Financial Tips for Traveling Abroad
Smart travel tips to keep your finances safe.
Before you leave the country:
- Plan ahead! Make sure you have at least two methods (ATM card, credit card, Travelers Cheques, etc.) of getting cash while abroad, in case one method is lost or stolen. Keep these items in separate places while traveling.
- Contact the bank that issues each of your credit or debit cards and let them know when you will be traveling out of the country. This will keep the bank from suspecting your account is being compromised when overseas activity is noted.
- Get contact information for a person at your local bank branch.
- Ask your bank about purchasing foreign currency prior to departure. This may take up to a week, so don’t wait until the last minute!
- Check the daily cash withdrawal limit or credit limit for each debit and credit card.
- Check the expiration date on each credit or debit card. If it will expire while you’re abroad contact your bank and request new cards with a new expiration date to be sent to you ASAP.
- Sign up for Online Banking so you can view daily account activity from abroad.
- Memorize and test the PIN number of each of your cards.
- Purchase Travelers Cheques and be sure to sign the Cheques once you receive them. Only countersign a check when you want to use it.
- Photocopy credit or debit cards and all Travelers Cheques and keep separate from the actual cards and checks.
While out of the country:
- When you pay with your credit or debit card, check the sales voucher carefully! You are liable for the amount written in the box marked “Total”, so make sure it is filled in before you sign.
- Keep a copy of all ATM transaction records and sales receipts and check these against your online or written statement.
- Countersign your Travelers Cheques only when you are finalizing the purchase.
Get cash safely:
- Look for ATMs that display the logos on the back of your card, or those recommended by your bank.
- Be alert and look around you! If too many people are loitering around the ATM machine, go to another ATM.
- If the ATM machine is in a booth, do not let anyone enter the booth with you. Do not enter a booth while someone else is waiting.
For more information:
- Visa® Travel
- Mastercard® Cardholder Services
- American Express®
- U.S. Department of State
- Commerce Bank: 1-800-453-2265
- Lost/stolen cards: 1-800-617-7480
- Outside U.S., call collect 24/7: 1-402-691-7800
- To send an email that contains confidential information, please visit the Secure Message Center where there are additional instructions about whether to use Secure Email or Online Banking messaging.