Traveling Abroad with Your First Internet Bank Card…and Peace of Mind

in First Person: Our Blog, General, Personal Finance

An international trip requires careful preparation, and that includes planning your vacation spending. Your First Internet Bank Visa® card is a safe and convenient way to make purchases at millions of merchants worldwide. You can even use your card to get foreign currency at millions of ATMs in more than 200 countries.

Before you pack your bags and head to the airport, take a few minutes to review these helpful tips. Focus on shopping for the perfect souvenir, rather than worrying about converting your vacation cash to local currency or wondering if your card will be accepted.

Before you go

  • Contact First Internet Bank to notify us of your travel plans. Our systems are always on the lookout for unusual spending patterns. But knowing where and when you’ll be traveling helps us know what to expect.
  • Check your card’s expiration date to ensure it’s still valid. If your card has expired or will expire while you’re away, contact us at least 10 days in advance to request a replacement card.
  • Memorize your PIN for cash withdrawals.
  • Review your card limits on daily spending or withdrawals and request an increase if needed.

During your trip

  • Look for the Visa brand mark at merchant locations, or ask if Visa is accepted if you don’t see a logo.
  • Tell merchants you’d like to pay in local currency for a competitive exchange rate and to avoid extra fees. Some merchants may offer to convert your purchase into dollars at the point of sale. While that may seem convenient, you should know that the merchant is likely to charge you an additional fee, plus other international transaction fees may apply.
  • Check your receipt before signing to make sure you were charged the correct amount. You should also save ATM receipts and compare them with your monthly statement.
  • If your card is lost or stolen, or if you have problems using your card, contact us immediately.

Other helpful pointers

  • Keep your money in your front pocket to discourage pick-pocketing.
  • Avoid keeping your money and other valuables in a backpack or purse. These bags are an easier target for thieves who can grab something out of your bag before you even realize it.
  • Turn off data roaming on your phone and use Wi-Fi instead. Unless you have an international calling plan, data charges for roaming can be very expensive. Use Wi-Fi to surf the Web and send emails whenever possible. Warning: sending text messages isn’t free, unless you use a free Web-based text service message.
  • The U.S. State Department also offers a free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program that provides travel warnings, alerts and other important information for the countries you plan to visit.

More tips are available online at www.visa.com/travel. A little bit of planning goes a long way. The better you’re prepared, the more you’ll enjoy your trip. Happy traveling!

[And now the fine print: First Internet Bank does not provide, and is not responsible for the products, services or overall website content available from third-party sites. Additionally, our privacy policy does not apply to linked websites.]