Financial Tips for Traveling Abroad - Blog Popular Bank

07.17.2016 /

Financial Tips for Traveling Abroad


Although the globe may seem more intimate since the Internet has brought many of us closer, there are differences in banking processes, ways to access money, and ways to make purchases in some foreign countries that can complicate your travels. With planning, you can avoid many unwanted financial surprises when traveling abroad.

Popular Community Bank gets you.
We want to smooth your path for traveling abroad.

Try these helpful steps before and when traveling abroad:

  • Ensure you have more than one option for accessing cash and making purchases, including a debit and credit card
    • Always carry cash for trains, buses, and other transactions that require cash
    • Ensure the cards are up to date and that expiration and travel dates don’t overlap
      • Get new cards well in advance of your trip if needed
    • Check your bank’s daily cash withdrawal limit, daily purchase limit, and daily credit limit for each debit and credit card
    • Ensure your cards will work in the country you’re visiting
      • For example, most European banks use chip and personal identification number (PIN) technology, and fewer merchants now accept magnetic-strip cards
    • Make copies of all of your cards and keep them in a separate, secure place
    • Separate the cards while traveling to prevent them from being lost
      or stolen at the same time
    • Memorize and test your PINs for each card before traveling
    • Use automatic teller machines (ATMs) your bank recommends
      • Some banks list them on the back of debit/credit cards
  • Use safe ATMs
    • Avoid ATMs in a remote or desolate area as well as those surrounded by a small group of people
    • Complete your transaction before allowing anyone to enter an ATM booth;
      don’t enter a booth when someone else is using the ATM
    • Before using the ATM, ensure there are no loose, taped, or Velcroed® parts,
      which indicate tampering
    • Use an ATM that is well lit and equipped with a security camera
  • Alert your bank and debit/card card companies to your travel dates and locations
    • If you use your cards in nonroutine locations, your bank/credit card company is likely to suspect fraud and suspend the card
      • It can take a day or more to reactivate a card
  • Save contact information for your local bank somewhere other than your wallet/purse
    • Identify a bank employee who will know and be ready to help you if you call
  • Exchange your money for foreign currency at your bank at least a week or more before you depart
    • Get information on conversion rates before traveling to ensure you accurately calculate expenses
    • When converting money abroad, visit a bank or ATM in the country for which you’d like cash
      • Conversion centers in the airport and city can charge high conversion fees and sometimes not provide exact conversion rates
  • Get entrance/exit fees for each country
    • Many entrance/exit fees, which can range between $25 and $200, are excluded from the price of your airline ticket
  • Sign up for online access to accounts
    • Monitor activity on them with secure devices
  • Check out-of-country sales vouchers carefully and ensure the amount
    in the total box is accurate before you sign when paying with a credit card
  • Keep copies of all ATM transaction records and sales receipts
    • Check them against your online or written statement

General recommendations

  • Make copies of your passport
    • Keep a copy with you at all times and leave your passport in a hotel safe when sightseeing
    • In addition to paper copies, keep a copy of your passport in an electronic file that’s accessible on your phone
    • Leave a copy of your passport with someone you trust at home
  • Register with your embassy so that your government can more easily reach
    and guide you to safety if problems arise
  • Consider health issues
    • Confirm that your health insurer will cover overseas emergencies; consider supplemental health insurance for your travel dates if necessary

Popular Community Bank financial counselors can guide you
to financial products and services to help you prepare
for an awesome vacation abroad!

Visit our branch locator
to find a Popular Community Bank near you.

Our financial consultants are waiting to speak with you now.

The information mentioned in this article is for informational purposes only, is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Each person’s situation is unique and may materially differ from the information provided herein.  You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant and/or legal counsel to address your specific needs before any financial or other commitments regarding the issues related to your situation are made.  Banco Popular North America does not make any representations or warranties as to the content contained herein and disclaims any and all liability resulting from any use of or reliance on such content.

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