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Tips for using credit cards while travelling
01 Oct 2016


What's not to love about holidays? Relaxing vacations, dining out and weekend getaways abound. Chances are that credit cards, debit cards, balances and bills are the last things on your mind. There are ways you can make travel more secure, hassle free and enjoyable. Here are some practical recommendations we have put together for you:


Before You Go

Check your cards
Know the expiry dates, account balance and amount of credit available to you. By doing this, you won't be caught short with a card that expires while you are away, or not have enough credit to cover your trip expenses.

Purchase your tickets using your BOV credit card
As a BOV credit card holder, when you travel, you can benefit from free Travel and Purchase Protection insurance cover. It is advisable   that you familiarise yourself with the relative terms and conditions of both insurance policies.

Let the Bank know you are travelling
It is a good idea to let your Bank know that you are about to leave the island. Why? Banks use security software and other means to fight fraud. In this manner, you will ensure that your card is not flagged for unusual activity when you use your card to buy croissants on the Champs Elysees. All you need to do is call your BOV Customer Service Centre on 356 2131 2020.

Know your financial institution's restrictions on daily withdrawal limits
While you are on the phone, it would not hurt to ask about your daily spending limit or daily ATM withdrawal limit. You can use ATMs for small expenses and charge major expenses, such as hotel bills to your BOV credit card. Don’t forget that ATM withdrawals are subject to cash advance fees, as determined by the respective banks.

Ask questions before you leave
Will your card work where you're going? And is it commonly accepted?
Make sure to ask if you can get by with magnetic stripe cards or if the area is predominantly chip-and-PIN territory.
Some places-- like small, independent stores or automated kiosks that dispense tickets for transportation, museums and shows often accept only chip-and-PIN cards. Contactless cards are also becoming more commonplace.


During Your Trip

Use the security box or safe provided by the hotel
When sightseeing or going to the pool or beach, don't carry all your valuables with you. Never leave cards unattended in the hotel room, at the pool, or in a vehicle - locked or unlocked.

Contact your Bank immediately if your card is lost or stolen
Remember, BOV is only a phone call away. Simply call 21312020 or 21234821 from wherever you are.

Shop with your BOV credit card
As more customers are learning, shopping with a card represents important benefits to using cash, particularly in relation to the peace of mind and convenience, of not having to carry wads of cash around.

Check your balances more often
It is a good idea, especially if you're travelling, to check balances more often. Installing the free BOV Mobile app on your smart phone is probably the easiest way to check your balance from anywhere and at any time.

Seek the perks

There are generally several benefits linked to your cards. Some are specific to when you are travelling. For instance, if you are buying something expensive for your travels, like your plane ticket or paying for a hotel stay, opt for a card that rewards you with BOV points. The BOV Loyalty Points programme makes it worth your while paying with your BOV premier cards.

Don’t put all your cards in one pocket
It is always a good idea to keep your cards in different places when travelling. Thus, if you lose your main card, you'll have others you can use.

Stay alert
If you're visiting places you have not been to before, watch out for anything abnormal when using ATMs. Scope out your surroundings with an eye toward your personal and financial safety, just as you would any other time of year.

Travelling is fun, and BOV cards are the perfect companions to make sure that your financials do not constitute a headache on your travels. Any queries may be referred to BOV Customer Service Centre on 2131 2020.

Published on ESCAPE Supplement Sunday Times dated 18th September 2016

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