides 24 hours worldwide insurance protection coverage, provides more protection to complement your existing hospital insurance and returns a minimum of 80% of your premiums even though there have been claims paid. Citibank also provides the Ultimate Link Assurance Account (ULAA) Health, a product that provides both health cover and an investment.

overview_of_health_insurance_in_indonesia

Health insurance package from ACE Jaya Proteksi provides coverage not only for medical treatment but also for any financial impact suffered due to hospitalization. It provides for up to 365 days confinement, does not require any medical check-up, provides daily benefits due to accident or illness, has surgical benefit options and covers critical conditions like cancer, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, end stage liver failure, major burns and paralysis amongst others.

ProHealth from Manulife is a health insurance package that covers medical costs until you reach the age of 99 years. Benefits for the cost of your health care or treatment is provided through medical reimbursement. Coverage includes fees of specialist medical doctor(s), laboratory tests, treatment and other costs related to hospitalization. To enroll you should be between 18 to 55 years of age and the premium payment period is up to 70 years of age.

Takaful or insurance that complies with Islamic Sharia law is also available in Indonesia. Life insurance and investment linked life insurance policies are available. Brilliance Hasanah Sejahtera and Brilliance Hasanah Protection Plus are examples of life insurance Takaful products from PT Sun Life Financial.

What points should you look out for when you want to go in for a health insurance cover?

Plan your needs– Opt for a health policy after considering your existing health needs and budget. A standard cover may be sufficient if you or your family members do not have any health problems. However, if you or your family members already have a medical condition or are pre-disposed to such, you could consider a more comprehensive health cover.

Pre-existing conditions-If you already have a pre-existing medical condition, ensure that you declare this condition and that your healthcare policy provides cover for it. Health policies may also provide cover only after a certain waiting period (2 years, 4 years etc); so check for such conditions before you sign up.

Exclusions-All health insurance products contain exclusions; understand the exclusions that apply to the policy you are looking at and how it could impact you given your current medical condition / requirements.

Compare and shop-Before you go in for a particular health insurance product, compare. Compare it with other similar products from other insurers for costs, ease of claims, hospital network, customer service, facilities offered, types of expenses covered, ease of renewal etc.

Servicing your policy-Finally, do not forget to pay your premiums on time and if your policy requires so, declare any changes in your medical condition.

What about Indonesia’s public healthcare program, Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional?

Indonesia’s government has launched a scheme, Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional (JKN), implemented by the newly-formed social security agency Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial Kesehatan (BPJS), to provide basic care available to all by 2019.

Under JKN, all citizens are now able to access a wide range of health services provided by public facilities, as well as services from a few private organisations that have opted to join the scheme as providers. JKN care aims to be comprehensive, covering treatment for everyday concerns such as flu through to open-heart surgery, dialysis and chemotherapy.

Under Presidential Decree No 111, large, medium and small companies must participate as of January 1, 2015 in the national health insurance programme. Those in formal employment pay a premium equivalent to 5% of their salary, with 4% payable by employers and 1% payable by employees. Informal workers, the self-employed and investors pay fixed monthly premiums of between Rp 25,500 and Rp 59,500 in a tiered system of first, second and third-rate care depending on the contributions they choose to pay.

Pros and Cons of E-Banking Services

495304971

E-Banking Services

E-Banking or Electronic Banking as it is called refers to the provision of banking and banking services through electronic / digital channels. The most popular digital banking channels include Internet or online banking and mobile banking. Let us take a look at the pros and cons of E-Banking Services through the Internet or by using mobiles:

Pros of E-Banking Services

Anytime, Anywhere Accessibility

E-banking provides users with 24 hour access to banking services, 7 days a week, round the year. What is more important is that this access is immediate – no traveling, no waiting for parking and then no waiting in queues!

You can also access e-banking through a wide variety of devices including desktop, laptop and notebook computers and a wide range of smart phones.

Real-Time View

Electronic banking provides you with an up-to-date, in fact up-to-the-minute view of all your accounts.

Convenient

E-banking permits you to conduct a whole host of banking transactions from the convenience of wherever you are. These include opening or closing term deposits, transferring funds, paying bills, trading, investing, applying for products like credit cards or loans – the list is virtually endless and depends upon the bank offering the service.

Financial Management

E-banking provides you with the facility to link all your accounts – savings, current, term deposits, loans, credit cards under the same account name. With all your banking accounts under one roof you can better manage your spending and saving. You can, for example, set standing instructions for regular bill payments. Financial management becomes so much more easier.

Secure

E-banking is generally very safe and secure. Almost all banks use a 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL), which is one of the strongest encryption technologies used by large-scale online merchants, global banks, and brokerages worldwide.

In addition, various banks have different authentication procedures in place that enhance the security of your banking. These could involve the use of a security device or token. You can also opt for receiving alerts and reminders whenever transactions happen enabling you to be alert to fraudulent happenings on your account.

