Tips to protect your bank account during vacation

By Spectrum News ,
Last Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017

It only takes the wrong moment for your personal information to slip into the wrong hands - especially when you're on vacation.

  • Tips to protect your bank account during vacation 
  • Use cash or credit instead of debit
  • Give bank a heads up before traveling
  • Traveler's check also good option to use

With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, it's never too early to brush up on some tips and tricks to securing your information. 

When it comes to protecting your bank account and personal information when traveling, most of the time all it takes is a phone call or two and some careful planning to save you from a lot of trouble when you come back home.

Debit cards, credit cards, cash or check - there are options when traveling with some safer than others.

"In this day and age we're very used to just giving our credit card and debit card information," said Jefferson Bank's Estrella-Garcia Diaz. 

Spectrum News spoke with some Alamo City visitors to see how they travel.

"We brought a Discover and a Visa, but our debit card is back home," said Ohio residents Chuck and Beth McVan. 

"Cash, credit, and debit. More credit than debit," said Texas residents Arnold and Laurence Gracg. 

"I guess there is an added level of protection in case it gets stolen, got over charged or anything like that," Pennsylvania residents Sai and Sahitya Mandalapu said.

"Cash, debit and credit card," said Wisconsin's Cherie Schmidt. 

Schmidt and several others also said they rarely or never give their banks a heads-up when they set out to travel. 

While experts agree that credit cards are the safer choice, they still recommend calling your bank.

"So if you give us a call, we can notate that on our system and we won't accidentally flag it as being fraudulently used," Garcia-Diaz said. 

If your account gets flagged over suspicious transactions, make sure your bank can reach you on vacation.

"The easiest thing is to set up text alerts so you know when your card is being used," Garcia-Diaz said. 

If you are on vacation and find yourself needing to make a cash withdrawal from an ATM, make sure it's from a respected company and double check for credit card skimmers and other types of hacking devices.

While they aren't as common as they once were, traveler's checks are also a safe bet when traveling.

Experts also recommend changing your personal passwords before and after returning from your trip.