How to Avoid Credit Problems Before Traveling on Spring Break

National financial education non-profit American Consumer Credit Counseling offers tips for avoiding credit problems for money conscious travelers.

Boston, MA – March 20, 2015

Using credit cards on vacationCollege and high school spring break is underway and tens of thousands of students across the country will soon flock from the classroom to beach chairs in tropical destinations. While it’s a time for sunshine, parties and fun, the risk of not preparing for your trip abroad could leave you with credit problems and a financial emergency.

In an effort to spare travelers from spring break headaches, American Consumer Credit Counseling has developed credit management tips to avoid unnecessary expenses and credit problems during their trips.

“With the amount of time it takes to plan and organize a vacation, it’s easy to forget to contact your bank or credit card company before traveling out of state or overseas,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “It is always important to let your bank or credit card provider know that you’re going to be out of town so they should expect to see some new charges.  If you start charging in an unfamiliar city without making that call, you’re likely to trigger a fraud warning system, which could make your credit or debit cards unusable.”

ACCC offers the following credit management tips to prevent the most common banking and credit problems from ruining a vacation:

  1. To avoid credit problems call your credit card company and bank before you travel. If you use the card at a location far away from your typical activity without calling, banks and credit card providers may suspect a security breach on your account. As a result your card may be declined when you attempt to make a purchase.
  2. Find out if your card offers travel insurance or other benefits. This can include travel assistance, emergency medical services and collision coverage for your rental car. This could help you save on unnecessary expenses, delays or emergencies during your trip.  However, if you do opt for any of these services, be sure to understand what the terms of the benefits are, the time period of coverage and cancellation policies after you return.
  3. If you haven’t already, set up online access for your credit card. This ensures that you can monitor your account activity while traveling, track your expenses and see if your card or information has been stolen or used in any way. Credit problems can be avoided if you can monitor your accounts on the go.
  4. Ask if your bank has a partner in your destination city or country where you can withdraw cash and avoid ATM fees. Bank of American debit card users for example pay no ATM withdrawal fees with specific banks of France, Germany, Canada, China, Mexico, Italy and the UK.
  5. Remember that “Cash is King.” For Americans, U.S dollars can be the most cost-effective form of payment, as you automatically save on any fees you would have at a financial institution. Check the exchange rates to understand the value of a dollar. Avoid credit card debt altogether by using cash.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at

About American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. Each month, ACCC invites consumers to participate in a poll focused on personal finance issues. The results are conveyed in the form of infographics that act as tools to educate the community on everyday personal finance issues and problems. By learning more about financial management topics such as credit and debt management, consumers are empowered to make the best possible financial decisions to reach debt relief. As one of the nation’s leading providers of personal finance education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help determine the best possible debt solutions for them. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies.  To participate in this month’s poll, visit and for more financial management resources visit