As you travel, you’ll probably rely on your debit card to access your money. We want your vacation to go as smoothly as possible, so we put together a list of five must-have tips for using your debit card away from home.
1. Find a Network ATM
Connexus members have access to more than 54,000 surcharge-free1 ATMs across the country. We’re partnered with the CO-OPSM and MoneyPass® networks, so if you find an ATM with either of those stickers on it, you won’t be assessed a surcharge. You can find the one nearest you on our ATM Locators page.
2. Keep Us Informed
If you’re traveling outside of the U.S., you should call and let us know. We’ll need the dates and a list of countries you will be in, even if it’s just a layover. This helps us rule out suspicion of fraud. If you’re traveling within the U.S., there’s no need to inform us of the states you will be visiting.
3. Track Your Available Balances
This might seem like an obvious tip, but it’s one that can easily go overlooked. If you’re going to use your debit card, make sure you have enough money in your account. You can track your balances with Digital Banking, on the Connexus app, or by calling 800.845.5025. Using our Balance Peek feature lets you check your balance on your phone or smartwatch without even logging in to your account.
4. Have a Plan if Your Card is Declined or Compromised
Hopefully this is a situation you’ll never be in, but if you are, you’ll want to be prepared. Before you leave for vacation, you should first ensure that we have your phone number on file. If a transaction is declined, you’ll receive an automated call that attempts to verify the validity of the transaction and that you are in possession of your card. The faster you can be reached, the sooner the issue can be resolved.
If you ever believe your card is lost or stolen, call 800.845.5025 during normal business hours, or 800.472.3272 after normal hours. We recommend always having a secondary form of payment (cash, check, credit card) with you at all times.
5. Be Aware of Blocked Merchants
If your transaction does get declined, it doesn’t always mean your card has been compromised. It could be due to the location or merchant where you are trying to use your card. Some cities and merchants across the country have been identified as high-fraud risks — our card issuer automatically blocks these transactions for your protection.
For more financial traveling advice, check out 6 Surefire Ways to Save on Vacation Costs.
If you’re planning to book a trip soon, consider paying for it with a Personal Loan instead of a high-interest credit card. It could save you money.