Protect your finances with travel tips

2020 Travel TipsSummer is officially here. As the days are longer and the weather warmer, many folks are preparing for their annual summer vacation. While travel is an exciting time, it can pose a risk to your finances.

When planning for out of state travel it is important to cover all your bases, including your bank accounts. It is true that paying with debit and credit cards offer more security on larger purchases compared to cash only. This is because both debit and credit cards offer protections, such as zero-liability for fraud charges. Having this protection in place can ease anxiety and offer peace of mind while traveling.

At Ohio Valley Bank, protecting customers from fraud is a top priority. To do this there are protocol that sometimes may take place, such as a hold on a transaction that comes from an unknown location out of the bank’s general area. To avoid this potential headache and keep your travel carefree, Angie Kinnaird, OVB Assistant Vice President Bank Card Department, encourages folks to place a travel alert on all cards, including both debit and credit.

“If travel alerts are not placed, customers take the risk of their cards being blocked by Fraud Center detection as a precautionary measure of preventing fraud. When cards are blocked, customers would not have access to their funds until the customer can contact the FI to remove the block,” Kinnaird said.

Customers should place alerts on all cards they plan to use during travel. According to Kinnaird, customers should request travel alerts 24-48 hours prior to arrival.

“Customers are welcome to call, email or visit a local branch to report travel plans,” she said. “Any travel outside of local normal pattern of use or within a 40-50-mile range I strongly recommend a travel alert to avoid any inconvenience to the customer.”

Along with travel alerts, there are additional things you can do to make travel worry-free. We recommend the following tips:

  • Bring a minimum of two cards to use on vacation. Should one card have issues, you would be covered with having a second one available. Traveling as a couple? Even better. If you each bring a card, that will provide backup coverage.
  • Only use ATMs that look safe. Avoid ATMs in secluded or poorly lit locations. Check each device to confirm that the card reader does not appear to be tampered with or have a removable piece attached to it. If anything seems off, find another machine. Remember you can take advantage of cash-back options with your debit card at certain stores.
  • While on vacation, save all receipts. Should you have an issue arise, having your receipts available will help you identify the potential problem quicker.
  • Limit what you share on social media. While it is fun to post photos while on vacation it can put you at risk. If you have public social media accounts it is a good idea to share photos once you return home. Unfortunately, if criminals know you are out of town, they may seize the opportunity.
  • Pack a list of emergency phone numbers, including a number for your bank. Should any issues occur, having a list of contacts ready will help you get things solved faster and in turn, get you back to vacation-mode.
  • Keep your cash out of sight, in a secure place. While a vacation might make you more relaxed, you still need to be aware of your surroundings. Whether you are out shopping or in a public location, such as a restaurant or a beach, flashing cash can bring unwanted attention. Organize your money before heading out each day.
  • Make sure all Wi-Fi you connect to is secure. For example, if you are staying at a hotel ask what their official Wi-Fi network is. It is quite common for hackers to set up fake Wi-Fi networks at hotels. Often these networks appear to be legit and are set up to take advantage of unsuspecting guests.
  • Password protect all devices. You are only as strong as your password, but this mantra rings even more true during travel. Losing your phone, laptop or tablet can put your financial information at risk. By password protecting these devices, your information will be kept safe should these items fall into the wrong hands.

In addition to financial protection, there are additional travel concerns this summer due to COVID-19. For more information on how to travel safely during the pandemic, check out the CDC’s recommendations https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html.

 

OVB moves to VISA debit cards

As many of you may know, Ohio Valley Bank has made the switch to Visa debit cards. Not only does this switch help keep fees lower for customers, but it also provides better security.

If you have not yet received your OVB Visa debit card, no need to panic as these cards are being gradually issued over the next months. Customers should still use their current MasterCard if they have not yet received their Visa. MasterCards will be automatically blocked once the customer activates their new Visa or 30 days after the Visa card is issued if it has not been activated.

OVB assistant vice president, customer support manager, Angie Kinnaird, sat down for a Q&A to clear up any confusion regarding the switch to Visa.

  1. As an OVB customer am I required to do anything to receive my new OVB Visa debit card? No, all customers will receive a new Visa card by or before the end of June.
  2. Will my card number change? Yes, new card numbers will be assigned.
  3. When will I get my new card in the mail? Cards are being distributed randomly through June.
  4. Other than activate my new card is there anything else I need to do? Upon activation, you will need to create a PIN. You can establish the same PIN if you wish to do so or create something new.
  5. Will my account be affected in any way with the card switch? No.

