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How to Keep Your Money Safe While Traveling

When you’re out globetrotting, keeping your money safe should be top of mind. Between the money in your pocket and the money in your account, you want to spend your dollars on adventures instead of worrying they’ll be stolen while you’re away from home. Don’t stress—just be smart. Here are a few ways to keep your money safe while traveling. 

Image of a woman traveling with a money belt.

Keep your cash and cards close 

Whether you have a cross-body purse, a backpack, an under-clothes money belt or a wallet in a zippered pocket, don’t leave your money lying around. Keep it close to your body, and be sure not to leave a wallet in an unzipped or back pocket where it would be easy for pickpockets’ hands to reach when you’re in a crowded metro station or touristy plaza. 


Limit the cash you carry 

More and more, society seems to be moving toward digital payments more than cash. This is a big benefit when you’re traveling since you don’t have to worry about finding an ATM. Plus, if cash is stolen, it’s gone. By carrying less cash and relying on your credit cards more, your money stays safer, and you’re less likely to be the target of theft. 


Use a VPN on public internet 

When you’re browsing the internet or logging onto online banking on public wifi—whether in a coffee shop or at your hotel—scammers can swipe your personal information unless you protect yourself. It’s easy to keep your data safe when you use a virtual private network or VPN. This encrypts the data you send and receive, so no one could spy on your browsing activity through public wifi. 


Image of a phone connecting to a VPN

Be smart about ATMs

Don’t use an ATM if something looks odd or if it could have been tampered with. When you can’t use your own financial institution’s ATM, try to find one in the lobby of another bank or credit union. Definitely avoid those that are out of the way or dinged up. Scammers will sometimes install skimmers on ATMs to swipe personal information when users insert their cards. 


Set a travel alert with your bank 

Give your bank or credit union a head’s up that you’ll be away from home before you hit the road. Setting up a travel alert can help ensure you can get access to your money without accounts being locked for supposed suspicious activity. It does look kind of odd if you have transactions in Montana and Mongolia on the same day, after all. When you bank with RMCU, it’s as easy as a quick phone call or submitting an online form to set up your travel alert. 

Woman on a beach, paying with a credit card.

Use credit whenever you can 

Using credit instead of your debit card or cash is an extra security measure when you’re traveling. Credit spending adds another layer of security to keep your money safe. Both credit and debit are protected from fraud by law. But using credit limits your liability even further. So swipe your credit card, like the VISA Platinum Rewards Card, whenever you can when traveling. 

Between online banking from anywhere, your debit card that can easily withdraw cash from ATMs around the world, and travel rewards cards that can earn you points for the next trip while you’re on this one, RMCU has everything you need to keep your money safe while you’re on the road. If you’re not already a member, apply to open an account and see where your money can take you.

Non RMCU links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Rocky Mountain Credit Union of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. RMCU bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external sites.

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