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Travel 101: Do I need to tell my bank I’m going abroad?

Article by GVI

GVI

Posted: December 14, 2022

Picture this. You’re standing at the entrance of an airport, your luggage at your feet and a big smile on your face. You’re in chic, comfortable clothing, and you look confident to be embarking on your journey. You’re surrounded by other travellers, but you stand out with your cool demeanour.

It’s always exciting to travel abroad and explore new places. But before you can jet off, there’s the tedious task of completing documents and other formal preparation. Taking measures like contacting your bank to tell them you’ll be travelling is a necessary inconvenience. Here’s why it’s worth taking the time to do this admin before hitting the road.

Do I need to tell my bank I’m going abroad?

Yes, one of the most important things you need to do before going abroad is informing your bank. You want to make sure you’ll be able to access your funds and use your debit or credit card while you’re on vacation.

Telling your bank you are going abroad can help prevent your card from being declined or blocked while you’re travelling.

Always tell your bank when you’re going abroad

When your bank sees that you’re using your card in a different country, it may interpret this as unusual or suspicious activity. If you haven’t notified them that you’re travelling, they may assume that your card has been stolen and block it for your protection. This can be a major inconvenience, especially if you’re in a foreign country and don’t have access to your funds.

What to communicate with your bank before going abroad

Contact your bank

Before you leave, call your bank or visit their website to let them know that you’ll be travelling. They’ll usually ask for your destination, the dates of your trip, and the type of card you’ll be using. 

Be sure to provide them with the dates of your trip and the countries you’ll be visiting. It’s also a good idea to provide them with a phone number where you can be reached while you’re abroad, in case they need to contact you.

Consider getting a travel card

Some banks offer travel cards specifically designed for use abroad. These cards often have lower fees and better exchange rates than regular debit or credit cards. If you’re planning a long trip, it may be worth considering a travel card to save money on fees and exchange rates.

Keep your bank’s contact information handy

In case of an emergency, it’s important to have your bank’s contact information with you. Keep a record of their phone number and website, in case you need to contact them while you’re abroad.

Read: Experience the best of the world on a budget: How to plan 1-week travel

Do I need to tell my bank I’m going abroad? Guidelines for UK and US travellers

When it comes to travelling abroad, there are some banking rules that customers of US and UK banks should be aware of. 

For example, many banks will require customers to inform them of their travel plans in advance, as this helps the bank to flag potential fraudulent activity on the account. 

Additionally, banks may place limits on the amount of money that can be withdrawn or spent while the customer is abroad, in order to protect against unauthorised transactions. 

It is also a good idea for customers to carry multiple forms of payment while travelling, in case their primary card is lost or stolen. By following these rules, customers can ensure that their accounts remain secure and that they have access to the funds they need while travelling.

Let’s do a quick recap. Do I need to tell my bank I’m going abroad? Yes! It’s hugely important for customers to inform their bank of their travel plans in advance. This helps to protect against fraudulent activity and ensures that you have access to your funds while you are away. 

Be aware of any limits on the amount of money that can be withdrawn or spent while you are abroad. By taking the time to contact your bank before you travel, you can ensure that your accounts remain secure and that you have access to the funds you need while you are away. Happy travels!

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