Smart banking while on the road doesn’t just mean looking over your shoulder at the ATM. There are a number of other concerns and problems that may occur when you aren’t within the safe borders of your home country.
Inform your Bank before leaving.
Card fraud is more common than ever these days and, as a result, banks are getting more and more paranoid. If suddenly, out of the blue, your debit card is used to draw £500 from an ATM in Vladivostok, alarm bells are going to ring. More often than not, if your bank doesn’t know why this is happening, they’ll instantly block your card.
Always let your bank know where you are going, and for how long.
Make a note of your details
Use an online program like Google Drive, or a secure password app on your phone, to keep a note of your sort code, account number AND the three-digit security code on the back of your card. This way if you lose your card, at least you can still book accommodation online (or if worse comes to worst, a flight home!)
Personally, I memorise these details, but a secure online backup isn’t a bad idea.
Ask for a backup Debit Card
Losing a debit card while travelling can mean the difference between eating or not. If you’ve done point two above, you should still be able to book accommodation, but there are few places where food can be bought with anything other than cash.
Most banks will give you a second debit card that you can keep securely at your hostel. This means that if you lose your card while abroad, you won’t need to wait for a new card to arrive at Barbados Hostel in Vladivostok (a real place), especially after it inevitably ends up at Vladivostok Hostel in Barbados (hopefully not a real place.)
Enquire with your bank about getting a second card.
Get a Card with No Fees
New online UK bank Starling is offering new accounts with NO FEES on any transactions or withdrawals while abroad, in any country. Another good travel card option includes Travelex Cash Passport, a card that can be pre-loaded with foreign currency. Monzo seemed promising when they came out last year, but now have a huge waiting list and don’t appear to offer anything better than the Starling Card.
A no-fees travel card can save you tons of cash!
Register with Online Banking
With no access to a bank branch, often online banking can be your only connection to your bank while overseas. Sometimes setting up online banking requires a text notification, so if your local phone number is not working while abroad, you may have trouble setting it up.
Ensure this is all done and working before you leave.
For more excellent travel tips check out: Travel Tips