Planning a Trip Overseas?

Your BB&T team can smooth the way.

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. Often, this means ensuring that your card has chip card technology, as the BB&T Vantage Visa® Signature® Credit Card1 does2.

For international travelers, a key question 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.

Casey Eanes, BB&T Wealth Risk Management Administrator, offers these reminders 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.

“Also, be sure to let your Wealth advisor know of your travels so they can notate your debit card. BB&T actively monitors debit card activity and noting travel plans can possibly prevent a debit card block. In addition, double-check your credit card limit and card expiration date. Discovering that you are unable to pay for various vacation expenses once you are already abroad could ruin your trip unexpectedly.

“As you pack, list your credit and debit card numbers and the phone number of the issuing bank and keep 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. Also, list the contact numbers for local contacts, both personal and financial, in case your phone is lost or stolen.”

Know What Your Insurance Covers
Jerry Elliott, 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 Vantage Visa Signature Credit Card, note that the extensive list of benefits includes complimentary collision damage waiver coverage on auto rentals.3)
  • Last, don’t forget travel insurance. A short-term policy for a specific trip can cover trip cancellations and interruptions, emergency medical care, medically required evacuation and lost baggage.

“Again,” says Elliott, “it’s a good idea to list providers and policy numbers, plus contact information for your insurance agent, and keep it in a safe place during your travels.”

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 you don't already have online banking or online bill pay, your Wealth 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 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.

Keep your sales receipts for all restaurants, gift shops, grocery stores and tourist attractions. Keep any receipt where you paid with a credit card. Once you return home, reconcile these receipts with your credit card statement as an added precaution against unauthorized charges.

“Notifying your Wealth advisor in advance of your trip has other advantages”, says Eanes. “This is especially important when you’re going to be out of the country for an extended period of time. 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 Purchases

Your Wealth advisor can provide additional details.
BB&T Vantage Visa Signature Credit Card
Key travel features of the Vantage Visa Signature Credit Card are:
  • New chip card technology makes it easier to use your card at international merchants, where chip cards are standard.
  • No foreign transaction fees, which are typically 3% of all purchases.

In addition, the Vantage Visa Signature Credit Card provides assistance with many travel needs including:4

  • Emergency card replacement and emergency cash disbursement
  • 100% fraud & liability protection (Visa Zero Liability®)
  • Lost and stolen card reporting
  • Lost luggage reimbursement ($3,000)
  • Travel accident insurance ($1,000,000)
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver program
  • Travel and roadside assistance services
  • Medical and legal referral assistance
  • Emergency airline ticket replacement
  • Prescription assistance
  • Valuable document delivery assistance
  • Emergency translation services

BB&T Debit Card
Make purchases and withdrawn cash from foreign ATMs directly from your checking account.5

Foreign Currency for Initial Expenses
All major currencies can be ordered at your BB&T financial center.

BB&T MoneyAccount Prepaid Visa Card
Can be used outside the country for purchases and access to cash, but is subject to foreign transaction fees. Helps manage money while traveling by separating funds into an account that cannot be overdrawn.

A previous version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Wealth magazine and has been updated here in March 2015.

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