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Money Tips to Prepare for Upcoming Travel

A big part of getting ready for an upcoming trip is keeping your financial life on track while you’re gone. Whether you’ll be traveling out of state or abroad, this planning guide can help you prepare and protect yourself for a worry-free trip.

There are some important steps and things to know before you leave for a trip to make sure you'll have easy, reliable access to your money and so your personal property remains secure. Use the information below to help you prepare your accounts, your wallet, and your personal security for upcoming travel.

Prepare Your Accounts

Travel Notifications
It's a good idea to notify BECU and your other financial service providers about upcoming travel plans. Transactions that don't fit into your normal routine look suspicious to sensitive fraud detection systems that monitor accounts for unusual activity. When you travel, it can be difficult for these systems to tell between your legitimate purchases and potentially fraudulent transactions.

It only takes a few minutes to digitally notify BECU to prevent your debit or credit card from being blocked by the system trying to protect your account. You can set a travel notification up to 60 days in advance to cover up to 90 days of traveling. When setting a travel notification, be sure to include each location you plan to visit — including short-term layovers.

  1. Log in to Online Banking.
  2. Select Account Services.
  3. Navigate to the Cards section.
  4. Select Travel Notification.
  5. Enter your travel dates and destinations.
  6. Select all the cards you intend to use on your trip.
  7. Provide contact information.

  1. Expand the dropdown menu.
  2. Select Travel Notifications.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions. 

If account holders will be traveling to different places during the same period, you'll need to contact us to place a note on your account. For example, if your partner will be on a business trip in California while the rest of the family visits Mexico.

If you modify your travel notification during your trip, you'll need to update the travel start date to the current date — a travel notification cannot start in the past. You can only place one travel notification on your account at a time. If you have a notification set for future travel, and you book another trip with an earlier departure date, you'll need to delete the existing notification and create a new notification for the earlier trip.

Important: If our fraud monitoring systems ever detect suspicious charges on your account, BECU will attempt to contact you before locking the account to prevent unauthorized transactions.

Other Ways to Prepare Your Accounts

Make sure to pay any bills that will be due while you're gone ahead of time if they're not set to automatic payments, 

BECU alerts provide timely text and email updates about your account activity. Setting up alerts can help you recognize suspicious transactions more quickly.

Enroll in Online Banking and install the mobile app. Note: You'll need your savings account number to set up your Online Banking access. Learn more about enrolling in BECU digital banking services.

Make sure to have your account login credentials, debit or ATM card PIN, and answers to your security questions, so we can verify your identity if you need to contact BECU.

Enroll in eStatements for easy, 24/7 access to your periodic statements. Learn more about switching from paper statements to eStatements in Online Banking.

Prepare Your Wallets

Traveling With Your BECU Cards
Our chip-enabled cards are highly compatible with global systems, and BECU debit and credit cards are accepted worldwide. Here are some important things to be aware of before you leave:

Make sure the cards you'll be using will be valid throughout your entire trip. 

In some countries, you may need your PIN when using your debit and credit cards for point-of-sale transactions. You can see and change your ATM or debit card PIN in Online Banking. Contact BECU if you need your credit card PIN.

BECU credit cards also include additional travel protection and emergency assistance benefits. Learn more about BECU credit cardholder benefits.

Just in case your card gets lost, stolen or compromised, you won't be stuck without another way to pay.

Consider adding your BECU cards to the digital wallet app on your mobile device. You can also store travel documents such as boarding passes and tickets in your digital wallet. If you'll be traveling internationally, check with your preferred digital wallet provider to confirm it's accepted in the countries you're visiting. 

Prepare for Travel Safety

Security on the Home Front
Not everyone needs to know about your upcoming trip. Avoid posting details on social media about where you're going, when you're leaving, or how long you'll be away. Widely sharing that your house may be unoccupied for a period of time could make your home a target for burglary or other crime. Wait until you're home to tell your network where you've been.

You may also want to submit a USPS Hold Mail request to prevent mail theft and an overflowing mailbox when you return. Learn more about requesting a mail hold from the postal service.

Planning for Safety on Your Trip
Be ready for fraudsters and thieves who often target travelers in touristy areas using a variety of cons, like "wallet-drop" scams, "bag-watching" scams, and many others. These tips and resources can help you prepare for keeping yourself and your money safe when traveling:
  • Research your destination using trusted resources, like government websites.
  • Generally, never send money to someone you don't know or just met while traveling, especially if what they're offering in return sounds "too good to be true."
  • If you meet someone claiming to be in distress or in need of money, tell them to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • If you're unsure whether you're being targeted with a scam, please call the Department of State's Overseas Citizens Services at 888-407-4747 from the U.S. or Canada, or +1 202-501-4444 from overseas. They can help you verify.
  • If you do become a victim of a scam, it's important to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI at

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