As a traveler, it's generally not advisable to carry excess cash around and is better to make use of a credit or debit card when possible.
However, there can be some issues that pop up with credit and debit cards too.
Here are some card safety tips that should be on your mind while traveling:
1. Keep Your Cards Safe:
Always keep at least one of your cards somewhere extra secure such as a pouch or money belt so that you have a back-up option even in the event that your pursue or wallet is lost or stolen.
2. Activate Smart Alerts:
Banks give you an option to activate SMS and email alerts that can help ensure that you always know what's happening with your accounts. In the event that someone steals your card or clones your details, you'll quickly be in the know of any unauthorized charges that are made and can immediately notify your bank. Talk to your bank if these notifications are not already enabled.
3. PIN Code:
It's not only important that you remember your PIN code, but also that you choose a code that isn't obvious or easily decoded. Never write your code on the back of your card or somewhere that it can be easily discovered - believe it or not this happens! If a theif not only gets your card, but also your code, this makes the situation very easy for them.
4. Use Your Card Sparingly:
Even if you're traveling with a credit or debit card (which you should be!), try to be selective with where you swipe it. Firstly, you may incur unwanted fees every time you swipe, and secondly, you run the risk of having your details cloned.
5. ATM Check:
Before making use of an ATM, make sure that it is well lit and located in a fairly busy area. If the area is deserted, it puts you at risk of being robbed or mugged. Also beware that ATM fraud occurs across the globe. Make sure that the ATM looks legitimate and if something seems fishy, it's better to search for an alternative and notify the authorities to investigate that particular ATM further.
6. Report a Lost or Stolen Card as Soon as Possible:
If you've lost your card, make sure to notify your bank immediately before someone misuses it. Theives typically try to take advantage of a card as quickly as possible since they know that it will likely be blocked or inactivated as soon as the individual realizes that it is missing.
7. Know Your Limits:
Daily withdrawal limits are common. In the event that someone steals your card, a daily withdrawal limit can help ensure that the individual is unable to rob you of a large amount. You can usually set your limit through your bank.
8. Dummy Wallet or Purse:
Some individuals prefer to carry a dummy wallet or purse so that if they are robbed, the theif will usually be duped and come up empty handed.
When traveling, it's generally smart to take out insurance. Do your research and make use of a company that is willing to cover your valuables.