At every turn, there are bright lights and festive decorations in shades of red, green and white. These sights and smells can only mean one thing – the holidays are here!
For many people, enjoying the holidays includes lots of shopping and traveling near or far to visit with relatives and friends. As you make travel plans this season, here are a few precautions you should consider when using your credit card on the road.
- Avoid keeping all your cards in the same place when traveling. Mix it up! Leave some in your wallet and leave others in your luggage or another secure location.
- Stay alert while traveling. Would-be thieves are often lurking, hoping people will make a mistake so they can strike.
- Use a credit card rather than a debit card on the road. Credit cards offer more protections, restrict a burglar’s access to your hard-earned cash and makes it is easier to dispute purchases when necessary.
- Consider using a travel card while on the road to avoid potential mishaps with your personal line of credit or bank account. A travel card works just like a debit card, and you can buy and load it at a local bank.
- Take more than one card with you while traveling. Even if you typically use just one card, having at least two options while traveling can be beneficial in case one is cut off, privileges are suspended or one of the cards is lost or stolen.
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi or public computers to check your balance or transfer funds. Instead, rely on your secured smartphone wherever you go.
- Protect your smartphone and other mobile devices. If you can, use fingerprint access on each device and set up auto-lock. Be sure your apps require fingerprint or password access as well, especially apps for credit cards and banking institutions.
- Check your balances more often. Thieves work overtime during the holidays, so it is important to be vigilant about checking your credit card and debit card balances to catch any suspicious activity quickly.
- Tell your card issuers you will be traveling. If you venture outside your normal shopping area or routine, letting your credit or debit card issuers know this in advance can prevent your purchases from being declined or suspended due to suspected criminal activity.
- Shred your bills and receipts after you go shopping. If possible, opt out of accepting a printed receipt because you can often view purchases online or in an app within minutes. Documents with your personal information make it easier for criminals to commit identity fraud.
Don’t let thieves steal your joy this holiday season! Protect yourself and your assets.