Debit Card Travel and Safety Tips

Many foreign countries have switched to debit/credit cards with embedded chips instead of the magnetic stripe cards that are common in the United States. Visa has provided some tips for dealing with this situation if you are traveling abroad.

Before You Travel

  • Notify University Credit Union before traveling internationally. Advance notification will help ensure that legitimate purchases are approved.
  • Check your expiration date: Make sure your VISA Debit Card will not expire while you are away.
  • Keep your Visa Debit Card account number and the lost/stolen customer service telephone number (VISA International 973.682.2652 in a safe place, separate from your wallet or handbag.
  • Check UCU’s Schedule of Fees and Charges for foreign ATM Transaction Fees.

During Travel

  • In countries that have adopted chip technology, particularly in Europe, international visitors may continue to use their non-chip-enabled cards; most chip terminals will recognize and process a magnetic stripe card.
  • If you encounter a merchant who is hesitant to accept a non-chip card for payment, encourage the merchant to swipe the magnetic-stripe card through the terminal and follow the terminal prompts to complete the transaction.
  • If, for some reason, you are unable to use your Visa card to make a purchase at a merchant location, you should be able to obtain cash from a local ATM.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact UCU at 310.477.6628 x1. You may also click on the following link for the printable version of the above tips: International Travel Tips