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Summer Travel Tips To Keep Your Money Safe

Protect yourself with the help of your community bank

Beecher, IL (May 1, 2013) — With summer just around the corner, many families are already planning to hit the road or the skies for their much-anticipated summer vacation. Just as you pack sunscreen to protect your skin, First Community Bank and Trust and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) want to make sure you take the following information with you to keep your money safe as well.

"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 Greg Ohlendorf, president and CEO of First Community Bank and Trust. ICBA, the nation’s voice for nearly 7,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, agrees saying "community banks are relationship bankers who know and 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 recommend that the safest and most convenient way to travel is to take a small amount of cash and a debit, credit or ATM card. These cards are convenient while traveling because they are easy to carry, easy to use and, for international travel, usually offer the lowest fees and the best exchange rates.

However, travelers still need to plan ahead to be prepared. To help, we offer these tips about what you should do before hitting the road or runway: (bullet the list below)

  1. 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.
  2. Call or stop by your community bank to find out what ATM or debit card fees you may be subject to here and abroad.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. Remember to include the security code for the card and the customer-service phone number.
  6. Bring a list of emergency phone numbers, including ones for the bank and each credit or debit card company. Remember that 800 numbers can only be used in the United States and Canada. Be sure to get numbers that you can call if you're out of the country.
  7. Many credit cards provide travel accident insurance and traveler's assistance. Ask your community bank what special services are available through your card.
  8. Check your balance before you leave. Know the daily withdrawal limits and save all your receipts. If needed, you can increase (or decrease) that limit to best suit your plans.

"Whether your destination is overseas or closer to home, it really is better to be safe than sorry. And First Community Bank and Trust can help you make sure that you're safe," Ohlendorf said.

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