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.
Phone a Friend
BECU certainly cares about you and your financial well-being. 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.
Set a Travel Notification
Log into Online Banking; click Account Services (located in the upper right-hand corner); select Travel Notification. Follow the prompts. Digital notifications can be set up to 60 days in advance and for a travel period as long as 90 days. You can even include multiple destinations – don't forget layover stops for those random snack purchases!
Please note that only one digital travel alert can be set during the same time period. If the trip is longer than 90 days, or, if there are multiple account holders traveling at once (e.g., your spouse is on a business trip while the rest of the family heads to Mexico), please reach us by phone or via a secure message.
Call Us: 800-233-2328
For businesses that operate as a partnership, corporation or LLC using an EIN for tax reporting, you can set a travel notification by logging into Business Online Banking. Select Messages located on the right-hand navigation menu, then create a message and select Travel Notes to set a travel notification. You can also call us at 800-704-8080 Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (PST) to speak with a business representative.
Send a Secure Message
Log into Online Banking; click Message Center (located at the top of the webpage, next to Search, Locations and Support); select Send Message. Secure messages allow you to fully communicate your travel plans, and can be a better digital option if traveling for longer than 90 days, or, if there are multiple account holders traveling at once.
BECU representatives are available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (PST), and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the BECU mobile app.
For businesses that operate as a partnership, corporation or LLC using an EIN for tax reporting, you can send us a secure message by logging into Business Online Banking. Select Messages (located on the right-hand navigation menu). You can also call us at 800-704-8080 Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (PST) to speak with a business representative.
Outside the US and Canada?
Read the international calling instructions.
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 into Online Banking and click the Edit Profile link.
- Give us a call at 800.233.2328
- Visit a Neighborhood Financial Center
- Send a secure message through Online Banking
- Send a message through BECU Messenger via BECU mobile app.
Please note: Contact verification through Online Banking is not available for business accounts that operate as sole proprietors and LLCs using a social security number (SSN) for tax reporting as well as clubs, trusts and estates. Please call us at 800-704-8080 to verify your contact information over the phone.
For businesses that operate as a partnership, corporation or LLC using an EIN for tax reporting, please call 800-704-8080 to verify your contact information.
Because long distance communication involves time zones and a potential trip disruption, it's always best to notify us of your plans 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, and not your BECU card.
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.
Traveling with a BECU Visa, Cash Back Visa or Business Visa?
No matter where you go, BECU Visa® credit cards have your back. Enjoy considerable worldwide travel accident insurance, no foreign-transaction fees and travel services that include emergency assistance. Members with the Cash Back Visa card enjoy additional protections against lost luggage, baggage delay and trip cancellation at no extra cost when the transportation is booked entirely on the Cash Back Visa. See for additional benefits of the BECU Visa, BECU Cash Back Visa, and the BECU Business Visa.
Carrying the BECU Debit or Business Debit Mastercard?
You'll enjoy making purchases with no foreign transaction fee!1 Plus, its global acceptance and services, paired with zero liability protection2 and additional BECU benefits, make it a great traveling companion for both personal and business members. What's more, members with Member Advantage are refunded for out-of-network ATM fees (up to $3 a month).3 For additional benefits view the BECU Mastercard Guide to Benefits (PDF) and BECU Business Mastercard Guide to Benefits (PDF).
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.
Make sure the cards are:
- Current: Double-check 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.
- Saved: 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 Bill Pay and Business Bill Pay 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 funds availability and meets the bill's deadline.
BECU's credit card rates range from 7.99% to 21.99% 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.
10.20% 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.
2Restrictions, conditions and limitations apply. More detailed information on these benefits can be found in the MasterCard Guide to Benefit (PDF).
3Refund of out-of-network ATM fees charged by the other financial institution on ATM withdrawals from a Member Advantage Savings, Member Advantage Checking or Member Advantage Money Market account. Refund will be deposited into the Member Advantage account of withdrawal. A maximum of $3 per month will be refunded on the Member Advantage relationship and all associated Member Advantage accounts. Account must be open and still considered Member Advantage at time of refund. Member Advantage eligibility and benefits are subject to change. Refunds processed daily and may take up to three days due to cut-off and posting times.