Visa Travel Tips

Family on BeachUsing your Visa Credit Card and/or Debit Card while traveling.

You should have no problem using your Visa Credit Card or Debit Card wherever Visa is accepted. You can use them in ATMs, at stores and businesses, and you can also get a cash advance at a bank or credit union.

  • It is a very good idea to let the Credit Union know if you will be traveling abroad.
  • If you are not a frequent traveler and do not notify the credit union you are traveling abroad, then you may experience some difficulty.
  • If you are traveling to Mexico, you can use your Debit card to get cash at ATMs or at stores- when using your PIN, but due to increased fraud, the credit union does not allow signature based transactions in Mexico. There are no such restrictions on your credit card.

Advice on ATMs Abroad:

ATMs have pretty much replaced traveler's checks as the primary source of currency for many travelers, both in the U.S. and overseas. You can check out the Visa ATM locator for a list of locations near your destination. In addition to making foreign cash easy and convenient to obtain, ATMs provide the best exchange rates. However see the reasons below to see why ATMS may not always be the best deal for you.

  • Plus advertises the universality of their cards, actual machine operation and regulations vary from country to country and bank to bank.
    • For example, machines in countries such as England only allow access to checking accounts. Cash in a savings account will be unavailable, with no transfers possible.
  • Daily withdrawals are also limited to fixed amounts determined by the credit union ($310.00 per day with your Debit Card and $500.00 per day with your Credit Card)
  • The bank that operates the machine. /systems may also have weekly limits to how much cash a cardholder can get.
  • The cost of that cash can also vary. While the exchange rates are good, many banks charge fixed fees of up to $3 per transaction.
  • Cards can be lost or stolen, and local computer systems can crash just when you need cash.

The bottom line? ATMs do make it easier and cheaper to get cash anywhere, but you can't be sure until you get there. That's why wise travelers always have other cash options available whenever and wherever they go. Check out our Foreign Currency section for other cash options.

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