If you’re traveling out of the country (or even out of state) this summer, don’t forget to notify your credit card company. As the Connecticut Better Business Bureau notes, “many issuers will lock down a credit card if they detect an unusual customer spending pattern, and that includes larger-than-usual charges made out of the state.”
Some tips from the BBB:
>> Carry a debit card, too – If you are unable to use your credit card because of a fraud alert, you still will be able to use your ATM card to withdraw money for purchases and emergencies. Keep some cash on hand as well, for restaurants and stores which may not accept credit card transactions.
>> Check your credit limit – Avoid going over your limit and resulting interest fees by making sure that you have available credit. Also check to make sure your card does not expire while you are out of town.
>> Verify the customer service number – If you leave the country, the customer service telephone number on the back of your card will likely not work. Find out the contact number for the country you visit.
>> Make a note of your card number – If your card is lost or stolen, you will want to have the number and expiration date on hand to close the account. Keep the information in a safe place or leave it with a trusted friend or relative.
>> Watch out for billing irregularities – Keep all receipts and reconcile them with your credit card statement, to identify any double charges or mistakes with restaurant charges, such as being charged for someone else’s meal.