7 Money Moves to Consider Before Your International Trip

Traveling abroad? Follow these seven money tips

7 Money Moves to Consider Before Your International Trip

When traveling abroad, you want to spend every second enjoying the sights, not stressing about fraud alerts from your bank or how much to tip the taxi drivers. This checklist will help you figure out all things money—before you say “bon voyage.”

1. Give your bank a heads up

Using a credit or debit card abroad can be an easy and secure way to travel—but only if you make a few calls ahead of time. Alert your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans, or they could freeze your account when they spot an overseas purchase. Not having access to money can be a difficult way to travel.

2. Know the rates

Do you have to be able to convert dollars to pounds in your head? No. But having a basic understanding of the currency rate will help you pick the right place to exchange money abroad, as well as give you a gut check on whether that 20-pound cab ride is a better decision than walking eight blocks. Find and download a currency conversion tool, and take a peek at the Federal Reserve’s weekly exchange rates before your trip.

3. Carry some cash

While the use of debit and credit cards is increasingly widespread, there’s no guarantee that every taxi, food station and souvenir shop will welcome your plastic. The good news: You’ll likely be able to use your debit card at most ATMs abroad. Check with your bank before you travel to make sure that’s the case, and ask whether they partner with any banks abroad, so you can avoid pricey ATM fees.

4. Learn the local customs

Did you know: A 15 percent service charge is automatically included on restaurants and cafe bills in France?1 Or that tipping is a no-no for the most part in Japan2 and South Korea?3 Knowing the local tipping etiquette can help make sure you don’t offend—or waste money.

5. Empty your wallet

Losing your wallet anywhere is tough, but it can be a nightmare when you’re abroad. So why travel with every credit card,
debit card, library card and piece of ID? Only carry around the documents you need that day, and leave your non-essentials in the hotel safe or at home. Also, take pictures of each card 
so you have crucial information on hand if you need it. Just don’t forget to have copies of the pictures, in case you lose your phone!

6. Consider opening a travel rewards card

More than 60 percent of credit card holders use their cards to pay for travel expenses.4 So why not pick plastic that’s going to earn you goodies while you travel? If you’re in the market for a new card, look for one that’s tailored to travelers and doesn’t carry a foreign ATM fee.

7. Crunch the numbers on travel insurance

A study by the US Travel Insurance Association found that one in six Americans had to cancel travel plans, but only 22 percent of those who had to cancel had travel insurance (ouch).5 Don’t assume insurance is out of your price range (there are several different types of protection). But the best place to start is by checking the insurance you already have, like your renters or homeowners policies. Some may help you cover unexpected snafus, like if your luggage mysteriously goes missing.

Go the distance with great rewards

Learn more about the SunTrust Travel Rewards Credit Card.

1 “France’s waiters watch their tips decline,” 2014, BBC News

2 “How Japan Has Perfected Hospitality Culture,” 2014, The Wall Street Journal
3 “South Korea: Tipping & Etiquette,” TripAdvisor

4 “AARP Bulletin Survey on Budgeting and Credit Card Use,” AARP

5 “Illness, Natural Disasters Derail Travel for One in Six Americans,” 2014, The US Travel Insurance Association

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.


Investment and Insurance Products:

Are Not FDIC or any other Government Agency Insured   Are Not Bank Guaranteed  May Lose Value 

© 2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc

equal housing logoSunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC

equal housing logoEqual Housing Lender. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc

SunTrust, SunTrust Mortgage, SunTrust PortfolioView, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, SunTrust Premier Program, AMC Pinnacle, AMC Premier, Access 3, Signature Advantage Brokerage, Custom Choice Loan and SunTrust SummitView are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Services provided by the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: Banking products and services are provided by SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. Trust and investment management services are provided by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company and SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited. Securities, brokerage accounts and insurance (including annuities) are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a SEC registered broker-dealer, member FINRA, SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency. Investment advisory services are offered by SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered adviser. GFO Advisory Services, LLC is a SEC registered investment adviser that provides investment advisory services to a group of private investment funds and other non-investment advisory services to affiliates. Mortgage products and services are provided by SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.

SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. - NMLS #2915, 901 Semmes Avenue, Richmond, VA 23224, 1-800-634-7928. CA: licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, IL: Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee #MB-989, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, 100 W. Randolph, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60601, 1-888-473-4858, MA: Mortgage Lender license #-ML-2915, NJ: Mortgage Banker License - New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker—NYS Department of Financial Services, and RI: Rhode Island Licensed Lender.

"SunTrust Advisors" may be officers and/or associated persons of the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: SunTrust Bank, our commercial bank, which provides banking, trust and asset management services; SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, which is a member of FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency, and which provides securities, annuities and life insurance products; SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered investment adviser which provides Investment Advisory services.

SunTrust Private Wealth Management, International Wealth Management, Business Owner Specialty Group, Sports and Entertainment Group, and Legal and Medical Specialty Groups and GenSpring are marketing names used by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company, SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., and SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc.

SunTrust Bank and its affiliates do not accept fiduciary responsibility for all banking and investment account types offered. Please consult with your SunTrust representative to determine whether SunTrust and its affiliates have agreed to accept fiduciary responsibility for your account(s) and if you have completed the documentation necessary to establish a fiduciary relationship with SunTrust Bank or an affiliate. Additional information regarding account types and important disclosures may be found at

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey is the trade name for the corporate and investment banking services of SunTrust Banks, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC.