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ICBA Offers Money Tips for TravelersMay 23, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
With the kick off of summer less than a week away and many Americans planning to hit the road or the skies for their summer vacation, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) want consumers to have the information they need before they leave home so they can keep their money safe.
“Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than losing your wallet or running out of funds, so plan ahead and talk to your community banker about how you can protect your money while traveling both domestically and abroad,” said Sal Marranca, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Cattaraugus County Bank, Little Valley, N.Y.
The ICBA says 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.
The ICBA offered the following tips to consumers about what they need to take care of before they take off:
• Let your community bank know when and where you will be traveling so that you will avoid any potential for fraud alerts when out-of-the-ordinary transactions are posted.
• Call or stop by your community bank to find out what ATM or debit card fees you may be subject to in this country and abroad.
• 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 community 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.
• Bring a list of emergency phone numbers, but remember, 800 numbers can only be used in the U.S. 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.
“Whether your destination is overseas or closer to home, it really is better to be safe than sorry. And your community bank can help you make sure that you’re safe,” Marranca said.
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.