News Center

Don't be a vacation victim: Keep your money safe

‎07-25-2014 08:55 AM

Wallet

 

Unsuspecting tourists often make easy targets for thieves. Robert Siciliano, a Boston-based personal security and identity theft expert, offers tips for keeping your money safe and your mind at ease while traveling.

 

Lighten your wallet

"Only carry the credit cards you'll use and the minimal amount of cash you'll need," Siciliano says. The truth is you probably won't purchase souvenirs with your department store card, so don't take the chance of losing it to a thief. 

 

Let us know

Tell USAA Bank about your travel plans to minimize chances of your credit card being blocked or flagged for unusual activity.

  • Usaa.com: Search “Travel Notifications”
  • Mobile: Choose Credit Card > Menu > Manage Travel Notices

Purchase with plastic

Cash is irreplaceable, but many credit and debit cards, including those issued by USAA Bank, have zero-liability policies. [1] That means if you lose it, you're off the hook for unauthorized charges. Debit charges must be reported within 60 days of your statement.

 

Leave nothing lying around

Never leave anything of value in your hotel room. "The key cards and combinations are accessible to virtually any member of the staff," Siciliano says. He adds that many room safes have an override mechanism. As an alternative, ask management to store your valuables in the hotel's safe. 

 

Hide in plain sight

If you intend to step away from your valuables in places like a beach or a rental car, make sure they are hidden in the least obvious spots. Siciliano recommends using "diversion safes," which are cleverly disguised as soda cans, books and other everyday items to throw off crooks. 

 

Keep your connections private

Use caution connecting to personal accounts in public places like hotels or coffee shops, where your information can be stolen on un-encrypted, open Wi-Fi. Siciliano suggests downloading virtual private network software to help protect your data. He also recommends avoiding any public computer.

 

What do you do to help keep your money safe while traveling? Share your tips below.

 

208072-0714

 

[1]You must notify us immediately of any unauthorized use.

 

Safety guidelines are not intended to be all inclusive, but are provided for your consideration. Please use your own judgment to determine what safety features/ procedures should be used in each unique situation.

 

Credit cards provided by USAA Savings Bank, other bank products provided by USAA Federal Savings Bank, both Member FDIC.

 

wallet

 

Comments
by Paul Go Navy ‎07-29-2014 07:34 AM

I totally agree with leaving most of the "stuff" that is in your wallet/purse at home. I clear out library cards, almost every credit card (take at least one Mastercard and one Visa credit card) and one debit card. If travelling overseas, take cards that have no foreign transaction fees. Clear out store specific cards unless the travel destination has that store and you want to earn points, etc.

 

Since ATMs usually only dispense $20s unless you are really lucky and find one that does $10s, I bring a few $5s and $1s for tips etc. Travellers checks are old school. However having a few twenties or fifties sometimes is handy, especially if your local financial institution/travel club charges no fees.

 

Paul

 

by GeorgiaMJ ‎08-15-2014 08:11 AM
And send you vacation pics and destination and departure and return off of social media !!
by Jonstebow ‎08-16-2014 08:08 PM
I put my wallet in my front pocket when in an unfamiliar, crowded area. It's thinner anyway when traveling.

Community Managers

Briana Hartzell

Briana Hartzell

Briana knows all about moving. This Navy spouse has helped her husband relocate to four different naval air stations in the last three years. A former USAA employee, Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys military life can bring.

View Briana's Profile
Wendy Poling

Wendy Poling

Wendy is a social media strategist and founder of MyMilitaryLife.com, featuring a popular military spouse blog and the hit podcast Navy Wife Radio and now Military Life Radio. She is the wife of a submariner who has also served in Afghanistan.

View Wendy's Profile
Charles Pratt

Charles "Chazz" Pratt

Charles "Chazz" Pratt III is a former U.S. Army Captain who made the Military-to-Civilian career transition in 1994. In his book, The Fort Living Room Transition Course, he shares valuable tips & tricks to help you succeed. Since his transition from the military, he's worked for several Fortune 500 companies, including Pfizer, Genentech, and St. Jude Medical, among others.

View Chazz's Profile
Joseph Montanaro

Joseph "J.J." Montanaro

Joseph "J.J." Montanaro is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner.

View Joseph "J.J." Montanaro's Profile
Close Pop-up