5 Credit Card Safety Tips for Travel during the Holidays

credit card scamsTraveling during the holidays should be fun. It shouldn’t be filled with worry and stress. Using a credit card instead of cash or a debit card can make travel during the holidays less stressful and less risky. Use these five tips to keep from becoming a victim of credit card fraud.

Pick One Card

Pick one credit card to take with you. Make sure you have a copy of it, but store this copy in a safe place. Carrying multiple cards can lead to the loss of one or more of them.  When you pack for traveling remember to remove all other cards and store them in a secure location.  If your wallet or purse get stolen while you are traveling it is much easier to deal with one stolen card instead of six.

Separate Your Credit Card from Purse or Wallet

Don’t keep your credit card in your purse or wallet. Purses and wallets, particularly  back pocket wallets, are targets for pick pockets. Stash your credit cards and cash in a safe place like the inside of a front jacket pocket or a front pocket of your pants.

Notify the Credit Card Company

Call your credit card company to let them know you are traveling and where you are traveling to. Many credit card agencies have protocols in place that will alert the credit card owner that there is suspicious activity happening with the card. If this happens it is possible that the credit card company will lock the cards usage.  Notifying the company can prepare them for your travel and safe guard you from strange activity happening on your card.

Keep Safe on the Street

Always use ATMs that are in safe, well lit locations. Keep aware of your surroundings and be alert for pick pockets.  The U.S. Department of State recommends that travelers be wary of pick pocket accomplices that may jostle you, ask for directions, and distract you by creating a disturbance. The U.S. Department of State also recommends that travelers “be wary of groups of vagrant children who could create a distraction to pick your pocket.”

Check Your Statements

When you get back home from your holiday vacation make sure to check your credit card statements. Always keep your receipts while on vacation so that you can compare the charges to your statement. If you find any unauthorized charges call your credit card company right away to deal with the issue.