Traveling Abroad

Helpful tips when paying internationally

Flight is booked, passport updated and your pets have a place to stay. But before you hop a plane, train or automobile for foreign borders, be sure you can pay while you're there. Check out our handy guide to traveling – and spending – around the globe.

Call someone who cares

BECU certainly cares about you and your financial wellbeing! It's why we would be quick to flag a purchase in Greece as fraud. Such flagging is helpful … unless you are actually in Greece. Before you use your BECU Visa or Mastercard internationally, contact us. Doing so ahead of departure helps prevent any disruption using and paying with your card.


Phone: (800) 233-2328


Online: Log in to Online Banking; click Message Center (located at the top of the webpage, next to Search, Locations and Support); select Send Message.


BECU representatives are available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (PST)

Sleep easier

That peace of mind you constantly feel? It's from knowing BECU ensures you are making your purchases. Our system goes the extra mile ensuring your purchases are legitimate, overseeing your normal spending habits.  A day trip is most likely not going to trigger fraud. However, a purchase in Iceland may alert the system to ice your account.

If suspicious charges occur, Card Member Security will attempt to contact you before ultimately locking the account. You will be contacted by email or phone (not text). Double check BECU has your current contact number and email address; simply log in to Online Banking and click the Edit Profile link.

Because long distance communication involves time zones and a potential trip disruption, it's always best to notify us before you travel. 

Your chip can take a trip

The global community often requires chip-enabled cards. As with all international trips, you will want to pack your patience! Some unattended terminals will require a PIN; others simply do not accept U.S. issued debit cards – those purchases may appear as “Transaction Cancelled.” It may be due to the merchant's technology.


If possible, ask the clerk for assistance. Transaction cancelled at an unassisted terminal? We always recommend bringing a backup card, and carrying emergency cash on you. Don't forget, you can always call BECU for help, too.

Have yet to receive your chip-enabled credit or debit card? Request a new card – be sure to mention it is needed for foreign travel.

BECU Visa® credit card features and benefits

  • Fees*: NO foreign-transaction fee, NO ATM fee (the institution that owns the ATM might) and NO cash-advance fee
  • $0 fraud liability (report lost card ASAP)
  • $500,000 Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • EMV chip-enabled: Accepted (and preferred) almost anywhere in the global community! Find  more info.

BECU Mastercard® debit card

  • NO foreign transaction fee**, including on ATM withdrawals (the institution that owns the ATM might have additional fees)
  • International ATM locator (http://www.mastercard.us/cardholder-services/atm-locator.html) 
  • Zero Liability Protection (report lost card ASAP)
  • Chip-enabled: Accepted (and preferred) almost anywhere in the global community! Find  more info.

Know before you go - have a backup

You packed your passport and your BECU card – what more do you need? One more card. Traveling abroad isn't always easy, and a card could be lost, stolen or compromised. You may also experience emergencies and require more funds than your card's limit.
Bringing at least two current cards with you helps ensure a smoother, safer journey. Review a few quick tips when organizing your wallet.

Are the cards:

  • Current: Doublecheck the expiration dates go beyond your travel dates. You never know if a trip may be extended.
  • Chip-enabled: You will have better success traveling with chip-enabled cards. The global community uses, and often requires, chip cards.
  • Noted: Write down the card numbers and corresponding customer service number in case you need to reach someone about a lost card. Be sure to store the information in a place separate from your cards!
  • Secure: Money belts may sound dorky – until your wallet is stolen. We like this article from local travel guru Rick Steves, Travel with a Money Belt: Your Portable Safe

Bills, bills, bills

You're on vacation time, but your bills are on real world time — don't let those mundane tasks at home, such as paying bills, interfere with your travels. Review our handy checklist to ensure you can get away on your getaway:


  • Use BECU Bill Payment: BECU billpay allows you to use multiple payment methods, schedule payments, and is FREE. Plus, it lets you organize all of your bills in one easy-to-see website.
  • Switch manually paid bills to automatic payment: Set up payment on the biller's website.
  • Ensure your method of payment is updated.
  • Need payday to hit before the bills? Schedule your bills on a day that accommodates your fund availability and meets the bill's deadline.


*BECU's credit card rates range from 7.9% to 18.90% variable APR and are subject to change without notice. The actual APR will be determined when you apply and will be based on your credit worthiness. $25 Annual Participation Fee for BECU Rewards applies after first year. The BECU Rewards program is subject to change without notice.

**0.20% currency conversion fee may be included in the purchase or withdrawal's overall total when using a debit card; however, the fee will be refunded within 3 business days contingent upon the account being open at the time of refund.