Time for that trip? Plan ahead for safer travels.
Sunglasses? Check. Flip flops? Check. You can almost feel that sun or hear those waves as you're getting ready for your upcoming vacation. Before you take off, make sure you've given your financial safety and spending plan as much consideration as your destination. Whether it's the sandy beaches of the Bahamas or the Gold Coast of Australia, traveling can pose some challenges and you don't want to have your good time dampened by unnecessary money hassles.
1. Tell Your Credit Union and Credit Card companies that you are Traveling
Prior to heading to the airport, it's wise to give the credit union and other credit card companies a call to let them know where you're heading and how long you will be there. The safety measures that identify and stop potentially fraudulent activity on your account may accidentally cancel a real transaction if the location isn't recognized. Your accounts can be updated so you can confidentially use your card in a new location.
2. Use Credit Cards and Bring a Backup Card
It is a good point to leave most of your cards at home with the exception of a couple: one main and one backup. Carry one card with you to use on your travel expenses and keep one safely stored as a backup just in case. This strategy will also help you track your purchases while making sure no fraudulent charges are made. Cards for department stores, shops, and other non-essentials should be left behind at home as they just become a liability on a trip.
When you're deciding which cards to take, keep in mind that some may charge foreign transaction fees that can add up. Also, come banks or credit unions won't charge fees on their cards, but you may still get a fee from Visa or Mastercard for the currency conversion. For example, FFCU does not charge for foreign transactions, but you may see a surcharge up to 1% of your transaction from Visa.