Best practices for banking abroad

July 21, 2022
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If you’re heading to Ireland to see Nebraska play Northwestern in the season opener this year, congrats! You have tickets to witness some Husker history in the making.

As you prepare for your trip abroad, you’re likely crossing items off your to-do list: downloading the plane and game tickets, putting your passport in your carry-on, making sure your giant corncob headgear fits in your luggage… you know, the usual.

One thing you might have overlooked, however — and trust us, it happens — is making sure your banks know you’re heading to The Emerald Isle. Here are some quick and easy tips to make sure you have a smooth money experience whenever you take an international trip.

Place a travel note on your accounts

To ensure your debit cards work wherever you go, simply place a travel note on your accounts with us. You can easily do this from the UBTgo mobile app by tapping Contact Us, then Travel Notice.

In the message you send, please include:

  • The state(s) or country(s) you’ll be visiting
  • The start and end dates of your trip

If your travel plans change, don’t fret — you can share this update with us by sending a new Travel Notice or by contacting our Customer Support Team.

Some important things to note: Your UBT debit card will incur a 1% foreign transaction fee on transactions made outside of the United States. You’ll also want to contact your other banks or credit card companies separately to alert them of your travel plans; when you do, be sure to ask them about any foreign transaction fees you may incur on those accounts, as well.

Use multiple payment methods

Carrying some cash — to complement your debit and credit cards — is a good idea because it can be easier to stay within your budget by rationing cash. You’ll also avoid being denied service at places that don’t accept credit cards — and you’ll have money on hand for taxis, snacks, pub drinks, tipping, etc. 

The currency in Ireland is the euro, and your best exchange rate is at ATMs. According to many travel blogs, avoiding the currency exchange kiosks in the airport is a good idea because of their exorbitant exchange rates. Just hit up the ATM when you arrive and grab some euros to use while you’re there. (Note: Be aware that you may incur fees or ATM surcharges when you use foreign ATMs.)

One last important tip: Make sure you’ve completed the travel notice on your account before attempting to withdraw euros from an ATM with your debit card. No one wants to be in a foreign country and have their debit card eaten by a hangry ATM.

Now, go have a great time in Ireland, and cheer loud enough for those of us watching at home!

Need help setting up a Travel Notice, or have other questions about banking abroad? Our Customer Support Team is happy to assist you.

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Learning Center articles, guides, blogs, podcasts, and videos are for informational purposes only and are not an advertisement for a product or service. The accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Please consult with your own tax, legal, and financial advisors.

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