a woman packing clothing into her suitcase

Four ways to keep your account safe while traveling

December 17, 2019 | TS Bank

Cell phone charger and toothbrush? Check.

Plane tickets and travel pillow? Check

That sweater you’ve been promising your sister you’d return, but you keep “forgetting” to grab it each time you see her, inevitably starting family time off on an awkward note? Uh…check…

Are you forgetting something?

The holidays are here, and amongst the twists and turns of travel, many people forget one crucial item on their checklists: Their debit cards! We don’t want you to worry about issues with your debit card and connected checking account when you’re already dreaming of sipping hot chocolate and watching corny made-for-TV movies with your favorite family members, so we wanted to help you finish getting ready to go with our Four Ways to Keep Your Account Safe While Traveling.

1. Notify your bank that you are traveling.

By letting your bank know where you’re headed and how long you’ll be gone, you reduce the chance of your card getting automatically blocked for legitimate purchases. Also, if the banking team gets alerted to an unusual and/or fraudulent out-of-area purchase that you did not notify them of, it allows them to block your card sooner and get you a new card issued right away. Having to get a new card mailed to you, especially this close to the holiday greeting card mail rush, is not ideal. (However, with TS Bank Instant Issue, you can pick up your new card within minutes right at the bank. No more waiting by the mailbox!)

2. Utilize Shazam Brella to manage your transactions.

Oh, no! It’s 6 PM on a Sunday evening, and you cannot seem to find your debit card. Did you leave it on your kitchen counter before you left? Did it fall between the cushions of Grandma’s old floral sofa bed? Did you leave it in the card reader at the grocery store while you were bagging your 17 gallons of eggnog? Where ever it went, you may not be able to find it right away—and the bank is closed! By downloading the Shazam Brella App, you can automatically block and unblock your debit card at the push of a button right from your smartphone. That means that once you do find that card, you don’t have to worry about ordering a new card and taking a trip to the bank.

By the way, did you check under the seat in your car?

3. Add Fraud Alert to Your Contacts.

Shazam Falcon Fraud may sound like your uncle’s high school garage band that he tells you about at every family gathering, but it’s actually another line of defense for helping your accounts remain safe. Shazam, who is the card holder for TS Bank clients, has an algorithm in place that recognizes unusual and potentially fraudulent transactions, and blocks your card to prevent further fraud. A Shazam rep will try to call you each time, along with a banker, to verify those transactions. (Bonus: If you have a cell phone, they may also send you a quick text!) If the transactions are fraudulent, they will leave your card blocked and your funds safe until you can get a new card printed at your bank. If they are legitimate, Shazam Falcon Fraud will unblock your card so you can keep using it while you’re traveling. If you add the Falcon Fraud number to your contacts, then you will know exactly who is calling and why every time, and you don’t have to worry about those pesky telemarketing calls blowing up your phone while your family group chat argues about who is bringing what to dinner. (Easy solution—just bring one or two of the 17 gallons of eggnog you bought during tip number 2).

4.Have Multiple Payment Methods Available.

We hope that while you travel this season, whether it’s 5 miles or 500 miles away, your debit card causes you no grief. But should you have the unfortunate luck to end up with a blocked card, it is always a smart idea to have an additional form of payment. Cash is a great alternate option, but you may also consider bringing along an emergency credit card. You can even grab a spare check or two, but remember, some businesses no longer accept checks—especially out of town checks.

The holiday season can be chaotic enough! Don’t let your debit card and checking account add to the end-of-year craziness. Let us help you keep your account running smoothly, so all you have to worry about is getting where you need to go—and back—safely and securely.

At TS Bank, we IGNITE PROSPERITY® by helping our clients do more with their money. Whether it’s saving a little extra cash each month or accomplishing a long-term strategy, our goal is to help you transform your financial life. Call and schedule an appointment today, one of our team members would love to help you do more with your money at TS Bank. TS Bank has eight locations in central and southwest Iowa. For more information visit tsbank.com or call 844-487-3030. #igniteprosperity