A financial travel checklist

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You’ve placed your liquids, gels and aerosols into a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. You’ve packed your swimsuit and are ready to go on that long awaited vacation. Good news, we have you and your debit card covered, so there's no need to notify us before you go on a trip! Our enhanced security tools monitor your debit transactions automatically and we'll contact you if we suspect any fraudulent activity. Follow these easy travel preparation tips to ensure your ATM/debit card has maximum spending potential on vacation:

Set up online access to your bank accounts

If you haven’t already, sign up for online banking so you can check your balance, make payments and transfer funds; as well as to review your account activity to ensure your transactions have posted correctly.  If you’re a Webster Bank customer, you can sign up for online banking and for mobile banking.  As convenient as they may be, use caution when accessing your bank accounts from a public computer while traveling; you never know if a virus or malware has been installed on a public machine.

Always take more than one form of payment with you

In addition to your ATM/debit card, bring along cash, checks and one or two credit cards in case your ATM/debit card is stolen, damaged, or doesn’t work.

Memorize your debit card personal identification number (PIN)

Memorizing your PIN will help you easily obtain cash from ATMs while traveling.  Also, use a local ATM or make a PIN based purchase to verify your PIN is correct before leaving on your trip. CAUTION: For security reasons, never write your PIN on your debit card.

Compile a list of telephone contact numbers

Find the numbers for your bank’s customer service and fraud departments and carry them with you in case you lose your ATM/debit card. 

Here they are for our customers:

Webster Bank: 800-325-2424
Visa Fraud Protection: 866-416-5690

Verify your card expiration dates and spending limits

If your ATM/debit card is expired, merchants may not accept it. Also, each of our customer’s ATM/debit cards has a daily spending limit as a fraud prevention measure. If you go over this limit, your purchases will be declined. Several declined transactions could cause your ATM/debit card to be blocked. Daily limits can be temporarily raised for vacations, special purposes, etc, so call us to temporarily raise your spending limit.

Make sure to respond if our fraud department calls you

Please respond to any messages received from our fraud detection services by calling 866-416-5690 as soon as possible to minimize any restrictions to your card access. We monitor your ATM/debit card activity in effort to detect and prevent fraudulent transactions from hitting your checking account, and transactions taking place outside your normal geographic area could prompt us to call you or even block your card until we can verify those transactions.

Perform cash withdrawals at a financial institution ATM if possible

Avoid using any free standing ATMs (an example is an ATM on a street corner near shops). Free standing ATMs do not have cameras and as much security as ATMs that are located on the property of a financial institution.

Examine your accounts for fraudulent charges

Carefully examine your bank statements and continue to do so for several months after traveling. If you notice any unusual or unauthorized charges, please inform your bank immediately.

Vacation is one of the pleasures in life, but having your card declined can put a wrench in your plans. Make sure to follow these tips before going on your next trip. Bon voyage!

General Disclosures

The opinions and views in this blog post are those of the authors, and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Please consult professional advisors with regard to your individual situation.