Cons of E-Banking Services

Restrictions on Transactions

You may not be able to perform certain types of transactions ( financial or non-financial) through e-banking channels. These may be due to regulatory or policy reasons. These restrictions could also be device applicable. For instance, certain transactions that you could comfortably complete via a desktop may not be accessible through your mobile.

Restrictions on Limits

Although most banks have enabled their customers to carry out a wide range of transactions through electronic banking it is important to remember that there may be limit restrictions placed on certain types of transactions. For instance, you may not be able to transfer funds above a certain limit either domestically or internationally.

Product Sign-Up Limitations

Certain products or services may not be instantly available online. You may be able to register to show your interest in such offerings but you may have to go through an online-offline process before you can avail of such products.

Absence of Personal Guidance

Electronic banking channels may have made banking more convenient and more accessible but they are impersonal in character. And, even if there are services like “Chat” available customers may still require the reassurance of human interaction. Moreover, a branch officer may be able to get you waivers, extra discounts etc based on your personal relationships which may not be available online.
Finally, when dealing with complex transactions like investments or retirement planning solutions you may require the support and hand holding of an experienced executive in person.

A Few E-Banking Services

Bank Mandiri offers e-banking through the Internet, through mobile apps, through SMS, through their ATMs and through their Phone Banking Services. Citibank offers a wide variety of services including e-alerts, e-statements and e-advices, through the Internet, through SMS, through mobile apps and through the Internet browser of your phone. Standard Chartered Bank, ANZ and HSBC also offer e-banking services through Internet and mobile channels.

Other E-Banking Channels

ATM Banking – A number of banks enable customers to carry out a range of banking transactions through their ATMs other than cash withdrawals.

Phone Banking – Several banks offer phone banking services; customers can carry out a range of transactions be either talking to a representative or through the “IVR” (Interactive Voice Response) system.

How to Choose the Right Health Insurance Policy

Health-Insurance-PolicyMedical emergencies or medical problems can strike anyone at anytime. It is best to be prepared to face such emergencies and insurance, health insurance, in particular, is accepted the world-over as the best tool to help you when you are facing such a situation. Here, we will try and put together a few tips to help you choose the right Health Insurance Policy in Indonesia:

Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional – JKN

Indonesia’s government has launched a scheme, Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional (JKN), implemented by the newly-formed social security agency Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial Kesehatan (BPJS), to provide basic care available to all by 2019.

Under JKN, all citizens are now able to access a wide range of health services provided by public facilities, as well as services from a few private organisations that have opted to join the scheme as providers. JKN care aims to be comprehensive, covering treatment for everyday concerns such as flu through to open-heart surgery, dialysis and chemotherapy.

Under Presidential Decree No 111, large, medium and small companies must participate as of January 1, 2015 in the national health insurance programme. Those in formal employment pay a premium equivalent to 5% of their salary, with 4% payable by employers and 1% payable by employees. Informal workers, the self-employed and investors pay fixed monthly premiums of between Rp 25,500 and Rp 59,500 in a tiered system of first, second and third-rate care depending on the contributions they choose to pay.

With challenges remaining in the JKN system, private health continues to play a role by providing for excess or additional coverage of services not included in JKN.

Private Health Insurance

If you are opting for private health insurance, keep in mind the following:

Plan Your Needs – Opt for a health policy after considering your existing health needs and budget. A standard cover may be sufficient if you or your family members do not have any health problems.   However, if you or your family members already have a medical condition or are pre-disposed to such, you could consider a more comprehensive health cover.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions – In case you already have a pre-existing medical condition, it is important that you declare this condition; you could check beforehand whether your policy covers this condition. Your premiums may get “loaded” (additional amount added to your premium) but it may be worth it in the long-run. Some health policies may provide cover for certain conditions only after a waiting period (2 years, 4 years etc); so check for such conditions before you sign up.

Individual / Family Policy – You can also opt to go in for individual covers for each of your family members or for single cover that extends to your entire family. In the case of the former, you may get higher cover, in the case of the latter you could save on costs.

Exclusions – All health insurance products contain exclusions; understand the exclusions that apply to the policy you are looking at and how it could impact you given your current medical condition / requirements.

Compare and Shop – Before you go in for a particular health insurance product, compare. Compare it with other similar products from other insurers for costs, ease of claims, hospital network, customer service, facilities offered, types of expenses covered, ease of renewal etc.

Servicing your Policy – Finally, do not forget to pay your premiums on time and if your policy requires so, declare any changes in your medical condition.

Health Insurance for Expats – Expats in Indonesia are not entitled to any national healthcare. However, they may avail of private healthcare insurance and a number of private health insurance providers cater to expats with a range of insurance packages.

Examples of Private Health Insurance Packages

▪ Citibank’s New Save in Safe provides 24 hours worldwide insurance protection coverage, provides more protection to complement your existing hospital insurance and returns a minimum of 80% of your premiums even though there have been claims paid. Citibank also provides the Ultimate Link Assurance Account (ULAA) Health, a product that provides both health cover and an investment.

▪ ACE Jaya Proteksi, provides health insurance that does not require any medical check-up, that is paid on top of any other insurance and a variety of other benefits. A group health insurance product is also available.