ATM & Office Locations

List all SEFCU Locations

Jenny B.

Jenny's Blog

Learn about important financial topics from SEFCU's Manager of Member Education.

Preparing to Travel Abroad

Posted by Jenny at 6/6/2014 10:21:21 AM

When people travel abroad so much time goes into planning the itinerary, securing hotel accommodations, and transportation that most people overlook how they plan on paying for items while overseas. Oftentimes, we hear horror stories of lost wallets, stolen purses, missing debits cards and identity theft so it’s always a good idea to create a safe spending plan to protect you and your family.

There are so many options when traveling and there really isn’t a one size fits all approach. Before you leave, do some research on where you’re going and how you will be using money when you get there. Don’t rely strictly on cash, traveler’s checks or credit cards. In fact, it really is better to have multiple options so weigh the pros and cons of each depending on the destination.

Cash is the least secure option so only carry enough to use in an emergency, and if possible, plan to bring it in the local currency to avoid exchange issues. Once you’ve arrived, you can always locate an ATM and use your debit card to replenish your supply. Debit cards are a good option but you need to be sure your financial institution knows you’re travelling to avoid temporary card closure, so don’t forget to contact them before you leave. During that conversation it would also be helpful to ask if the card is connected to a worldwide network like PLUS or Cirrus or you may not be able to use it. Traveler’s checks are another secure option that may or may not work everywhere you go so be sure to contact a travel agent or the hotel beforehand.

If you choose to bring a credit card you will find they are more secure than debit cards and that most major credit cards are accepted worldwide. Contact the credit card company to let them know of your travel plans and to find out whether they are accepted where you land.

Though credit cards are the most secure option and most widely accepted you should not just rely on one card. Consider bringing a back up credit card, a small supply of cash, your debit card and leave them in a safe or alternate location. It is also a good idea to photocopy the contents of your wallet, cards, etc. and leave that in a secure location at home or in your hotel room in the event you lose your wallet or it is stolen.

Contact the Member Solutions Center at 518-452-8183 or 800-727-3328 for more information about your SEFCU debit card or to inform SEFCU of your travel plans.