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Keep your money safe when traveling

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If, like many Americans, you will be traveling during the summer, the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) wants you to know how to keep your money safe when you hit the road.

“There is nothing that can ruin a family trip faster than running out of money or losing your wallet and debit and credit cards,” said Bill Loving, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Pendleton Community Bank, Franklin, West Virginia. “By planning ahead with your community bank, you will be able to protect your money while traveling. Community bankers are relationship bankers who work together with their customers, so in the event something unfortunate does happen, they will be ready to lend a helping hand.”

Financial professionals agree that the safest and most convenient way to travel with your money is to take just a small amount of cash. Most people also carry a debit or credit card because these are easy to carry and use and often offer the lowest fees and the best exchange rates.

ICBA also suggests taking care of the following items before taking off:

• Let your bank know when and where you will be traveling, especially if you’ll be in foreign countries, so that you will avoid any potential denials or fraud alerts when out-of-the-ordinary transactions are presented.

• Find out what ATM or debit card fees you may be subject to around the country and abroad.

• Make copies of all the cards you'll be carrying. Take a copy with you and give a copy to someone you trust back home. Be sure to also include the customer service phone number.

• Bring a list of emergency phone numbers. Be sure to get a number for your bank that you can call if you're out of the country.

• Ask your bank what special services are available through your card such as travel accident insurance and traveler’s assistance.

• Check your available balances before you leave. Know the limits on how much cash you can withdraw or purchases you can make.

“Whether your family is traveling near or far, it truly is better to be prepared for any event that comes your way. Your local bank can help ensure your finances will be kept safe,” Loving said.

To find a community bank in your area (there are nearly 7,000 around the country) visit ICBA's community bank locator.