Many thieves are usually preying on travelers because this is the time that your guard is down. Hence, you need to be careful whenever you are on a trip. As you enjoy yourself, be sure to keep your cards safe. Here are a few tips:
1. Share Your Itinerary with Your Bank
If you are in New York and try to pay for dinner in Los Angeles, your bank might suspect fraud and suspend the card. Giving your bank a rough itinerary of a trip you are planning for is now a norm for travelers, particularly if you are doing international travel. Add a week to your return date. This will ensure that in case of an emergency and you can’t return as planned, there are resources to make new hotel arrangements or pay for extra hotel nights. Your credit is most valuable when you are stranded.
2. Pack Well
Pack your wallet similar to a suitcase by taking what’s necessary only. While the PCI Security Council helps to ensure data security compliance among all major financial institutions, that doesn’t mean you need to bring every card you own. Hence, be sure to carry an ATM or debit card along with two or three major credit cards. The rest can be left at home. Double check to ensure the cards you bring will be accepted in the destination country; most cards are accepted in most places, but there are always exceptions. Your bank or credit card provider will be more than able to supply this information.
3. Minimize the Cash Withdrawal Limits
Debit cards are great ways of obtaining money, and they are also perfect ways for changing currencies. Most debit cards, particularly those that have a visa logo or MasterCard, will work at most cash machines overseas. With a debit or ATM card, the majority of the banks restrict the amount withdrawn in 24 hours. If you are going on a trip with the card, you might need to call up and temporarily reduce the limit. Hence, in case your card information or the card is stolen, and you report quickly, your loss is mitigated. Additionally, you can have a different travel account that is not connected to your typical savings and checking accounts. Deposit on the account the amount you plan on using during the vacation, and use that card during the trip. Therefore, if someone steals from your account, your regular accounts will still be safe.
4. Have Emergency Phone Numbers
If you are on a trip and both your wallet and phone are stolen, it might be hard to report the theft if you don’t have the phone numbers of your card issuer written somewhere. Maintain a list of phone numbers of your card issuer to ensure you can call them immediately someone steals your card or card information. Have these numbers in your phone and also keep a written list somewhere safe that is not your wallet. You will be able to put your accounts on hold within minutes of the theft.
5. Ask Hotels Regarding Card Security
The hotel sector reported eight percent of all card hacks in 2011. While this a reduction from 38 percent figure in 2009, it is still substantial. Hence, be sure to keep credit cards safe while staying at your hotel. Remember to inquire if the hotel computer system has tokenization or encryption technology, which safeguards private data. If you need to receive a package while abroad don't take the safety of those for granted either. One super safe option is to use a package locker. Nowadays, companies exist to manage the delivery and safekeeping of packages on a large scale for living communities or even businesses. Ask your hotel if they have such a service or how you can safely receive a package in the local area.
If you want to avoid or restrict the theft of monies in your bank account, be sure to keep these five tips in mind. You will not have to cut your trip short because all your money is gone.