Travel Safely

young woman in airport

Tips for Traveling Safely

Whether you are taking a cross-country road trip or cruising to foreign countries, there are some steps you can take to help keep your finances safe. With a lot of destinations going cashless, we are relying on our debit cards more than ever when vacationing.

It will be very important to respond to any calls, emails or texts received from our Fraud Detection Center. They are  monitoring your card activity for suspicious transactions 24/7 and if they don’t receive a response to an alert, your card could be blocked and unavailable for use during your trip.

Take Control
If you haven’t registered to receive our fraud alerts via text message, contact us for assistance. These alerts are more convenient to respond to than a phone call you may miss or not answer.  Be sure we have a valid phone number and email address for you.

If you aren’t using digital banking, now is a great time to start. With our mobile app and online access, you can monitor debit card transactions and available balances, set alerts and be able to spot fraudulent transactions.

Download the CardValet app so you can turn off your OFCU debit card in the event it is lost, misplaced or stolen. You can also control how and when your card is used with this app.


  • Always make sure you have a second method of payment, like a credit card or prepaid card, and keep it separate from your other card(s) in case one is lost, gets blocked or malfunctions.
  • Check the expiration date on your cards and make sure they are valid for the entire time you are traveling. 
  • Make sure you have the customer service number and card number for each card to quickly report it lost or stolen if you need to – take a photo of it or jot it down.
  • Find out what your financial institution’s limits are for daily cash withdrawals and transactions.
  • If you are traveling inside the U.S., as a credit union member you have access to nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs and nearly 5,000 Shared Branching locations nationwide. You’ll be able to search for both by location using this page on our website.
  • Store your debit and credit cards in your digital wallet so you can use mobile pay wherever possible to avoid taking out your card. You can also save electronic tickets, boarding passes and more for easy access.

Consider a Credit Card
Whenever possible, use a credit card as your main form of payment – starting with your travel arrangements. If your debit card is lost or stolen, the money in your account could be in danger, but credit cards offer an extra layer of protection against fraudulent activity.  If you are on a road trip, paying at the pump with a debit card can lead to temporary holds on your funds, tying up money you may need to use before the transaction clears. 

Have fun!
It can be seriously scary to run into trouble accessing money when on vacation or traveling. But hopefully, by taking some precautions and having a backup plan, you will be able to spend what you need, when you need it. 

Written by

Lisa Marston

Lisa has been the Marketing Director at Oxford FCU since December 2019 – which is also when she (happily) became a credit union member. Send her your topic ideas, questions and feedback.