How to Keep Track of Credit Cards While Traveling

Lost or stolen credit cards can be more than just a hassle; they can put a major cramp in your travel, robbing you of valuable vacation time and leaving you at a disadvantage in terms of security and payment. Here are a few tips to avoid the trouble.

Pack Your Wallet Light

When you pack your suitcase, you don’t include everything and the kitchen sink, too. You take what you need. Similarly, you shouldn’t take more than what you need when packing your wallet for a trip. The contents of a lean wallet are easy to keep track of, and should they go missing, you’ll have minimized your losses.

Prepare Your Accounts For Travel

Before you travel, especially before traveling abroad, it’s important to contact your credit card issuer so they know you’ll be using your card in unusual locations.

It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with your card’s security features before you embark. Some cards allow you to freeze your account the moment you suspect it lost or stolen, which could spare you from having to clean up fraudulent charges later on.

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Have an Emergency Info Sheet

If your card were stolen, who would you call? What information would you give without the card present? If you can’t answer these questions—and most people can’t without looking—you need an emergency packet with contact information. This should include your emergency contacts back home, as well as the numbers for your bank and credit card issuers, your banking information, your credit card numbers and, if traveling abroad, a copy of your passport. If anything happens, your information will all be in one place.

Hide a Spare Card Somewhere

It’s a good idea to keep your emergency card some place thieves will have a hard time accessing. That could be in your sock, or between pages in a book back at the hotel. Wherever it is, keep it safe and have it on hand so that you can access emergency cash if you run into trouble with your other cards.

Don’t Use Just Any Old ATM at Any Old Time

The ATM you use is just as important as the time of day you use it. Especially when traveling abroad, you can’t assume that ATMs are going to have the same level of security that most ATMs have back home. Use ATMs from major banks in well-lit areas. Be aware of your surroundings. If anything looks funny about the ATM, keep walking and find another one.

It’s not that hard to keep your credit cards and finances safe when you travel abroad. But it does take a little bit of situational awareness and preparation. Follow these tips so that you can enjoy your trip knowing you’re prepared.

Legal Disclaimer: The articles and information provided herein are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice. 

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