Planning a Trip Overseas?
Your BB&T team can smooth
As you pack your bags, take a few minutes to ensure that your credit and debit cards, as well as your homeowners, auto and health insurance, are ready for use abroad. These quick tips can help prevent costly and time-consuming mishaps.
For international travelers, one of the key questions is how you will pay for purchases during your trip. Many travelers use a combination of resources – credit cards for hotel and other travel expenses as well as most purchases; debit cards to access foreign currency from ATMs; and, when appropriate, a quantity of foreign currency ordered in advance to cover initial expenses.
Josh Foster, BB&T Wealth Management Advisor in Greenville, S.C., provides an important reminder for those using credit cards. “Be sure to contact your credit card company before traveling any distance from your home address. Otherwise, when the company encounters transactions from distant locations, it may be concerned about fraud and, if unable to reach you, may issue a block on the card.
“That would have happened recently with one of my clients, but because he had a BB&T credit card and had let me know his travel plans, I was able to prevent the block, and his transaction went through fine.”
As you pack, list your credit and debit card numbers and the phone number of the issuing bank and store a copy of that information in a secure location apart from your cards. That way, if a card is lost or stolen, you can report it immediately.Know What Your Insurance Covers
Greg Velett, BB&T Insurance Services, emphasizes a number of insurance related preparations to make in anticipation of overseas travel:
- Check with your health insurance provider to find out what to do in the event of an accident or illness overseas.
- Check with your homeowners insurance provider to find out what coverage is provided in the event of theft while you’re out of the country.
- If you plan to rent a car during your trip, check with your auto insurance agent to ask whether you have adequate protection through your personal policy or if you will need to purchase collision damage waiver (CDW) as part of your rental contract. (If you have a BB&T Private & Wealth Vantage Visa® Signature Credit Card1, note that the extensive list of benefits includes complimentary collision damage waiver coverage on auto rentals.2)
Keep in Touch Financially
If you use online banking and bill pay, you’ll be able to monitor your bank accounts and avoid late payments on bills that come due while you’re away. If this is a step you haven’t yet taken, your Wealth Management Advisor can help you get set up ahead of time, so you have an opportunity to go through a bill payment cycle before you leave home.
Guard Against Identity Theft
International travel often heightens the risk of identity theft. The most important precaution, seasoned travelers point out, is to continually be mindful of the danger of pickpocketing or theft.
If you are a victim of theft, or suspect that you may be a victim of identity theft, be sure to notify your Wealth Management Advisor immediately. By referring to your list of account numbers and credit/debit card numbers, you’ll equip your advisor to take quick action on your behalf.
Notifying your Wealth Management Advisor in advance of your trip has other advantages, says Foster. “This is especially important when you’re going to be out of the country for an extended period of time,” he points out. “If there are upcoming deadlines or signatures needed for financial transactions, we can ensure that these are taken care of in advance. It also positions the advisor to help with emergencies that might arise while you’re abroad.
"Even with excellent preparation in advance, there are times when you just need someone at home you can call on for financial-related concerns.”
Options for Overseas PurchasesYour Wealth Management Advisor can provide additional details.
Enjoy an inside connection to dozens of luxurious perks, including:
- Complimentary concierge service4
- Travel, hotel and spa savings and upgrades
- Exclusive shopping offers and discounts
- Access to once-in-a-lifetime sporting events
- Special book, movie, and music offers
- Fine dining and wine tasting events
BB&T Debit Card
For purchases as well as access to cash through foreign ATMs.
Prepaid BB&T Visa Gift Cards
Can be loaded and used for your own spending wherever Visa cards are accepted worldwide.
Foreign Currency for Initial Expenses
All major currencies can be ordered at your BB&T financial center.
A previous version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Wealth magazine.