Inform Bmo Harris Of Your Travel Plans (2024)

Inform Bmo Harris Of Your Travel Plans (1)

If you're planning to travel abroad, it's important to notify your bank and credit card company, including BMO Harris Bank, to avoid any issues with your card while you're away. By letting them know your travel plans, they can make a note in your file and won't be surprised when they see foreign transactions on your account. This simple step can save you a lot of hassle and ensure that your card remains active and secure during your trip.

CharacteristicsValues
Notify BMO Harris Bank before travellingYes
Notify other banks before travellingYes
Why notify the bankTo avoid the card being declined or locked
How to notify the bankContact the bank and credit card company
When to notify the bankBefore leaving for the trip
What to inform the bankDates of travel and location

What You'll Learn

  • Contact your bank and credit card company before travelling
  • Only use secure sites for online reservations
  • Keep card numbers and bank contact details separate from your card
  • Carry a backup card
  • Research the country and plan how to obtain cash

Inform Bmo Harris Of Your Travel Plans (2)

Contacting your bank and credit card company before travelling is highly recommended by BMO Harris Bank. This is so they know to expect purchases from a foreign country and can make a note of it in your file. By doing so, you can avoid the inconvenience of your card being suspended or blocked due to suspected fraud.

To do this, simply contact your bank and credit card company before leaving and provide them with the dates you will be gone and your destination(s). This way, they won't be surprised when they see charges from a foreign country on your account. It is also advisable to carry a backup card in case your primary card is lost, stolen, or damaged.

In addition to notifying your bank, there are several other important steps to take when preparing for travel, especially international travel. These include:

  • Researching the country you are visiting to understand the local currency and payment methods. While card acceptance is widespread in the US, some countries rely heavily on cash, so it is important to plan how you will obtain cash if needed. ATMs often offer more favourable exchange rates than traditional currency exchange locations.
  • Understanding your card's fee structure, including any foreign transaction or currency conversion fees. Using a debit card at an ATM instead of a credit card can help you avoid credit card cash advance fees and higher cash advance interest rates.
  • Keeping documentation of your card numbers and your bank's customer service phone number separate from your actual card in case it is lost or stolen.
  • Only using reputable, secure booking sites when providing your card information online for hotel and sightseeing reservations.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that you have a smooth and stress-free experience using your credit and debit cards while travelling.

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Inform Bmo Harris Of Your Travel Plans (3)

Only use secure sites for online reservations

When travelling, it is important to ensure that you only use secure sites for online reservations. This is because hackers can access your webcam and microphone if they attack your device, meaning they can observe anything done or said in front of it.

Public WiFi is also a security concern. Although 89% of people use it, 91% of people perceive it as unsecure. Many people use public WiFi to make credit card payments and log into online banking, which can lead to fraud or identity theft.

To protect yourself when using public WiFi, you can:

  • Update your antivirus software
  • Invest in a VPN
  • Use a secure online booking system
  • Update your device's firmware
  • Use strong passwords and a password manager
  • Be cautious of scam emails and links
  • Use two-factor authentication
  • Back up your data regularly
  • Educate your family about cyber safety
  • Avoid sharing personal information

You can also look out for SSL certificates on your booking page, which create a secure environment for purchases.

Additionally, only use reputable, secure booking sites when providing your card information online for hotel and sightseeing reservations.

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Inform Bmo Harris Of Your Travel Plans (4)

When travelling, it is important to keep card numbers and bank contact details separate from your physical card. This is because if your card is lost or stolen, you will need this information to resolve the issue.

  • Don't write down your card information: Avoid writing down your card number, PIN, expiry date, etc., anywhere, including in notes on your phone. Also, do not post pictures of your card online.
  • Use a secure location to store card details: If you must write down your card details, keep them in a secure location, such as a password-protected document or a locked safe.
  • Use a different storage location from your card: Do not keep your card details in the same place as your physical card, such as in the same wallet or purse. That way, if your wallet or purse is lost or stolen, you will still have access to your card details.
  • Use a password manager: Consider using a password manager, which can securely store your card details and other sensitive information. These tools often include additional security features, such as encryption and two-factor authentication.
  • Keep the bank's contact details handy: Make sure you have the bank's customer service phone number and any other relevant contact details easily accessible, so you can quickly reach out if there is a problem with your card.
  • Use a backup method: In addition to keeping card details separate from your physical card, consider using a backup method for accessing your card details, such as a password manager or a physical copy stored in a safe place. That way, if your phone or device is lost or stolen, you will still be able to access your card details.
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Inform Bmo Harris Of Your Travel Plans (5)

Carry a backup card

Carrying a backup card is one of the most important things to do when travelling. You never know if your primary card will get lost, stolen, or damaged. It is recommended to carry at least two cards when travelling, one primary and one backup. This way, if your primary card is lost, stolen, or declined, you still have a way to pay for your purchases.

