With the kickoff of summer just around the corner and many Americans planning to hit the road or the skies for their much-anticipated summer vacation, American National Bank wants consumers to have the information they need before they leave home to keep their money safe.
Financial professionals agree that the safest and most convenient way to travel with your money is to take a small amount of cash with you. It’s also a good idea to carry a debit, credit or ATM card. These cards are convenient while traveling because they are easy to carry, easy to use and often offer the lowest fees and the best exchange rates.
However, travelers still need to plan ahead to be prepared. To help, American National Bank offers these tips to consumers about what they need to take care of before they take off:
- Let your bank know when and where you will be traveling to avoid account holds or transaction rejections when out-of-the-ordinary transactions are presented for processing or posted.
- If you’re traveling overseas, keep in mind that ATMs in many countries only accept four-digit personal identification numbers (PINs) and some countries have keyboards with numbers only, while others do not acknowledge zeros. Ask your bank if you should create a new PIN for your account before you take your trip.
- Carry a back-up card that you keep in a separate place. Families or couples may get even greater back-up coverage if each person takes a different card.
- Make copies of all the cards you’ll be carrying. Be sure to copy the front and back of the card. Take a copy with you and give a copy to someone you trust back home. Be sure to also include the security code for the card and the customer service phone number.
- Set up transaction alerts for credit and debit cards. This will allow you to be informed much faster of any transactions that occur on your cards and shut down fraudulent activity.
- Bring a list of emergency phone numbers, but remember, 800 numbers can only be used in the United States and Canada. Be sure to get a number for your bank that you can call if you’re out of the country.
- Many credit cards provide travel accident insurance and traveler’s assistance. Ask your community bank what special services are available through your card.
- Check your balance before you leave. Know the limits on how much you can withdraw. Save all your receipts.
- Thoroughly check any ATMs that you use; fraudsters are increasingly altering the facades of ATMs in an effort to capture card data. Ensure the card reader does not look tampered with and pull on it to ensure it’s not a layover.
In the event that something unfortunate does happen, your bankers are always just a phone call away and ready and able to help .
For more information about what to do if you your card is lost or stolen or if you need additional help, visit http://usa.visa.com/personal/using_visa/travel_with_visa.html or http://www.mastercard.us/support/lost-card.html.