As more Americans resume their travel plans—across the globe or beyond state lines – Stearns Bank and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) remind consumers that planning ahead can help alleviate travel-related stressors, maximizing your enjoyment regardless of how long or how far you venture.
“Most financial experts advise limiting the use of cash and planning for the unexpected—including trip delays, cancellations and last-minute expenditures -- for greater peace of mind while traveling,” Stearns Bank Vice President/Regional Branch Manager Jane Litchy said. “Should your best-laid plans go awry, and you get into a financial situation while away, call on your local bank to lend a helping hand.”
ICBA and Stearns Bank urge consumers to consider these 12 tips before they depart on their next trip:
- Inform your community bank of your travel plans to avoid account holds or transaction rejections when unusual transactions are presented for processing or posted.
- Ensure you have a chip-enabled card or contactless card, particularly if your travel plans take you overseas where chip technology is becoming a prerequisite for card acceptance.
- Carry multiple cards with you so you have a backup. Families or couples may get even greater backup coverage if each person takes a different card.
- Create transaction alerts for credit and debit cards. If you suspect your information has been compromised, contact your bank and credit card provider as soon as possible. For information about what to do in the event of a lost or stolen card, visit the Visa and Mastercard websites.
- Bring a list of emergency phone numbers, including contact information for your bank if you are out of the country.
- Inquire about special card features like travel accident insurance and traveler’s assistance.
- Know the limits on how much you can withdraw and save your receipts.
- Choose an ATM or bank for your currency purchases for fewer fees and an exact conversion rate.
- Thoroughly check any ATMs that you use. Examine the card reader for signs of tampering. When in doubt, choose another terminal.
- Lock away valuables such as passports, backup credit cards, copies of financial information, and extra cash, in your hotel safe.
- Use social media with care. Posting your pictures or whereabouts during travel could leave you susceptible to home invaders.
- Monitor charge activity. Review purchases and ATM withdrawals with your bank and credit card companies when you return home.