Summer is officially here and many Americans are planning to hit the road or fly the skies for their much-anticipated summer vacation. The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and Bank of American Fork want consumers to have the information they need before they leave home so they can keep their money safe.
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. It’s also a good idea to carry a debit, credit or ATM card. 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.
However, travelers still need to plan ahead to be prepared. To help, ICBA and Bank of American Fork offer these tips to consumers about what they need to take care of before they take off:
— Let your bank know when and where you will be traveling so that you will avoid any potential for fraud alerts when out-of-the-ordinary transactions are posted.
— Call or stop by your community bank to find out what ATM or debit card fees you may be subject to in this country and abroad.
— If you’re traveling overseas, keep in mind that ATMs in many countries only accept four-digit personal identification numbers (PINs) and some countries have keyboards with numbers only, while others do not acknowledge zeros. Ask your community bank if you should create a new PIN for your account before you take your trip.
— Carry a back-up card that you keep in a separate place. Families or couples may get even greater back-up coverage if each person takes a different card.
— Make copies of all the cards you’ll be carrying. Be sure to copy the front and back of the card. Take a copy with you and give a copy to someone you trust back home. Be sure to also include the security code for the card and the customer service phone number.
— Bring a list of emergency phone numbers, but remember, 800 numbers can only be used in the United States and Canada. Be sure to get a number for your bank that you can call if you’re out of the country.
— Many credit cards provide travel accident insurance and traveler’s assistance. Ask your bank what special services are available through your card.
— Check your balance before you leave. Know the limits on how much you can withdraw. Save all your receipts.