Frequently travelers forget a crucial step before leaving for their trip; notifying their bank.
Prior to using a credit or debit card when traveling notify your bank of your travel plans
Banks do whatever they can to protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft. But if you are not careful, your bank’s enthusiasm could backfire when you travel. If they spot transactions in an unfamiliar location, your bank may assume your card is being used fraudulently and shut it off.
When you let your bank know that you are going away, they add a record to your account and share it with their fraud detection system. This prevents your “irregular” spending patterns from triggering a block on your card.
How to notify your bank of your travel plans
Every bank works a little differently. If you already use online banking, there’s likely an online travel notice where you can enter your destination and the length of your trip. If you’ve got multiple countries on your itinerary, you can specify that as well.
If you do not have online banking, call your bank to set up a travel alert on your account. You can also speak with a representative face-to-face at a local branch office.
Financial precautions to keep in mind when you travel
Notifying your bank about your travel plans is not the only financial precaution you should take. You should always have copies of your important documents and information, such as your bank’s 24-hour telephone number and your account numbers. If possible, bring more than one credit or debit card with you and place it a safe place separate from your wallet in the event that your wallet is lost or stolen.