‘Tis the season...for travel.
Thousands of San Diegans will be leaving from airports, or on freeways, and train depots to visit family or take off for a holiday vacation. NBC 7 Responds is here to remind you to do one last thing before you leave; notify your credit card company and bank.
The rising number of credit card scams and the increased frequency of card skimming has forced banks and financial institutions to act fast when unusual charges, in unusual places, occur.
While before consumers were asked to notify their bank before traveling out of the country, many say trips out of the state, or even the county, warrant notification.
“It’s better safe than sorry, you should let your financial institution know if you’re out of your normal purchase area,” says Todd Lane, CEO and president of California Coast Credit Union.
Lane says the most frequent flags occur when trying to purchase gas or at a convenient store inside a gas station, mostly because of the growing number of skimming operations.
“Computers are looking at your spending, not individuals and if something falls out of balance, or out of the norm, then an alert goes out,” Lane adds.
Because of that Lane says it’s best to play it safe and not risk getting declined at the pump, or at a restaurant while traveling.
“It’s all about customer service,” says Lane. “You don’t to turn off a card but you want to make sure it’s a good transaction. And again, the losses are born by the financial institutions, so it’s very important.”
Credit card companies and banks have responded by making it easier to notify them in case of any upcoming trips. You can call the number on the back of your card or visit the mobile app and leave a note.
Doing so can save you some headaches in the busy travel season.