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Tips for Using Your Cards While Traveling

aerial view of a variety of items relating to travleing

If you plan on traveling and want some tips on debit and credit card usage, continue on! You can save time, money, and headaches with these tips for reducing transaction hassles and fees when you are using credit and debit cards while traveling.

aerial view of a variety of items relating to travleing

1. Let your card issuer know when and where you will be traveling. You can call our Contact Center to ask our Team Members to mark your Centra debit and credit cards for travel. Make sure to include:
– your card number
– your dates of travel (when you are leaving and will be returning)
– your destination

2. To save money while traveling, try to limit the use of cards that charge added fees outside of the United States. We will automatically waive foreign ATM fees charged by Centra. Other financial institutions may still charge you for using their ATM. It is a good idea to research fees for any other cards you plan to bring with you. 

3. Be prepared in case of theft with several payment options, so you aren’t stranded with no way to pay. Also, if your card is declined due to suspected fraud, you will be happy to have another option to pay with.

If it is suspected that fraud is occurring on your Centra card, Fraud Prevention specialists will contact you. 

  • Credit cardholders will receive a call from Falcon.  If needed, credit cardholders can reach Falcon at 800-337-3392.
  • Debit cardholders will receive a text from Enfact if a cell phone number is on your account.  If a cell phone number is not listed on your account, or if the text is not replied to, Enfact will place a phone call to the primary Member on the account.  If needed, debit cardholders can reach Enfact at 866-750-9107.

4. If you do use local currency, look into the conversion rates from dollars. If you use your credit card, be sure conduct the transactions in local currency. Dynamic currency conversion (DCC) allows you to have a transaction conducted in U.S. dollars rather than the local currency, so you have a better idea what it’s costing you. This may seem convenient, but it’s expensive. The exchange rates for DCC are typically much worse than what your card issuer will use when it converts the purchase for your statement. So when offered the chance to “see your total in dollars,” take a pass.

ATMs can also attempt to charge you for DCC—some more obviously than others. The charge may be termed as “locking in” or “guaranteeing” a conversion rate, which sounds safe and like a smart move. Instead, you should choose whatever option allows you to proceed without the conversion. Always select to be charged in the local currency, no matter how the question is phrased.

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