Traveling should be a time for fun and relaxation! Properly preparing your credit and debit cards will help contribute to a worry-free vacation. Whether you are traveling a few hours away or across the ocean, here's some information to protect your wallet, valuables and information.
- Let us know before you go! We have security measures in place on our debit cards to help protect against fraud and if not alerted, we may think a thief - not you - are making fun-filled vacation purchases and shut down your card. Please call us at (712) 262-3340 or (800) 249-3340 and let us know where you will be going as well as when you'll return. Also, there are certain areas/countries that are on our blocked list but we can exempt your card in that destination when you need it. It is important to make arrangements ahead of time.
- Lighten up your wallet. Only carry the cards you'll be using on your trip and leave the rest at home. Remove any card with your Social Security number. For health insurance cards, make a copy of the card and remove the last four digits of your Social Security number. Bring the photocopy with you on your trip and leave the original card at home. Leave your checkbook at home. Clean out your wallet and purse before you take your trip by taking only what you'll need on your trip.
- Pack a backup credit card. Always take additional forms of payment! If a card gets lost, stolen or blocked, you'll have another card to use for major purchases such as hotel rooms and rental cars. Keep your backup cards secure in the hotel safe so they'll be there if you should need them.
- Limit Debit Card use. Debit cards are handy for withdrawing cash from ATMs and making small purchases but you'll want to keep close tabs on your debit card at all times. Your debit card is linked directly to your checking account, and if a thief nabs it, your account could be emptied in no time. We encourage using credit cards while traveling for anything other than ATM withdrawals. Consider using a card that is set up to an account with limited funds, like a separate travel account.
- Use Credit Cards for large purchases. Most credit cards have a zero-liability policy, meaning you won't be charged for unauthorized charges if a card is lost or stolen. The sooner you alert a credit card company, the better. So bring contact information for each of the cards with you on the trip.
- Watch out for bogus ATMs. Stick to ATMs that are near banks, in airports or hotels. Thieves are known to place phony ATMs in high-traffic tourists areas. Visa® and MasterCard® have worldwide ATM locators on their websites so it's easy to find legitimate ATM locations while traveling.
- Use the hotel safe. Put your passport, backup credit cards, copies of financial information and extra cash in the safe in your hotel room. Too many people have access to your room so be sure to lock up your laptop, camera, iPad, etc. whenever you aren't using them.
- Protect your cash. Take only the cash you need for the day and leave the rest in the safe. Split your money up. For example, put some in your money belt and some in the bottom of your shoe. Have your travel companion do the same.
- Be extra alert in crowds. Keep close tabs on all your possessions, especially in crowded situations and tourist hotspots. Don't leave bags on the floor or hanging off the back of a chair in restaurants. Be alert when using taxis or public transportation.
- Make copies of important financial & personal information. Make copies of credit and debit cards you'll be carrying as well as passport data page and your travel itinerary. Give a copy of this information to a trusted friend or family member back home and bring a copy with you. Secure this information in the hotel safe.
- Review your purchases. When you return from your vacation, review your credit card purchases, debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals with us and the credit card companies. Don't wait for your monthly statements. If you've been compromised, you'll want to alert either as soon as possible.
To report a lost or stolen Debit/ATM Card, please call (888) 297-3416 within the US or (206) 389-5200 outside of the US.
If you suspect fraud on your Debit Card or have received a text from 96923 or voicemail from the Fraud Center, please call the number provided.
To report a lost or stolen Credit Card, please call (800) 423-7503.