Whatever you’re looking for from your vacation this holiday season, whether it’s sunshine, relaxation, adventure or exploration, having an experience that is hassle free, secure and enjoyable will be high on anyone’s priority list.
Simple Safe Spending Habits to Adopt
Here are a few steps you can take to protect against fraud and theft:
Before you go…
- Make a record of your passport and credit card information, including the contact number to reach your credit card issuing bank in case of emergency. Keep this record in a safe and secure place away from your passport and credit cards (i.e., not in your wallet or purse). Also, leave a copy of this information and your itinerary at home with a family member or close friend.
- Staying In Control. A big benefit for travelers is MasterCard’s In Control platform, the perfect planning tool for travel spend. Providing real-time alerts via SMS or e-email, In Control helps you set spending limits and “turn on” or “turn off” your credit, debit and small business cards at individual retailers or in specific countries. Once set-up, you can then access In Control either through your bank’s mobile app and website or at a standalone site or app.
- There’s nothing fun about lost luggage or missed flights, and nothing beats fast and generous compensation to help you through a tight spot. In the U.S., check to see if your card offers protection that reimburses you for replacing essential items in your baggage Travelers can also send and receive money from friends and family in a pinch using MasterCard Send.
- Clean out your wallet by taking out everything but the essentials. The more items and pieces of information a thief gets, the more damage they can do.
While you’re there…
- • Make sure to use an EMV-enabled card with embedded computer chip in it when you travel. The cards are widely used in Europe, Asia, and Latin America and are being adopted in the U.S. Given their enhanced technology, chip cards protect your account information from fraud and are more secure than cash or a regular card. Tip: make sure you set up a PIN before traveling in Europe and Asia, as many retailers require a PIN.
- Use a credit card for purchases because it’s the safest and most reliable way to spend while you travel. MasterCard is accepted around the world and you’re protected by MasterCard Zero Liability from unauthorized transactions in case of a lost or stolen card. Keep your card with you at all times and never leave it in your hotel room.
- In the U.S., sign up for MasterCard ID Theft Alerts, a free service that helps detect and resolve identity theft.
- Keep receipts for your credit card purchases in a safe place, throughout your travels. When you get home cross-check your saved receipts against your e-statement. Notify your card issuer immediately if you see any unusual or unexpected items.
So what’s ahead?
Raise your hand if you’ve ever gone on vacation and had your card declined. Chances are, you have, and in fact it’s a common pain point these days as banks work to control fraud.
The good news is that later this year MasterCard is introducing a service to make your travel easier, and purchasing away from home worry-free.
By simply turning on your mobile device while traveling, your bank will be able to verify it’s really you making a purchase. The location of your mobile device will alert your bank to expect transactions from your travel location so you can relax and no longer worry about your card being declined just because you took that long-overdue vacation.