Keeping Your Cards Safe when Travelling Abroad

Travel Tips – How to Keep You and Your Cards Safe When Travelling Abroad

  • When using your card at shops and ATMs abroad, make sure you cover the PIN pad with your free hand when keying in your PIN
  • Take particular care when using your card and PIN in a pub or night club, especially after consuming alcohol
  • Never tell your PIN to anyone
  • Don't leave your card behind the bar as you might be inclined to do in your local hostelry at home!

Trying to pay for things without the use of your cards at home can be very inconvenient but just think how much more difficult shopping or dining out would be without your cards when you are in a foreign country. If you are in unfamiliar territory, with only a basic grasp of the local language, this situation could become a nightmare and may even cause you to cut your holiday short.

SafeCard's top tips for a safe and pleasant holiday:

  • Take a note of your bank’s Emergency Helpline Numbers:  When you are planning your holiday, make sure you have emergency 24-hour telephone numbers for your cards so that you can report any theft or loss immediately. You will find these on your bank statements, on the SafeCard website and in the telephone directory. You may find it convenient to store these numbers in your mobile phone.
  • Have your card ready when making a payment. Avoid having to go through your wallet or purse for money or cards, especially at the ATM. This might allow a thief an opportunity to see what’s on offer!
  • Mind your handbag. It sounds obvious but when on holidays we tend to leave our guard down and thieves will take advantage of this. When in crowds especially, keep your bag strapped across your body firmly. Turn the clasp towards you, making it even harder for the thief to get at it. A concealed money belt is an ideal way to carry cards and valuables.
  • Take your card to the till rather than handing it over, especially in a restaurant. Where possible, insist that restaurant staff members do not take you card out of your sight when paying for meals, or similar. They could be skimming your card details. Check your statement carefully when you return home or via the Internet if you have access to 24-hour banking while on holidays.
  • Conceal valuables:  Warm weather means less clothing which can also mean that personal items such as wallets are more visible than usual. Take extra care to ensure that valuables are concealed.
  • Only bring the credit cards and debit cards away with you that you intend using while on holiday. For example remove corporate credit cards when on personal travel, etc.
  • Leave your cards behind when on a night out. If you are planning a late night out, it might be an idea to leave your cards at your accommodation, in a safe place.
  • Keep cards safe by the pool:  When at the beach or by the pool, ensure that your cards are in a safe place where a thief cannot swipe them while you sunbathe.
  • Report Lost and Stolen cards Immediately:  If your card is lost at home or abroad, contact your card issuer immediately. You may find it convenient to store the number for your issuer in your mobile phone or on a note kept in your luggage (not in your purse). It is important to report the loss straight away and not to wait until you come home from your holiday. Waiting can mean greater fraud losses and more money into the hands of serious criminal.
  • Visit SafeCard regularly:  Keep up to date with fraud activities abroad by checking out before you travel.