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Planning Ahead Can Help You Keep Your Money Safe

Travel Tips from First Community Bank and Trust and ICBA

Beecher, Illinois (May 23, 2011) – With the kick off of summer less than a week away and many Americans planning to hit the road or the skies for their much-anticipated summer vacation, First Community Bank and Trust and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) want consumers to have the information they need before leaving home so they can keep their money safe.

“Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than losing your wallet or running out of funds, so plan ahead and talk to your community banker about how you can protect your money while traveling both domestically and abroad,” said Sal Marranca, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Cattaraugus County Bank, Little Valley, N.Y. “Since community banks are relationship bankers who work one-on-one with their customers, they can help customers be better prepared for travel emergencies. And in the event that something unfortunate does happen, they are ready and willing to help.”

Financial professionals agree that the safest and most convenient way to travel with your money is to take a small amount of cash with you.  It’s also a good idea to carry a debit, credit or ATM card. These cards are convenient while traveling because they are easy to carry, easy to use and often offer the lowest fees and the best exchange rates.

However, travelers still need to plan ahead to be prepared.  To help, ICBA offers these tips to consumers about what they need to take care of before they take off:

  • Let your community bank know when and where you will be traveling so that you will avoid any potential for fraud alerts when out-of-the-ordinary transactions are posted. Mobile banking, like First Community Bank and Trust’s First eMobile, is an easy way to keep an eye on things without distracting from all the fun of your vacation!
  • Call or stop by your community bank to find out what ATM or debit card fees you may be subject to in this country and abroad.
  • If you’re traveling overseas, keep in mind that ATMs in many countries only accept four-digit personal identification numbers (PINs) and some countries have keyboards with numbers only, while others do not acknowledge zeros. Ask your community bank if you should create a new PIN for your account before you take your trip.
  • Carry a back-up card that you keep in a separate place. Families or couples may get even greater back-up coverage if each person takes a different card.
  • Make copies of all the cards you’ll be carrying. Be sure to copy the front and back of the card. Take a copy with you and give a copy to someone you trust back home. Be sure to also include the security code for the card and the customer-service phone number.
  • Bring a list of emergency phone numbers, but remember, 800 numbers can only be used in the United States and Canada. Be sure to get a number for your bank that you can call if you’re out of the country.
  • Many credit cards provide travel accident insurance and traveler’s assistance. Ask your community bank what special services are available through your card.
  • Check your balance before you leave. Know the limits on how much you can withdraw. Save all your receipts.

“Whether your destination is overseas or closer to home, it really is better to be safe than sorry. And we can help you make sure that you’re safe,” said Greg Ohlendorf, President and CEO of First Community Bank and Trust.

For more information about what to do if you your card is lost or stolen or if you need additional help, visit http://usa.visa.com/personal/using_visa/travel_with_visa.html or http://www.mastercard.us/support/lost-card.html. 
To learn more about ICBA, visit www.icba.org.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America, the nation’s voice for community banks, represents nearly 5,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types throughout the United States and is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and the communities and customers we serve. For more information, visit www.icba.org.

About First Community Bank and Trust
First Community Bank and Trust is a privately owned bank. Established in 1916 First Community Bank and Trust has been serving Beecher, IL, Peotone, IL and the surrounding communities for over 95 years. Our commitment to providing the best banking products and services is matched only by our outstanding customer service. We offer traditional community banking services, including mortgage, consumer, and commercial lending, as well as state of the art electronic banking services.

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Press Contact:
Steven D. Koehn, VP
First Community Bank and Trust
(708) 946-2246