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Debit card travel tips

Financial hang-ups are the last thing anyone wants to worry about while on vacation. But with a little planning—and your Community Bank debit card—you can rest easy. Knowing your finances are always at your fingertips helps you stick to your travel budget, monitor your activity, and avoid false fraud alerts.

Set a travel budget and stick to it

Before you head out on your journey, plan your budget. Not only will this help prevent overspending on your trip, but it can also help you stick to your larger financial plans (link to good financial habits post) as well. Using your CBNA debit card provides you with a clear picture of your transactions, which you can monitor online or on the go with our mobile app.

Share your travel plans with your bank

This important step can ensure your trip goes off without any financial surprises like receiving fraud alerts or having your card declined (link to post about preventing declines). Simply set a travel notification through your online or mobile banking settings, or contact the Customer Care Center or your local branch. You can even activate text alerts to receive instant notifications about any potential issues with your card.

Protect your card

While you’re on the go, be sure to keep your debit card in a secure place, such as a wallet or a money belt worn close to your body. When you use it, pay attention to what’s going on around you. Shield your PIN if someone seems to be watching you make a transaction. It’s also a good idea to avoid leaving it unattended such as in a rental car, a beach bag, or on the counter of your hotel room when you aren’t in it. Adding your debit card to your digital wallet lets you make purchases while your physical card is somewhere secure like the safe in a hotel room. Also, before you leave, take pictures of the front and back of your card on your phone. This way, you can have all its information handy in case something does happen to your physical card.

Practice online safety

Sometimes, websites and Wi-Fi networks aren’t as secure as they are back home. So, you'll want to be mindful of entering your debit card information on hotel computers, or even on your own device when connected to public Wi-Fi. Look for "https://" or the lock icon in your browser’s address bar to ensure encryption, or be sure to use a virtual private network (VPN) to secure your connection and keep your information safe on your device when connected to public Wi-Fi.

Have a backup plan

Even the best-planned trips can encounter unexpected hiccups. Ensure you have alternative payment methods on hand, such as extra funds accessible in your savings account, a credit card, or cash. These options will come in handy during emergencies or at cash-only establishments. In the unfortunate event that your debit card is lost or stolen, contact Customer Service at 1-866-764-8638 immediately to report it and allow us to assist you in resolving the situation.

Be mindful of exchange rates

Rates are always changing. So, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them when you’re traveling abroad. Using reliable sources like established currency conversion websites can help keep you up to date on rates. Some money exchange services or selecting dynamic currency conversion (DDC) might seem convenient, but their fees are often higher than the 1% associated when you use your CBNA debit card for foreign transactions. If you’re planning to travel to Canada, your local branch can exchange your money before you leave the country but please call well in advance of your trip since foreign currency has to be ordered and can take a few days to arrive.

If you have any questions or need assistance before, during, or after your trip, contact your local branch or our Customer Care Center at 1-866-764-8638.

Explore our Financial Literacy Hub and our blog for content that helps you make money decisions confidently.


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