The use of credit and debit cards for certain international transactions is not permitted! Know the details

By having internationally accepted debit and credit cards in your wallet, you can have peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to worry about carrying too much cash with you when traveling abroad. Gone are the days when you had to bring enough cash to cover your expenses in international destinations. With banks offering international cards with unique features, a consumer not only enjoys a host of protections but also earns enough points while enjoying their vacation.

But before you start your foreign tripyou should be aware that certain international transactions/payments through your international credit or debit card are prohibited under Indian laws.

According to Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a person with an international credit or debit card is not permitted to make certain payments using the card under the Foreign Exchange Management Act1999 (FEMA) read with the Exchange Management rules (current account transactions), 2000 (FEMA Current Account Rules).

What transactions are prohibited?

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Avinash Kumar Khard, partner at DSK Legal, quoted as saying, in an ET report, “Appendix I of the FEMA Current Account Rules provides a list of transactions that are prohibited. Additionally, these transactions cannot be made using credit or debit cards.

“Credit cards and international debit cards cannot be used for online or otherwise purchases of prohibited items such as lottery tickets, prohibited or prohibited magazines, participation in sweepstakes, payment for reminder services, etc., as no withdrawal of currency is permitted for such items/activities,” he said.

According to a recent email sent by SBI credit card to its customers, the use of a credit card for currency trading, betting and gambling is also prohibited in addition to the transactions mentioned above.

Are there any penalties?

Usually, banks issuing credit/debit cards inform customers that such transactions via the cards are prohibited. If a customer uses their credit card for such prohibited transactions, then according to RBI regulations, the cardholder will be held liable and will not be able to hold the card, SBI Card said in its email.

According to Khard, “If an individual violates FEMA’s current account rules, then that individual will be subject to a fine under FEMA. The amount of such fine may be up to three times the sum involved in such offense.”

In many foreign countries, currency dealers, casinos, hotels and websites advertise the aforementioned products and services. To benefit from it, the individual is often asked to pay with his card – debit or credit card. If you are traveling abroad and come across one of these advertisements and are attracted to it, think twice before using your credit/debit card.

“FEMA’s checking account rules only apply to international transactions. Thus, people traveling abroad should avoid using their international credit and debit card to avoid making prohibited transactions” , said Khard.

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