When I’m on vacation the last thing I want to worry about is my finances. You might find it interesting to know that most Banks and credit card issuers monitor your debit and credit card activity – not to see where you are spending your money – but to see if any of your transactions are out of the ordinary. So if you live in Washington, DC and there’s a transaction from a store in San Francisco, you might get a call. With that in mind, here are a few things you can do before you head out of town.
- Notify your bank of your travel plans Provide your bank the location(s) you’ll be traveling as well as the date(s) of travel. You may also want to let them know of any locations you may visit in the event you take an unplanned side trip.
- Check if your bank charges you a fee for international use Some banks charge fees for using your card overseas. You should know that airbanking’s Visa® credit card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
- See what FREE ATMs are in your vacation location Check for an ATM that works with your bank. For example airbanking customers can use ATMs in the Allpoint network for FREE. If you have a guide book you may even want to make a note for where an ATM in your network is.
- Be careful where you check your bank account If you stop by an internet cafe or a location with wireless internet access, be leery of checking your account. If you do check your account on a computer in an internet café, be sure to log out completely when you’re finished.
- Watch out for suspicious ATM devices When using an ATM be wary of any ATM that appears to have been modified.
- Know your bank’s phone number If for some reason your account is compromised while on vacation you’ll want to be able to contact your bank immediately. Have their phone number on hand and ready to call. Jot it down on a card in your wallet and label it discretely identifiable only by you. But DO NOT write down your bank account number.