When planning a trip, you might pride yourself on finding the best airfare deals or packing like a pro. How about keeping your money safe while on vacation? According to a Statista survey, 17 percent of people have had their credit or debit card stolen during travel. Before an upcoming trip, make sure your money and identity are protected with the following tips.
1. Notify Institutions of Travel Plans
Call your bank and credit card company to notify them of your travel plans. If you forget and try to use your card in an unfamiliar state or overseas, an account freeze could cut off your main source of payment. If your destination is international, also confirm that your cards will work where you’re headed.
2. Watch Out for Skimming Technology
Thieves can tamper with point of sale machines through an illegal practice called skimming. If the machine at a gas station or ATM looks suspicious, let an employee know and seek an alternative place to withdraw money.
When typing in your PIN, cover the screen with your other hand to keep someone from looking over your shoulder and stealing the digits.
3. Always Carry Emergency Cash
Bring back-up cash in case you encounter a business that only accepts cash or there’s an issue with your card. Keep the cash secure in a money belt, rather than a purse or backpack.
4. Move Money You Don’t Need
If you bring a debit card, transfer funds you won’t need for the trip to a savings account. You Should a thief gain access to your card, you don’t want all account funds wiped out.
5. Limit the Cards You Bring
It’s not necessary to take your entire wallet on vacation. Ideally, you should carry no more than two cards in case one is lost, stolen or otherwise compromised. For even more protection, a prepaid card eliminates the worry of unauthorized access to your debit or credit card.
6. Track All Purchases
Keep the receipts from all purchases made during your trip. As always, continue to check your statements regularly. If you notice any unauthorized charges, call the bank or credit card company immediately.
7. Lock Up Your Valuables
If you have brought along personal documents, such as your passport or have extra cash for emergencies, lock these items in your hotel safe whenever you leave the room.
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