Editor’s Note: Travel can be costly and making mistakes with your money while you’re traveling can make it even worse. Our colleagues at the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the nation’s voice for more than 6,000 community banks of all sizes, say planning ahead can help keep your money safe. They offer these financial tips for travelers.–BH
“Running out of money or losing your wallet is a quick way to ruin your trip,” says ICBA Chairman Jack Hartings, president and CEO of The Peoples Bank Co., Coldwater, Ohio. “Whether you and your family are traveling close to home or to a different country, it is better to be prepared for any event that comes your way.”
Financial professionals agree that the safest and most convenient way to travel with your money is to take a small amount of cash with you. Another good idea is to bring a debit and/or credit card as well. These cards are convenient while traveling because they are easy to carry, easy to use and often offer the lowest fees and the best exchange rates. Additionally, in the event that your debit and/or credit card is lost or stolen, you can easily have it deactivated to prevent further spending by calling your bank’s customer service number for added security as opposed to lost or stolen cash, which cannot be tracked.
Here are a few things travelers need to take care of before heading out
• Let your bank know when and where you will be traveling to avoid any potential denials or fraud alerts when out-of-the-ordinary transactions are presented.
• Ask your bank about daily spending and withdrawal limits to help avoid a card denial when traveling.
• Find out which ATM or debit card fees you may be subject to while traveling or at your travel destination.
• Be sure to know your bank’s customer service phone number. Better yet, add the number to your mobile contacts in case you have to report the card lost or stolen.
• Have a backup card stored in a different place in case other cards get lost or stolen.
• Make sure your card brands are accepted at the locations or countries you are traveling to.
• Avoid logging onto your online or mobile banking account via public WiFi networks. Instead, use cellular data networks, or call the bank directly. If using cellular data, use virus protection to protect your accounts and phone.
• Do not give financial information to callers who contact you and claim to be from your bank or credit card company, especially if they ask you to provide them with private information. If you are concerned about your bank account, credit card information or other personal financial data, contact your bank directly.