If you are away from home when your new card arrives, there is no need to worry as your MasterCard will continue to work for 30 days after your new Visa is issued.

Each new Visa card will be EMV chip enabled. Along with a new number, the Visa cards will include a new expiration date and CCV. Cardholders with recurring payments tied to their old card will need to notify who they pay and update their information.

Customers who currently have a Community First design card and receive a standard Visa in the mail can visit an OVB branch to get their Community First design back for free. However, the fee is not waived if customers choose a different Community First design than they previously had. This way, the school or charity does not miss out on the donation.

For more information or for assistance in activating your new card, call 1-800-468-6682 or visit any OVB location.

 

OVB to take part in Get Smart About Credit

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OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush presents Adventures in Credit to area school.

October is not only about Halloween, it also plays host to the American Bankers Association Get Smart About Credit event. Don’t let your finances scare you. Be sure to Get Smart About Credit!

Ohio Valley Bank will once again celebrate the event this month with their financial literacy programs. Now in its 15th year, Get Smart About Credit is a national campaign sponsored by the American Bankers Association to help youth understand credit and other financial lessons. Get Smart About Credit Day will officially be held Thursday, Oct. 19, however, OVB will be celebrating the event throughout the fall season.

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Get Smart About Credit this October

Credit CardsOctober is time for spooky thoughts of Halloween. While ghosts and goblins might give you a fright, don’t let your finances give you nightmares too.

Credit doesn’t have to be scary. To equip youth with a better understanding of credit, the American Bankers Association is hosting Get Smart About Credit Day this October. Once again, Ohio Valley Bank plans to participate in the program.

The 14th annual event will be celebrated Oct. 20, however the American Bankers Association encourages participants to host Get Smart About Credit presentations throughout the entirety of October as well as anytime in 2016.

To celebrate the event, OVB will be working credit lessons into their financial education programs. At the high school level, Get Smart About Credit will be incorporated into the OVB BANKit program. In addition, Adventures in Credit presentations, featuring the Centsables, are planned for area elementary schools. Ohio Valley Bank is also offering a smart, limited-time offer on new Visa Platinum credit cards. Details on the offer are available at any Ohio Valley Bank location.

The main goal of Get Smart About Credit is to share with students the “credit facts of life.” According to the American Bankers Association, the event stresses the importance of credit in all aspects of life. The campaign aims to show students that credit education isn’t just about paying for college, credit cards and loans, but also encompasses budgeting, understanding a credit report and identity protection.

What can you do to raise your credit score? Check out the following tips:

  • Take advantage of your annual free credit report. You should have your credit checked once a year to review for errors or inaccuracies. Visit annualcreditreport.com for more information.
  • Pay your credit card bill on time. Also, pay your bills in full if you are able to do so.
  • Set and stick with a budget. Adhering to a spending plan is really your first step to financial freedom. By following a budget and saving money you will be less likely to overspend on credit cards, which will also help you save on added fees such as interest costs.
  • Watch for warning signs of credit trouble. For example, if you find yourself continually making late payments, are only able to pay the minimum each month, or find yourself using credit for every day expenses, you’re already in trouble.
  • Think before you buy. Do not pay for things using credit without thinking about how it could affect your budget first. Make sure you will have the means to make payments on your purchase before you swipe your credit card.

For more information on Get Smart about Credit or to schedule a presentation for your school/event, contact OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.

Why I Went From Credit to Debit

©Getty Images

©Getty Images

I have a startling confession to make. Up until recently, I was a heavy credit card user, and it wasn’t an OVB credit card.  Boo! Hiss! Snarl! That’s the sound of certain members of my OVB family coming to take me out. The fact is, I received a credit card from an unnamed national credit card company prior to my employment with Ohio Valley Bank and just never switched over.  I was receiving 1% cash back, I was able to pay for everything a month later (more on why that’s a negative below), and I had just gotten in the habit of using it.

Recently, however, I made the jump from a national credit card to a local debit card.  Why? Well I’ll tell you!

Budgeting

It’s easier for me to budget when the money comes out of my account right away. Sure for the first month of paying with a credit card it might be easier to pay a month later, but after a point it really isn’t any different from paying now.

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