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Money Tips For Overseas Travel

Summer is here, and with that comes vacations. If you plan to travel outside of the U.S. here are some tips for handling funds abroad.

Before you leave:

  • If you plan to use your VISA debit or credit card, check the expiration date before you leave. If your card will expire while you're away, call the credit union and ask for a replacement card early so you'll receive it before you leave. Your new credit card may require activation by calling an 800 number. For Insight debit cards, activation by phone can only occur during our Member Support operating hours. For ATM activation of Insight debit cards, it must be done at a non-Insight ATM. These steps must be taken while you're still in the U.S. 
  • If you're relying on an ATM card for cash withdrawals while traveling, it must be connected to your checking account. Foreign ATMs cannot access your savings account.
  • Create a list of the contents of your wallet: debit, ATM and credit card numbers, and anything else you might need to replace if your wallet is lost or stolen. Include the overseas lost or stolen numbers. Toll-free 800 numbers are not accessible from overseas. 

While you're Traveling:

  • Have a variety of payment methods available, such as credit cards, debit card, local currency and traveler's checks, so that something unforeseen, such as an ATM attendant strike or a network interruption, doesn't leave you in a pinch.
  • Contact your financial institution to see if your credit or debit card needs to be activated for foreign use.

Inform the credit union and any other financial institutions to note on your account that you anticipate transactions from outside the country. If they have a fraud monitoring system, atypical transactions could trigger a fraud alert. If that happens and a financial institution is unable to contact you, you could find yourself in a foreign country with your VISA credit or debit card frozen. However, it is unwise to give anyone your specific dates of travel in order to protect against home break-ins.

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