Banking Tips for Holiday Travels

December 12, 2018
The feeling in the air is palpable. You’ve prepared diligently—you’ve checked, re-checked, and triple checked your weather app and optimized storage in your iPhone to free up some space. It’s all you can think about as your day slowly trudges by. And alas, you chuckle to yourself as you realize you still aren’t tired of humming the same songs in your head as you leave for the day.

It’s time: You’re going on a holiday trip!  

And even though you’ve planned accordingly, it doesn’t really matter where you end up—whether it’s home for the holidays or making home wherever you hang your hat, anywhere is better than here. But before you gallivant to places both known and unknown, give your bank a proper heads up.

Why? Because the only thing worse than being locked up abroad is being locked out of your bank account.

In the era of fake news, fraudulent account activity is anything but. You are your bank’s biggest and most important investment—and protecting your money like it’s their money is their job. They’ve carefully put together algorithms to predict your spending habits and trigger a response the second something unusual occurs (e.g. spending in a new location). Imagine that. Technology so powerful, nay predictive, that it’s able to discern whether you’re actually in charge of your money at any given transaction.

A Pin by Any Other Name

PIN numbers in foreign countries are hit or miss, with some only allowing four-digit entries that don’t start with 0. If you don’t speak as the locals do, memorize your PIN by the numbers since some ATMs don’t necessarily have letters on the keypads. This goes for credit cards, too!

Keep It Local

Even if it’s domestic, traveling requires research. Look into ATM locations that are in close proximity to your destination, national chain or not. You can check if your bank has teamed up with a partner bank, which will prove to be an effective way of dodging unwanted fees. (Point Breeze members can find over 5,600 Shared Branching locations and 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs* in our mobile app or by clicking here.)

Go The Extra Mile

You’re about to go on vacation, remember? So as not to waste your time, here are some quick closing tips:
  • Bring a spare, valid, and permanent card as a backup.
  • Write down the contact information for your bank’s customer service. (Point Breeze Credit Union members can contact our Member Service Center by calling 888.233.7228 during normal business hours.)
  • Sign up for mobile banking for quick and easy monitoring of your accounts. (It's free for Point Breeze members.)
  • Avoid using free public Wi-Fi when checking statements, as it can be a hotbed for cybercrime.
  • Invest in a money belt.
We wish you safe travels and a very happy holiday season, however you spend it. 

*Some ATM owners may impose a surcharge. Access to surcharge-free CO-OP® Network ATMs available with the Point Breeze Visa® Check Card only. Surcharge-free means the owners of the physical ATM will not charge a fee, but other fees may apply. Transactions are always free at Point Breeze ATMs when using a Point Breeze ATM or Check Card.