10 Ways to Protect Your Credit Card

One of our members recently asked how to avoid credit card fraud when traveling. It’s a scary thought, but luckily there are several ways to minimize your risk.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, credit card fraud can happen whenever your information falls into the wrong hands from high tech computer hacking to physical interaction. These are the most common examples:

  • One of your discarded billing statements is found in the trash.
  • Someone hacked a company with whom you shopped.
  • A corrupt waiter/cashier may photograph your card and use it later.
  • You give your information to a dishonest company that charges you without authorization.

While there is no way to stop credit card fraud, we found 10 steps to lower your chances of becoming a victim.

  1. Never give your information to anyone you don’t know. If it’s over the phone, make sure that they are a trusted business coming from an official representative.
  2. Shred – don’t throw away – any document that contains your account number.
  3. Only take the cards you plan on using on vacation. Leave the rest at home.
  4. Carry cards separately from your wallet. If one is stolen, at least you have some backup.
  5. Make sure you can physically see your card through the entirety of the transaction. Have cash at the ready in case this is not possible.
  6. Make copies of your card, just in case you lose it. You’ll want to have access to the customer service number listed on the card.
  7. Contact your credit card company before you leave for your trip and give your representative a good number to reach you at during travel. It’s a red flag when you use your card one place and then all the way across the country the next.
  8. Keep your online information secure. We recommend checking on your account from your laptop while traveling, but always avoid public networks.
  9. Watch your account after the trip. It might take a couple of days for stolen information to be used, so make sure to carefully comb through your statements even when you get home.
  10. Call your credit card provider immediately when you suspect your account is in jeopardy.

We rely on our credit cards more than usual when we travel, but we should be mindful of how we use it. When you travel with Global Discovery Vacations, keep your card in sight and monitor your account so you won’t be met with unwelcome surprises when you return home.

Do you have any tips on avoiding credit card fraud? Let us know in the comments below!

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.