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Cardholder Travel Tips

man and woman ready to travel with suitcases

We take extensive measures to minimize and prevent fraud for our membership. When traveling abroad, cardholders should take precautionary measures. We’ve prepared a checklist of cardholder travel tips to help you prepare for your next vacation abroad.

Set up a Travel Notice with SECU

Keep your accounts accessible while traveling by setting up a Travel Notice with SECU. Our online form allows you to provide us with advance notice of your travel details and indicate the debit and / or credit cards you plan on using while traveling. SECU monitors your account activity daily and may potentially decline a card transaction from an unusual location. Providing your travel details in advance may prevent your card from being declined if an unusual transaction occurs from a new location. To ensure your card(s) are available and ready to use while you travel, set up a Travel Notice through Member Access or at your local branch.

Enroll in Member Access

If you’re not already enrolled in Member Access, our online banking platform, do so before you leave for a trip so you can send and receive encrypted messages through our online Message Center. We do not use other email systems, which may not be encrypted, to correspond with members who have account-related questions or issues.

Ask us about potential fraud blocks in foreign countries

Contact us when you plan to travel internationally. This allows us to give you up-to-date information we have for that region and modify the fraud protection strategies used for your card to avoid impacting your trip.

Transactions in certain countries may also be limited by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In these instances, SECU will not be able to remove card restrictions. For example, your ability to use your cards in Cuba remains extremely limited due to the United States trade embargo against Cuba, as well as the developing payment landscape in that country. While some aspects of the embargo have been lifted, many remain. It is important to note that there is a high likelihood your cards will not be accepted or function in this area. Furthermore, SECU will not be able to bypass any restrictions to allow your card transactions. Anyone traveling to Cuba should be prepared for these limitations.

Test your card before traveling

It is important to make sure that your card is not damaged, you know the correct PIN, and the card is not going to expire while you are away. Test the card before trusting it for your trip expenses.

Bring alternative payment methods

Problems may arise with debit and credit cards, ATMs, and payment systems. Be prepared and bring additional debit or credit cards along with some cash. You can also add your SECU card information to your digital wallet.

Keep your cards and cash in different places

Luggage, briefcases, articles of clothing, purses, and wallets can all be easily lost or stolen. It is a good idea to separate your cash from your payment cards and put your various payment cards in different places such as in your luggage, in your briefcase, or in a wallet or purse you carry separately. This way, if one of your cards is lost or stolen, you will still have access to funds when needed.

Have your financial information readily available

Upload your card to a digital wallet such as Apple Pay and get the additional security benefits at merchant locations that take mobile payments. Add Member Services Support to your phone contacts (888) 732-8562. If your card(s) are lost or stolen on your trip, you will be able to contact SECU to close your card(s) and prevent additional fraud.