Follow vigilant ATM and credit card safety basics while traveling

Are you planning a well-earned vacation to another country? If you intend to use your ATM or credit card during your trip overseas, remember to exercise some common safety tips, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar city or area.

These basic ATM safety applies wherever you go and are designed to keep you and your funds safe.

ATM transaction safety

  • Observe the surroundings near the ATM. If they are poorly lit or hidden from public view, find another ATM.
  • Have your ATM card out and ready to use before you get to the ATM.
  • When using an ATM at night, have someone accompany you.
  • Count your cash after leaving an ATM.

When you’re entering your Personal Identification Number (PIN), shield the screen and keyboard to protect your login and account information. Also, never write your PIN on your card or store it near your card. It is a good idea to write down your financial institution’s phone number and bring it with you in case you need to report a lost or stolen card immediately.

Credit card safety

Protecting your credit cards while on vacation is similar to ATM safety; keep your cards with you, be aware of your surroundings and don’t reveal your PIN to others. One of the first things to do is to notify your card issuer that you may be using the credit card outside of the U.S. so your transaction isn’t automatically blocked.

Here are some other tips about using your credit card on vacation:

  • Keep a list of the contact numbers for your credit card and ATM issuers. Store this list away from your wallet or purse. If either gets lost or stolen, you’ll be able to call the card issuers right away to cancel the cards, which may prevent their fraudulent use.
  • Double-check receipts before you sign them. Sure, you may have just bought a great memento of your trip, but be sure you know how much you’re paying for it. Never sign a blank receipt and draw a line through any blank spaces so nothing can be added to it.
  • Keep a credit card separate from your wallet or purse for emergencies.

Have a fun and safe trip!