It is also a good idea to keep your backup card in a secure place, such as a hotel room safe. If your wallet is lost or stolen, you will be glad you have a backup card in a safe place. Some people even carry a decoy wallet with a small amount of cash and a closed or expired credit card to fool a mugger or pickpocket. Others use a second wallet to carry just the card they need for the day, keeping their main wallet and other cards safe in the hotel room.

Additionally, if your primary card is an American Express or Discover, bringing a Visa or Mastercard while travelling is a good idea. This is because American Express and Discover are less widely accepted, especially abroad. If you encounter merchants that do not accept your primary card, you can use your backup Visa or Mastercard instead.

Furthermore, if possible, your backup card should be from a different bank than your primary card. In the worst-case scenario, if a bank flags your accounts for suspicious activity and locks all your accounts while travelling, you can switch to a card from a different bank. But if all your cards are from the same bank, you will be out of luck until you clear up the issue with your account, which could be problematic if you are in the middle of a transaction or unable to contact your bank.

By following these tips and carrying a backup card, you can ensure that you have a safe and stress-free trip, knowing that you have a way to pay for your purchases even if something happens to your primary card.

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Inform Bmo Harris Of Your Travel Plans (6)

Research the country and plan how to obtain cash

When travelling, it's important to research the country you're visiting and plan how to obtain cash. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Familiarise yourself with the local currency: Take time before your departure to learn about the local currency of your destination country. Understand the exchange rates and how they compare to your home currency, as this will impact your spending power.
  • Bring some cash in your home currency: It is recommended to carry a small amount of cash (around $100) in your home currency (e.g. US dollars) when travelling abroad. This can cover initial expenses such as transportation, snacks, and phone calls. It is also useful in case of any issues with your debit or credit card.
  • Exchange cash at your home country: Consider exchanging some of your home currency to the local currency of your destination before you depart. Contact your bank a few days in advance to arrange this. While the exchange rate may not be as favourable as using ATMs abroad, this option provides peace of mind and ensures you have cash upon arrival.
  • Understand the use of credit cards: Credit cards are widely accepted in most developed countries, but their usage may be more limited in less developed countries, especially in rural or less touristy areas. Inform your bank about your travel plans to prevent any unexpected freezes on your credit card due to foreign transactions. Additionally, be mindful of foreign transaction fees associated with credit card usage abroad.
  • Utilise ATMs: ATMs are a convenient way to obtain local currency when travelling. Withdraw cash in the local currency upon arrival or from ATMs that are part of your bank's partner network to avoid unnecessary fees. Be cautious of ATMs in isolated areas, and always be vigilant to prevent theft.
  • Consider a prepaid travel debit card: If you don't have a credit card without foreign transaction fees or prefer not to use your regular card abroad, a prepaid travel debit card can be a good option. These cards offer perks like fee-free transactions and no ATM withdrawal fees, but be sure to research the costs and benefits of different cards.
  • Be aware of traveller's checks: Traveller's checks are becoming less common and may be harder to obtain and use. However, they can be useful in emergencies or if you don't have access to a debit or credit card. They are generally accepted at hotels and banks but less so by smaller merchants.
  • Research mobile payment options: In some countries, mobile payments have become the preferred method of payment over traditional cash, credit, or debit cards. Research if mobile payments are commonly used in your destination country, and consider their security implications.
  • Keep cash secure: Don't carry all your cash in one place. Use secure methods like money belts or tamper-proof wallets to carry cash when you're out. Leave any extra cash you don't need for immediate spending in a safe place, such as a hotel safe.
  • Be mindful of tipping culture: Research the tipping culture of the countries you're visiting. Tipping expectations and customs vary across the globe, and in some countries, tipping may even be considered rude.
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Frequently asked questions

Yes, it's important to notify your bank before traveling abroad. Contact BMO Harris and your credit card company, providing them with the dates and location of your trip. This will prevent your card from being flagged for potential fraud when foreign transactions begin to appear.

Keep documentation of your card numbers and your bank's customer service phone number separate from your actual card. This will be useful if you need to report a lost or stolen card.

Only use reputable and secure booking sites when providing your card information online. Additionally, carry a backup card in case your primary card is lost, stolen, or damaged.

Yes, some countries may be more reliant on cash than card acceptance. It's important to research the country you're visiting and plan accordingly. Additionally, understand your card's fee structure, as most cards charge foreign transaction or currency conversion fees.

If you're unable to reach your local branch or are experiencing other difficulties, it may be helpful to visit a BMO Harris branch in person to resolve the issue.

Inform Bmo Harris Of Your Travel Plans (2024)

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