Savvy Traveler Tip: Credit Card Usage
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but using a credit card for vacation purposes is actually a pretty good idea. I’ve learned that you should NEVER use a debit card on any trip you take, for if your card becomes compromised, your checking account can be drained in an instance. Besides, I’m all about vacation discounts and good deals and if I’m already using a credit card for a trip, why not get something in return? Many cards offer deals or a reward system so you can earn perks like a free flight or cash vouchers. But before you start applying for every single credit card out there in the universe, figure out which card best fits your travel needs and take a protection crash course.
Credit Card Rewards: Depending on how frequently you travel and if you are devoted to a specific product or brand name, will determine which card will best fit your needs. First, establish whether or not you are loyal to one specific airline or hotel chain over another. More often than not, if you find yourself using services of one company, consider getting a card directly through them. If you aren’t tied to any one brand, it’s futile to go this route. Instead, apply for a card that allows you flexibility in your purchasing options while still obtaining rewards points.
Protection: While scammers are increasing their ability to hack into personal information and scheme us out of our money, we should be ever-increasing our defenses to ensure financial security. Here are some things to remember:
Check Your Account: You should always keep an eye on your bank account, but it’s especially important to do so during and shortly following your vacation. Let your bank know when you travel so they don’t freeze your accounts. Set up text or email alerts to warn you of any suspicious activity. If anything looks out of the ordinary, you will be able to catch it right away.
Secure Websites: When using your credit card for online purchases, double check the website URL address before you enter and submit your information. While each internet browser is different, check to see if there is a green colored lock and the word “Secure” or other symbol located on the left of the URL of the site you clicked on. This is a good indication that you are on a protected website. Also, free WiFi is overrated when it comes to your credit card safety because your online connection is less secure. Just be aware of who and where you are giving your credit card information to.
Extra Protection: Use credit cards with a chip and, if you are really ambitious, get an RFID-blocking wallet to block any transfer of radio waves. Never share your pin number with others and cover your pin when entering it in public places. Be wary of callers asking you for your credit card information, even if it is a hotel or business. You should be calling them! Just be aware of who and where is receiving your credit card information.
Portions of the travel mentioned here may have been provided at a reduced rate or complimentary by travel suppliers. Photos are taken in person or provided by the supplier except where credited.