Overseas Travel: Alert Bank, Credit Card Companies
Quite a number of years ago, Carol and I were standing just outside the Pantheon in Rome and had run out of the cash supply that we brought with us to Italy. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, so we headed to a nearby bank ATM to get some cash.
Horror of horrors, my bank declined the transaction, and there we were with no cash! Why did this happen? My bank wasn’t accustomed to seeing cash withdrawal requests from my card outside the U.S. So, the transaction was declined. And, as this was back before worldwide cell phone use was prevalent, we had no easy way to call our bank from the street. So, we had to borrow money from friends, take a taxi back to our hotel, and make an expensive international call from our hotel room.
Moral to the story? Call your financial institutions before you travel overseas!
Travel Tip: Alert Bank and Credit Card Companies Before Overseas Travel
- Call your credit card company – every credit card company has a different procedure when they notice overseas charges on your credit card. If you are heading overseas for the first time, it’s imperative that you call your credit card provider and let them know that you will be making charges from overseas. If you’re a frequent overseas traveler, let them know that, and you won’t have to call each time. Imagine have a romantic dinner in Paris and your credit card it denied! :O Oh, while you’re talking to your credit card company, ask them if they are going to charge you currency transaction fees. If you plan to spend a fair amount of money overseas, you may want to make certain to use a card that doesn’t charge these fees. They can really add up!
- Call your bank – ATM machines are very prevalent around the world these days. Therefore, carrying large amounts of cash for your trip is no longer necessary. Nor, do you really needs those travelers checks of days gone by. However, just like your credit card, your bank might deny a cash withdrawal from you overseas if they’re not accustomed to seeing such requests from your debit card. So, give ’em a call before you leave. Also, be very leery of an ATM machine that is not attached to a bank. Scam artists have peppered the big cities of the world with ATMs that can scan and keep your personal information. And then, the next thing you know, your bank account will be cleared out. :O
If you don’t care to sit on hold with your financial institution, many of them will allow such notifications over the Internet. What ever the case, be certain to let them know that you’re going to have overseas charges and withdrawals. You have now been officially warned! 🙂
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