Travel alerts – who should I call and why

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You’ve booked the flights and hotel, packed everything you need from bathing suits to running shoes, and set up someone to house sit and take care of the pets – you’ve covered all your bases for the start of an amazing vacation, right?! Almost! Setting up your finances prior to shuttling off to the airport requires some work. A short cash supply and a frozen credit/debit card during your trip can put a damper on your vacation really quick so make sure you take care of these before departing!

Tell Your Credit Card Company
You will want to notify your credit card company of any travel plans: when you are leaving, where you are going, and when you plan on arriving home. A brief phone call to customer service or updating your online account to add a travel note beats having a freeze placed on your card while trying to pay for souvenirs or a nice dinner out.

Notify Your Bank
If you plan on using your debit or ATM card on your vacation you will definitely need to notify your bank of your travel plans. At Litchfield Bancorp, if you plan on traveling outside of New England, you’ll need to update us on your travel dates and locations. We will notify Fraud Prevention Services that there could be charges to your card from your vacation location. This will ensure that your debit card transactions will not trigger a card alert and will prevent them from blocking the card. You can notify us 24/7 through iBanking or Mobile Banking.

Another benefit to notifying your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans. If your financial institution knows you are traveling out of the state or country, yet your card shows activity in another area or even in your home state, it may trigger an alert to flag your card for fraudulent activity.

Cash Is (still) King
Always make sure to carry at least some cash while traveling. In case your cards are lost, stolen, or compromised, you’ll want enough money to be able to get you by in your day-to-day outings should you need it. Also, splitting your cash across multiple days gives you better control of your spending, and if worse comes to worst and you end up losing your money, it’s marginally better than losing your information and having your entire bank account’s fund being drained.

The Bottom Line
Vacations are a time to focus on family, sightseeing or simply taking a break from the 9-to-5 grind. The last thing you want to worry about is dealing with money stress. While these three steps aren’t as fun as planning your vacation itinerary, spending a few minutes out of your schedule tying up these loose ends will certainly make the actual trip itself more enjoyable.

Laura Berendsohn
Washington Branch Manager, Assistant Vice President

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