Traveling Out of the Area
Domestic & International Travelers
You’re going on an exciting vacation or a business trip to a new location, and are anxiously counting down the days. Before you embark, make sure you have carefully planned your trip to maximize your experience!
What you MUST do:
- Before you leave, you must Contact Us to make sure your VISA Debit Card, VISA Credit Card, or ATM Card stay active! Please notify us that you are leaving your general purchasing area by filling out our secure Out of Area Travel form. Please allow 48 business hours for us to process your notification request.
- Simply login to your Online Banking account, choose Secure Forms, and select the Out of Area Travel form.
- You may also call our Contact Center to notify us of your trip.
- When we receive your form, including your travel dates and location, we will place a memo on your account which will prevent your cards from possibly being blocked due to unusual activity.
- Please also confirm the best way to reach you while traveling, so that we may contact you if a problem or question arises.
- Make sure to take our number with you toll-free 1-800-285-3286, in case you need to report your VISA Debit Card, VISA Credit Card, or ATM Card lost or stolen.
- If you’re leaving for more than a month, login to Online Banking, then Bill Pay, to schedule payments for your bills in order to avoid late charges that could pile up in your absence.
Financial Traveling Tips:
- Prepare to handle money overseas! Check and understand the exchange rate before you travel. Exchange rates can change in the blink of an eye, so consider buying foreign currency ahead of time.
- International merchants may accept U.S. Dollars, but charge you exchange rates when you pay. Consider paying with the local currency to avoid these fees.
- Avoid carrying cash and consider using traveler’s checks or major credit cards instead. Please make sure traveler’s checks and/or major credit cards are accepted at your destination!
- Change traveler’s checks only as you need them.
- Be careful not to flash large amounts of money when paying a bill.
- Make sure to have back-up forms of payment, in case your primary one isn’t accepted or it is lost/stolen.
- If you are traveling internationally, check with your health insurance provider to make sure you are covered. Also, check with your auto insurance provider if you plan on renting a car overseas, to ensure it would be covered under your current policy.
- Make sure you understand the VISA International Service Assessment and the Schedule of Fees before traveling, so you know what fees you may incur when using your VISA Debit or VISA Credit Cards.
- In the United States, our credit and debit cards use magnetic strips to identify the cardholder, and are called mag-strip cards. Many other nations use what are known as EMV cards, which contain microchips in addition to magnetic strips, in order to identify the cardholder. Unfortunately, these cards require a different payment terminal. You cannot swipe an EMV card through a magnetic strip reader, and you can’t stick a mag-strip card into an EMV slot (though some payment devices are equipped for both). Some merchants will only accept mag-strip cards with a copy of a photo ID. Merchants, especially outside of tourist hubs, aren’t always able to accept mag-strip cards. Make sure you have cash or a traveler’s check with you. Or, purchase a prepaid EMV card to cover your purchases.
- International ATMs differ in PIN requirements. Some only allow four-digit PIN numbers, some do not have letters on the keypad, and some do not allow for PIN numbers that start with zero (0). In order to be fully-prepared so that you are not stranded in a foreign country without the ability to use an ATM, please make sure your PIN is only four numbers, doesn’t start with zero (0), and that you know your PIN by numbers, not letters.
- When you use a foreign ATM, you could be charged a variety of fees, including out-of-network ATM usage fees, ATM operator access fees, and international transaction fees for conversion to U.S. dollars. One way to limit such fees is to use your VISA Debit Card or ATM Card at an international ATM that is in our shared network. To find an international ATM in our shared network, click here.
Helpful tips to prevent identity theft and/or fraud while traveling:
- Receipts: Do not leave credit card receipts on the table at restaurants; sign them and hand them directly back to the server. Keep your copy of all receipts.
- Wallets: Stolen wallets frequently lead to identity theft, so instead of carrying your wallet in your pocket or having it easily accessible in your bag, use travel pouches that are worn inside your shirt.
- Checks: Leave checkbooks at home in a locked safe or drawer. Checking Account takeover is one of the hardest types of financial fraud to clear up.
- Camera Phones: That tourist with a camera phone may actually be taking a shot of your credit card or driver’s license. Keep important personal information out of view from others.
- Mail: Put your mail on postal hold whenever you travel, and arrange for mail to only be picked up by you at the post office when you return.
- Hotels: Lock up all valuables in room or hotel safes while you are out, including laptops, passports and other documents that contain your personal identifying information. Do not leave these items with a hotel doorman to transport or hold—carry them yourself.
- Airplanes: Do not put any items that contain your social security number, card numbers or financial institution account numbers in checked luggage. Always carry on those items with you.