FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Planning Ahead Can Help You Keep Your Money Safe
ICBA Offers Tips for Travelers
Washington, D.C. (June 5, 2012)—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, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and the nation's more than 7,000 community banks want consumers to have the information they need before they leave home to keep their money safe.
“Whether your summer vacation takes you to the other side of the globe or just to the nearest beach, it’s always important to protect your money while you travel” said Jeff Gerhart, ICBA chairman and chairman of Bank of Newman Grove, Neb. “Relationship-focused community bankers can work one-on-one with their customers to prepare them for all kinds of emergencies from a lost wallet to identity theft.”
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, ICBA offers these 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 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 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.
- 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.
“Remember, in the event that something unfortunate does happen, community bankers are always just a phone call away; ready and able to help their customers” said Gerhart.
For more information about what to do if 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.