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Arm yourself against credit card theft and fraud on your travels by taking proper precautions to keep your cards and accounts safe and secure.

Before you head out of town, tell your card issuers where you are going and how long you're traveling, so they'll be on guard against unauthorized transactions. Update them on the best way to reach you while you're traveling.

In the event your card is lost or stolen, or you notice unauthorized transactions on your account, immediately contact your card issuer to report it. Be prepared with a list of card issuers' fraud hotlines along with your account numbers, and keep it in a secure place separate from your wallet.

To alert Navy Federal of your travel plans, or to report a lost or stolen card, you can call us 24 hours a day at 1-888-842-6328.

Some bank's toll-free numbers may not work overseas; check that you have the right numbers before you leave. A list of Navy Federal's toll-free international numbers can be found on our website.

When traveling, carry at least two cards so you have a backup option in case one gets lost, stolen, damaged, or closed temporarily. Avoid using standalone or unusual-looking ATMs not located in secure areas. Navy Federal has branches and ATMs worldwide—scope out the nearest ones to your destination.

Be extra cautious when banking online from a Wi-Fi hotspot, hotel business center, or other public facility, as their servers may not be encrypted. Conducting your banking from your smartphone via your bank's mobile app offers a more secure option when you're traveling—just be sure your phone is password-protected and you are using your wireless carrier's network.

To recap, here are the steps to take to ensure you stay secure:

  • Inform card issuers of your vacation plans (dates and destination) and how to reach you.
  • Make a list of card issuers' fraud hotlines and your account numbers. Keep it in a safe place.
  • Take at least two cards so that you're prepared with a backup option.
  • Avoid using standalone or unusual-looking ATMs.
  • Conduct online and mobile banking from secure web connections or your wireless network only.

Extra Credit for Your Next Vacation

As you plan for next year's getaway, take advantage of all the savings opportunities and rewards programs your financial institution offers. Whether you're a frequent flyer or simply an annual vacationer, choosing cards that offer travel rewards and no foreign transaction fees, like our GOREWARDS® or Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards cards, can help you get where you're going faster.

Stay safe this summer and start planning now to maximize your fun-in-the-sun next year!

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.