Traveling is a treat for many people. Exploring fascinating locations, experiencing different cultures, and enjoying local cuisines takes us away from everyday life. We look forward to it for months and do not want anything to detract from our expectations. The theft or loss of a credit card, however, could definitely spoil the fun, so here are several tips that can help you keep your credit cards safe while traveling to ensure your vacation is all you want it to be.
9 Ways to Keep Your Credit Cards Safe While Traveling
- Anti-theft and RFID wallets are excellent ways to stop high-tech thieves from stealing your credit card information while it is still on your person. Many thieves use a small electronic device known as a skimmer to “lift” the card information without needing the physical card. Travel companies have found a solution by providing specialized wallets and bags that block the signals for those skimmers, keeping your card information private.
- Keep a list of your credit card numbers on a printed sheet of paper. This helps when asked by an airline for proof of purchase or if cards are lost while on your trip. Keep this paper locked in a safe at your hotel, not carried around in your purse or wallet as you sight-see. Also, record each card’s hotline contact details on this list.
- Utilize the in-room safe for cash or credit cards not needed during your daily outings.
- Carry your credit cards separate from your cash. Keep your cards in a pouch worn in your clothing or strapped on your person, not in a wallet or purse that can be snatched on the run. Use inside pockets or front-facing pockets for your cards, never a back pocket that can be easily pickpocketed.
- Keep your card in view when paying. When signing your receipt, be sure to mark through any empty spaces such as adding a tip if you do not wish to add it yourself. Do not leave a blank empty space.
- Notify your card company of the dates when you will be traveling. This will prevent them from flagging charges at an unusual location thus suspending your card for use. It will also notify them if charges are being presented from a location you have not authorized while you are traveling.
- Prepay as much as possible from the comfort and safety of your home before travel. Transportation, hotels, pre-planned excursions, and car rental payments made ahead of time will decrease the number of times you actually need to use your credit cards while on vacation.
- Have a separate credit card or a prepaid debit cardloaded with a set amount of funds to use as a backup in case of the theft or loss of your main credit card. Make sure your backup card is not tied to your bank account.
- As soon as you realize your credit cards have been compromised, lost, or stolen, call the issuer immediately. (This is where that paper you put in the room safe will be a lifesaver.) The card company can walk you through what to do next.
See our Credit Union Website for Additional Tips
For more information about how to prevent identity theft or what to do if your credit or debit card has been stolen, see our Georgia Heritage FCU website.
By taking a few basic precautions, you can keep your credit cards safe while traveling– ensuring that you can enjoy your trip the way it was meant to be enjoyed: free of stress and full of fun.