5 tips for keeping your money safe when you travel.
Are you traveling in the near future? Hopefully you have brought your sunscreen, packed your underwear in your carry-on, and put all your toiletries in a see through zip-loc plastic bag. When we travel, we are looking to enjoy our vacation but also protect ourselves from unforeseen circumstances (including body cavity searches from TSA agents.) We usually prepare for the specific trip we are going on by bringing bathing suits, jackets, or hiking boots, but the one thing we must prepare for in almost every trip is money.
I’m not necessarily talking about financing the trip. In this article we assume you have already saved up the money you will need or have taken advantage of our special summer travel promotion loan for $2500 at 5.95% APR* with 12 months to repay (contact us if you are interested in this loan!) We are talking about protecting the money you have for travel and making sure you don’t get stranded! Here are some helpful travel tips to protect your money while on vacation.
- Alert your credit card company you are traveling – This is a very important one. If a credit card company detects the chance of fraud they will shut the account off. Purchases made outside your geographical area will typically cause this to happen and you don’t want to be stranded without access to money while abroad! Take a few minutes and let them know you are traveling so this doesn’t happen to you.
- Bring a credit and a debit card – Carry one card with you and pack the other away safely. This way if you lose your wallet, or you get pickpocketed, you will have a backup readily available. We suggest diversifying your cash or traveler’s checks in the same way. Carry some with you and have some at the hotel. We have great Visa cards that are perfect for traveling. We have a rewards debit card and multiple credit cards with low APR* rates that are accepted worldwide! Learn more on our website.
- Use credit cards for major purchases – Using a credit card for a major purchase offers several advantages. Credit cards often have great policies in case a card is stolen and fraudulent purchases are made. For example, RMLEFCU debit and credit cards are 100% free of liability. If your card is lost of stolen, you will not be charged for any fraudulent purchases. However, if your card is lost or stolen, please call 1-800-472-3272 right away. Also, credit/debit cards typically have better exchange rates than ATMs, and that will save you money.
- Carry your money in a safe place – Keep your wallet in your front pocket or use a small pouch that lives under your shirt. Make it as difficult as possible for thieves and pickpockets. Be extra cautious in crowded areas such as on subways and in touristy locations.
- Review your purchases – Review your purchases as soon as you return from vacation. If a thief has stolen your credit card number and has been making fraudulent purchases you will need to alert your credit union right away! The earlier you can report fraud, the easier it is to reverse transactions and clean up your accounts.
We hope these 5 tips will help you prepare for your future travel endeavors. Let’s keep the adventure on your vacation, not with your finances! Do you have any travel tips or experiences you would like to share? Please tell us in the comments or on social media!
*Annual Percentage Rate. With approved credit. Some restrictions may apply. Offer valid from April 1 thru June 30, 2014.