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Credit Card Security & Travel Alerts

Following are some frequently asked questions that will hopefully make using your VISA card a little less hectic!

1. Why is it important to inform TransWest of my travel plans?

With identify fraud so prevalent, we are proactively working to combat it by blocking transactions that may be unauthorized. While this is a great practice for people whose cards have been compromised by fraudulent purchases, it can be annoying when you are the only person using your card. Letting us know about your travel plans will help us to protect you and also insure that your card doesn’t get declined due to unusual patterns of use.

2. How do I make TransWest aware of my travel plans?

During regular business hours call your branch at 801-487-1692 and After hours: call (800) 453-4270. Be prepared to share the dates you will be traveling and the places you plan to visit. The Service Rep can also inform you if there are any additional service fees you should be aware of if you are traveling internationally.

3. Do I need to inform TransWest when I plan to travel within the United States?

Yes. In an effort to protect your card from being comprised by fraudulent purchases, the same regulations are in place for domestic travel.

4. Can my card be declined when making purchases online?

Yes. If the company you are purchasing from is located in a state or country that has a high rate of credit card fraud, purchases made online could be declined. In this case, please call us at 801-487-1692 and explain the situation to release the block on your card.

5. How soon do I need to report a lost or stolen card?

Immediately! Under federal law, you are not responsible for fraudulent charges over $50, but only if you report your card lost or stolen right away. Remember, your physical card doesn’t have to be missing in order for your card number to have been stolen. You may also be required to detail the invalid charges in writing within 30 days.


Besides letting TransWest know about your travel plans, here are some other useful tips for protecting yourself from credit card fraud while traveling.

1. Photocopy both sides of your card and store the copies where you have quick access if the cards are lost or stolen or keep a record of any phone numbers to report a lost or stolen card. Don’t keep this information in your wallet or purse, but instead leave copies with a trusted friend or relative.

2. Understand the fees charged for cash advances, withdrawals, and foreign transactions.

3. Make sure your PIN is only four digits. Some domestic and many overseas ATMs only accept four-digit, numeric PINs.

4. Check the card’s travel protection to see whether it covers trip cancellations or emergency medical care while you travel.

5. Be aware that if authorization is taken of your card by a car rental company or a hotel, this can reduce the credit available and block some funds on the account even if no money is actually taken from your account.

6. Find out if there are any restrictions on your card and how much the daily withdrawal limits are.

7. If you’re going to be away for an extended period of time, make sure you’ve scheduled electronic payments to your account or pay the balance off before you go so that you don’t incur late fees.

8. Keep all of your receipts from purchases so you can verify them against your statement when you return home. Check your receipts to see if the merchant contact number is included in case there is any discrepancy that needs to be resolved.

9. Protect your card’s magnetic strip from damage or demagnetization by keeping them in a paper sleeve or arranging them so the magnetic strips aren’t touching.

10. Don’t keep your cards together in one place. It’s a good idea to store one card in a separate place – the lining of your purse, an inside jacket pocket, or in a hidden travel pouch.

11. Don’t keep your PIN or access codes with your cards. A good idea is to store it in your cell phone or address book as the last four (or however many) digits of the phone number of a fake friend.

12. When making a purchase at a store or restaurant, keep your credit card visible whenever possible. With the prevalence of camera phones, it’s easy for someone to snap a picture of your card while it’s lying on the counter or for someone to double charge your credit card at a store or restaurant.