Summer is a big time for travel – although with the increasing price of gas and food, summer 2011 might be a bit different! But we’ll touch on that another day. If you are planning on heading out of town, we have some tips for you:
1) Reserve your hotel room by using a credit card – not your debit card. Often times, hotels immediately put a hold on a large amount of money making it unavailable to you. If you use a debit card, this could cause your every day purchases to put you into the red. (Our Fraud Specialist Liz told me a story of a member who reserved a hotel room using her debit card – but the hotel didn’t think the card was going through, so they ran it THREE TIMES! They ending up holding over $800 from the member’s account, which caused her account to become extremely overdrawn.)
2) Filling up the car tank? Hit “credit” instead of debit. This is for the same reason as the above. If you select debit, most gas stations will hold between $50 to $100 (depending on where you go) making it completely unavailable to you, even if you got only a $1 worth of gas.
3) It’s a very wise decision to use one credit card for all of your trip related purchases. Keeping everything in one place helps to track spending and detect possible fraud. We recommend a credit card with a low rate and a sweet rewards program, like our 10.90% APR (annual percentage rate) VISA Rewards Platinum (click here for details).
4) Lastly, be sure to give your Linn Area Credit union family a jingle before you hit the open road. Because of fraud outbreaks, we keep a close eye on purchases that occur out of state. A quick call to let us know when you’ll be out of town so we can note your account will ensure that your trip will run just a little bit more smoothly!
What are you tips for savvy summer travels? Tell us in the comments below!