Keep Your Money Safe While Traveling
Are you counting down the days to an upcoming vacation? You’re probably very excited for the adventure that awaits you, but don’t let the fun be ruined by someone out to steal your hard-earned money. Protect your money when traveling with these tips:
Alert Your Bank of Your Travel Plans
Banks and credit card companies monitor your accounts for unusual activity to keep your accounts safe in the event a card is stolen. To keep your account from having any holds placed it, give your bank a call to let them know when and where you’ll be traveling. If you haven’t already done check with your bank to see what alerts can be setup for your online banking and mobile banking accounts.
Get a Travel Debit Card
Travel debit cards allow you to designate the amount of funds available to you. It not only helps you to keep your spending disciplined, but if you lose the card, the thief will only have access to the funds available and not to your bank account. We offer VISA TravelMoney® Cards¹ with our checking accounts. With a VISA TravelMoney® Card you won’t pay for unauthorized or fraudulent transactions2, can sign up for free SMS transaction alerts2, and reload the card as needed.
Make a Copy of Your Wallet
Take the time to make photocopies of the cards you’ll be taking with you on your trip. Having a record of the account numbers and telephone numbers will come in handy if your wallet is lost or stolen. Keep this information in a safe place, away from your wallet or purse. Also take the time to save the emergency phone numbers for those cards in your phone in case you need to report an incident. This should also be done for driver’s licenses and passports.
Use Cards for Large Purchases
If you decide to buy an expensive souvenir, using a debit or credit card means you have a record of the transaction. If your souvenir is stolen, you can contact your bank or credit card company and possibly be refunded for your loss.
Conceal Your Cash
If you choose to travel with cash, make sure you break it up into smaller amounts and hide it in different spots. You’ll easily make yourself a target pulling out a wallet filled with hundreds. Instead have some money in your wallet, and hide the remaining funds in your shoe, suitcase, or a safe where you’re staying. Only bring what you need for the day. You can always withdraw additional funds from an ATM instead of pulling all your money at once. Avoid fees on those ATMs by using ones within your bank network, or that can be refunded by your checking account – like our InterestPlus Checking.
Protect Your Devices
Your cash and cards aren’t the only thing vulnerable on your vacation. Your phone has apps for online banking, credit cards, and digital wallets. Set a pin or password on the welcome screen of your phone and laptop to add an additional level of security. It may be annoying to keep entering that code, but it’s better than dealing with identity theft. You can also change your devices auto-lock or timeout screens to require your pin/password after a minute or two of inactivity. Check that your device’s operating system and security software are running the latest versions as well.
Don’t Forget About Your Home
What about the valuables in your house? People are often excited to announce their trip on social media and post the pictures of the fun along the way. Wait to post those memories until you return. Put a hold on your mail and newspapers so they don’t build up, telling burglars there is no one there picking them up. Use timers on the inside and outside lights to give the impression your home is occupied and alert a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your property for you.