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Safeguard your cards when abroad

Safeguard your cards when abroad

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 28/05/2010
First Published: 28/05/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Holidaymakers likely to take their debit and credit cards abroad with them this summer have been issued with an invaluable list of dos and don'ts in relation to their plastic pals.

Latest statistics from The UK Cards Association revealed that overseas transactions on UK-issued cards accounted for just under three per cent of all card transactions last year, through 303 million separate purchases and cash withdrawals.

Spending on credit cards and debit card purchases by Britons abroad amounted to £17.7 billion, while £7.8 billion was withdrawn out of cash machines.

However, the charges incurred on such transactions can quickly rack up, while the likelihood of being a victim of credit card fraud often also escalates when abroad.

Key debit and credit card advice to take with you on holiday this year:

  • Only take cards with you that you intend to use; leave others in a secure place at home.
  • Make sure you have your card company's 24-hour contact telephone number.
  • Make sure your card company has up-to-date contact details for you, including a mobile telephone number.
  • If your cards are registered with a card protection agency, ensure you have their contact telephone number and your policy number with you.
  • Don't let your card out of your sight, especially when using it in restaurants and bars.
  • Don't give your PIN to anyone - even if they claim to be from the police or your card company.
  • Shield your PIN with your free hand when typing it into a keypad in a shop or at a cash machine.

"Thanks to their flexibility and convenience, cards have become our preferred travel companion," said Melanie Johnson, chair of The UK Cards Association. "If you are planning to go abroad with a card this summer, it pays to do some quick checks."

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