Action Line: Trip tips to keep your money safe and available
BY PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
5/15/12 at 6:41 AM
Dear Action Line: The last vacation we went on was a comedy of errors: budgeting for hotel and transportation but not for food, attractions or side trips. What are some good tips on international travel planning? - M.S., Tulsa.
First Fidelity Bank - with offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Phoenix and Scottsdale, Ariz. - offers summer travel financial planning tips based on the experiences some of its customers have had overseas. Joey Snyder, executive vice president for First Fidelity Bank in Tulsa, said, "The biggest problem they tried to avoid was unnecessary fees when trying to access their money away from home."
Set a budget: Many travelers research and plan for hotel and travel costs but forget to budget money for things such as dining, entertainment, souvenirs, tips and even extra cash for necessities stemming from luggage loss or forgotten personal care items.
Notify your bank: If traveling overseas or even across the U.S., notify your bank of where you'll be traveling and the dates you'll be traveling before you leave. Most credit card issuers deny international charges on cards normally used locally. With non-bank credit cards, notify the credit card company of your trip to avoid credit interruptions.
Currency exchange: Determine the currency conversion rates of the countries you intend to visit. Find current currency rates online at XE Universal Currency Converter, at tulsaworld.com/XEUCC, or by asking your local bank. The site has conversion rates for the Euro, the U.S. dollar, British pound, etc., as well as all world currencies, from the Afghan "Afghani" to the Zambian "kwacha."
Know then go: Foreign retailers might not accept magnetic stripe credit cards, so it's best to bring a PIN-enabled debit card that works at merchants who don't yet have contactless payment terminals.
Restrictions & fees: Ask your bank if your debit or credit card is subject to daily spending or withdrawal restrictions while abroad. Research ATM locations of the regions you'll visit to ensure access to cash when needed. First Fidelity Bank customers may have their ATM fees reimbursed worldwide.
Examine ATMs: Before accessing an ATM abroad, inspect it carefully for signs of tampering: crooked components, missing screws, extra plastic around the card slot, film over the PIN pad, etc. Cover the PIN pad when entering your access code, shielding your fingertips from prying eyes. Use well-lit ATMs in high-traffic areas to minimize risk.
Secured Internet: Use only secured Internet connections for online banking. Travelers often use public computers or free Wi-Fi sites when abroad, but to access financial information, ensure the connection is password-protected.
The unexpected: Expect the unexpected. Keep a card bearing your credit card numbers and phone numbers in a plastic bag in a securable pocket so if you lose your cards you can report them stolen or phone home for help.
Original Print Headline: Travel tips to keep your money safe, available
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