Consumer Payment Card News

Traveling Abroad with Credit Cards

Citibank announced it is offering a brochure on traveling abroad with credit cards. “Customs, Currencies & Credit Cards: Travel Tips from Citibank” is available free by calling 1-800-669-2635. Citi is also offering another brochure: “Facing Financial Fraud”, co-authored with the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.


More than 50 million Americans are expected to travel outside the U.S. this year, and while most of these travelers will have a wonderful trip, few will make preparations beyond the basics of booking transportation and accommodations. Even fewer will make contingency plans in case of mishap. How many will be prepared for an unexpected illness, a lost passport, or a catastrophe at home while they are traveling abroad?

Problems with personal finances can result in some of the greatest inconveniences while traveling, and it’s important to realize that financial needs may extend well beyond the obvious requirements to pay for airfare and hotels.

Following are a few financial tips to make every traveler more savvy:

1. Call your credit card issuer(s) and advise them that you’ll be traveling, so that unusual charges won’t cause them to suspect fraud.

2. Check your bank’s branch and network ATM locations in advance so you’ll know what banking services are available when you reach your destination.

3. Bring the toll-free or collect call telephone numbers of your bank, credit card and/or travelers check issuer(s) so you can contact them immediately if anything is lost or stolen.

4. Pay down credit card balances in advance so you’ll have more credit available if needed while traveling.

5. Before leaving, make payments on all bills that will be due during your trip, in order to avoid late fees, or notification to credit reporting agencies.

To help further educate the public on how to be better prepared for traveling, Citibank has developed a free consumer education pamphlet titled Customs, Currencies & Credit Cards: Travel Tips from Citibank. It contains useful pointers on how to prepare before your journey and travel safely while you’re away. Included is advice on getting your house in order before leaving, managing your cash and credit on the road, preventing financial fraud, and knowing where to turn for help in an emergency. The pamphlet also provides a list of phone numbers and Web site addresses for free publications from the U.S. government that can be helpful to all travelers.

Additional guidance for travelers is available in Citibank’s Facing Financial Fraud brochure, which was co-authored with the United States Secret Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service. This brochure was developed with the introduction of Photocard, which features a color photo of the cardmember bonded into the credit card plastic as a fraud deterrent. Citibank also recommends tracking credit card spending, and offers a free Credit Minder to all consumers. This tool is especially useful while traveling: it will help you stay within your credit limit and also serve as a check against charges on your monthly statement.

Customs, Currencies & Credit Cards; Facing Financial Fraud; and the Credit Minder are all available for free by calling 1-800-669-2635.

Citibank is the largest issuer of MasterCard and Visa in the country, with over 37 million cards in circulation.

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