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An illustration of a hand holding a mobile phone on a beach
An illustration of a hand holding a mobile phone on a beach
An illustration of a hand holding a mobile phone on a beach

Updated May 2024

Kick back and relax.

The weather is getting warmer, schools are out, and hanging out by a pool sounds pretty good right about now. It’s time for summer vacation.

Whether you’re planning the ultimate road trip with your family, or flying out to explore somewhere new, it’s important to have some peace of mind when it comes to keeping your money safe. Don’t worry, we put together a list of things you can do to make sure you can relax.

Before you pack your bags.

Travel notifications.

Let STCU know you’re going somewhere. The heads-up helps to keep our security system from restricting purchases made with your credit or debit cards if it picks up unexpected use in another city.

Letting us know before you go is easy. Just log in to your account and under the “My accounts” tab select "Submit travel notification." Once you’re in, select the dates you’ll be gone, pick what cards you’ll be using, and where you’re going. Now, you’re good to go.

Look out for fraud alerts.

That’s right, our fraud monitors could send a text, email, or call about suspicious transactions made on your credit or debit cards. If fraud is suspected, your card will be blocked from making anymore purchases until STCU hears from you. All you need to do is reply to the communication and say whether or not you recognize what your card was used for. 1

Turn on card management.

Managing where, when, and how your debit or credit card is used is just a few taps away on your phone or clicks away from a computer. Card management lets you shut down unauthorized users in other cities or online from attempting to use your card to make purchases. You can also get alerts that let you know when and how your card is being used, so you can adjust and manage transactions on the spot.

These settings can be found in the card management section of the mobile app or online banking. Start by selecting the card you want to add controls and alerts to. Then, you’ll see the alerts and controls option at the top with the settings icon.

We put together a guide to help you keep track of your accounts using notifications. 

Bring a backup.

Nobody expects to lose their credit card or debit card while they’re trying to relax on vacation, but it can happen. That’s why you’ll want to prepare to pay for things with a backup card or some cash. Your backup payment should be stored in another location like a suitcase or room vault.

Create a new contact.

Make sure you have the right numbers to call if you need to report fraud to your financial institution. It’s good to save it in your phone or jot it down to keep somewhere safe.

Hold your mail.

You don’t want somebody to snag personal information from your mailbox. The U.S. Post Office will hold your mail safely for up to 30 days if you request that service. Learn how to hold your mail.

Making the switch to online statements is also a great way to make sure your banking information isn’t getting sent out when nobody’s home. Set it up now!

While you’re away.

Watch what you post.

As much as you want to post your vacation pics and status updates on social media, scammers and fraudsters want to use that information. Sharing #SummerTrip updates can show scammers when you’re heading out of town and where you’re going. It’s also a good idea to make sure those posts don’t contain any information that could help a fraudster guess your security questions. Think pet names or the city you met your spouse in.

Check before you connect.

Public Wi-Fi can be a great way to save on data. It’s also a good way for hackers to grab your personal information. While password protected public Wi-Fi is better, it still isn’t 100% safe. If you’re using it, stay off websites that use any of your personal information.

ATM safety.

Pulling cash out of an ATM can be easy and convenient. It could also be used by scammers to pull information from your card. Check to see if there are any wires showing or if it has unusual bulges where you insert your card. Those signs could mean somebody placed a card skimmer in the machine to pull data off it. You should also make sure you are keeping your PIN hidden from other people who may be in line. If the machine spits out a receipt with your banking or personal information on it, you should make sure it’s disposed of safely.

Keep an eye on accounts.

Checking to see if there is unusual spending can be done anytime and anywhere using STCU’s online banking and mobile app. Just log in and peek at your most recent purchases.


1STCU does not charge for its text alert service, but standard messaging rates from your wireless carrier may apply.