Six Tips to Protecting your Credit Card Information on your Next Vacation

Protecting your credit card information on vacation can be a full-time job!

These Six Tips will help you protect your credit card information from being stolen…

On my recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina our hotel had a laminated sheet on the desk warning clients that there has been a scam occurring in their hotel.  Someone will call your room and ask for personal information and your credit card information saying they are verifying what is one file with the hotel.  What I found amusing was that no hotel has ever asked me for my social security number, but these scam artists are asking for that information too.  I have heard of this scam at hotels with different variations, but do know that you should never give your personal information over the phone to anyone posing as a travel supplier, especially your social security numbers.

Besides the scams by phone, there are times when you are on vacation where someone will steal your credit card information.  I personally do not carry more than two credit cards with me when I travel and I only use one credit card with the other card as my back up card.  This helps me keep track of all my purchases and in case someone would steal this card, I will have the other card with me.  The real question is how do you protect your credit card and personal information when you travel?  Here are some tips on how to do just that so you have don’t have to worry.

Tip 1:  Designate one card to use on your vacation.  Put all your charges from the planning stages to the time the vacation is over, on one card so you can keep track of all your vacation charges.

Tip 2:  Avoid any fee based items that will be charged to your card during your vacation.  Hotels love to charge you for room service, movies, WiFi, etc.  Try to avoid paying for these additional services that would be placed onto your credit card.

Tip 3:  Take your own computer.  Many hotels and airports have computer terminals in their business center that you can use to print airline tickets, check email, etc.  Avoid using these computers and bring your own to check your email and bank information.  Never check anything on a hotel computer that requires you to put in a password that will access your personal information.

Tip 4:  Temporarily change passwords to accounts that you think you will be checking during your vacation.  By changing the passwords you will help protect your accounts when you get back and change the passwords again.

Tip 5:  Get a pre-paid Visa card for your vacation.  Pre-paid credit cards are great because they are not linked to any of your personal information and some of them may have travel protection in case you lose it.  Try to pay for your hotel stay, souvenirs, etc with this card.

Tip 6: Keep your room key from your hotel after you check out.  In 2003 a study was done by the Southern California law enforcement professionals and what they found was the hotel key has your name, your partial address, your room number, your dates of stay, and your Credit Card information including expiration date!  If you lose this card and someone can read not only will they have your credit card information but they may also be able to get into your room. 

Next time you travel make sure to protect your credit card information with these few simple steps. 


Safe Travels!!








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