Are you prepared for your vacation?
You pack your clothes, your toothbrush, line up a dog sitter, but do you have your bank prepared before you go on a vacation?
1. Tell your bank when and where you plan to visit.
Be sure to give them specific destinations when possible, such as Orlando and Disney rather than Florida; or Germany and Austria rather than Europe. Include your travel method, such as driving, flying, train, cruise, etc.
Why is this important? As a security measure, your card may be declined due to a fraud block or because your card is used somewhere you typically do not use it.
2. Confirm your contact information with your bank.
When you tell your bank about your travel plans, you should also confirm or update the phone number(s) and email address associated with your debit/credit cards.
Why is this important? In the case of a fraud block, our fraud department may try to reach you to verify your purchase before deactivating your card.
3. Bring additional forms of payment.
Be sure to have different payment options such as cash, debit card or credit card.
Why is this important? You may think you are set for your trip by only bringing plastic, but your card(s) may not always work. If you accidently type your debit card’s PIN incorrectly or your credit card is compromised, your cards may be turned off. Make sure you always have a backup.
4. Know your daily limits for your debit card’s transactions and ATM withdrawals.
Why is this important? If you plan to use your card for multiple purchases or one large purchase within a 24-hour time frame, you may be unable to retrieve additional funds or make more purchases when needed. This goes back to the importance of bringing additional forms of payment.
5. Use a credit card to book your hotel.
Hotels charge your full hotel stay as well as a deposit to your card on the first night.
Why is this important? Depending on your hotel or length of stay, this could be a large amount, which may cause you to reach your daily spending limit. This means your debit card may not work until the next day. If you followed #3 and have additional forms of payment, you would be good to go! Also, if you followed #4 and knew your debit card’s daily limits for ATM withdrawals and Point of Sale Transactions, you may have a high enough limit to cover your hotel costs.
6. Know the fees associated with travel.
Card providers often charge a currency conversion fee when traveling abroad. Banks and ATM owners charge fees for ATM withdrawals.
Why is this important? Fees can add up quickly, especially if you are not prepared. You may have budgeted all of your spending, but when you review your next statement, fees could be much higher than anticipated. Knowing the fees ahead of time may help determine which payment methods are best to use on your trip.