When you’re packing and finalizing your itinerary for a trip, credit card security may not be top of mind. But if you take a few moments to set up security features before you go, you’ll be more secure while you’re away.
1. Set up security Alerts—Security Alerts can keep you notified of suspicious behavior on your account, so you can take immediate action. This is the single most important thing you can do to stay informed and take action if needed. You may be able to set up security alerts through your bank’s app, online banking or by contacting customer service. At Commerce Bank, for example, you can get a text notification if we suspect a fraudulent transaction, so you can respond right away. Commerce Alerts can also be used for a variety of situations. For example, you can receive a text if there are purchases over a certain limit or attempts to change your account details.
2. Inform your card issuer—Notify your bank and credit card carrier of the dates you’ll be traveling. That way, if you normally eat out in Kansas City, but you’re vacationing in Italy and suddenly buy pizza in Rome, your card carrier will be less likely to decline the charge.
3. Pack more than one credit card—If one is lost or stolen, you still have a backup. Consider a credit card for purchases like hotels, cars and meals, and a debit card for accessing cash from ATMs. Another tip: Bring a prepaid reloadable debit card like the mySpending Card® and keep it in your hotel room safe.
4. Keep PINs in a separate location—Do not write the personal identification numbers (PINs) for your debit cards directly on the cards or on a piece of paper that you carry with you. Memorize your PINs and don’t choose simple options like “1234”.
5. Write down customer service phone numbers—Typically found on the back of your credit or debit card, a customer service number is helpful for getting in touch with your card carrier when there’s a problem. But if the card’s stolen, the number will be gone with it. Before you travel, write the number down and keep it in a separate place, like taped to the inside of your suitcase. Even better: take a picture of the back of your cards with your phone.
6. Download your bank’s mobile app—A mobile app allows you to quickly and easily monitor accounts and act if needed. At Commerce, for example, you can use our app to “turn off” your card if it’s been compromised.
These top tips are courtesy of the AOPA World Mastercard, the best card for pilots. Become a card holder and you could earn up to 4% cash back in all your favorite aviation categories!