Plan ahead for your trip abroad by making sure you know what type of currency to have handy, where your debit and credit cards are accepted, and what to do if you find yourself in a pickle. Because each country is different, you’ll discover that being proactive can enhance your experiences all along the way.

Let us help with our Financial Travel Guide, designed to help you plan properly for a memorable trip.


Weigh all options when it comes to the payment choice you select for your travels. Here are some items to consider: 

  • Convenient, and there’s no need to worry about searching for a financial institution or ATM
  • The exchange rate for cash, if obtained prior to travel through your financial institution, is often lower than debit and credit cards
  • No added currency conversion charges on each transaction, like debit and credit cards
  • Risky because it can be stolen easily and can't be replaced
  • Bulky to carry, especially if traveling for an extended period of time
  • Comes in handy for places that do not accept debit or credit cards

Debit and Credit Cards

  • Small, compact and easy to carry in your pocket or money belt
  • Easy to cancel if lost or stolen by calling your financial institution
  • Some countries will not process PINs with more than four digits, so remember to reach out to your financial institution to change your PIN before traveling
  • Debit cards have daily ATM, point of sale (POS) and signature limits.
  • Debit cards may restrict the number of times it can be used each day; we recommend carrying a TruWest VISA® credit card just in case
  • Notify your financial institution before traveling—even in the U.S.—to avoid declines and card suspension due to anti-fraud monitoring, which watches for suspicious and abnormal charges
  • Foreign transaction fees may apply 

Exchange Rates

This refers to how much foreign currency you can purchase with one U.S. dollar. It's important to know what the exchange rate is before traveling to another country, so you can budget accordingly. 
If possible, avoid street kiosks in other countries for exchanging money. While they may offer some convenience by opening earlier and closing later, their rates are typically higher. It's a good idea to exchange your cash before you travel, or use your debit or credit card if you're in a pinch.

Fortunately, TruWest can help you purchase foreign currency for your trip. We can help by ordering your foreign currency and having it available for pick up at our branch. There is a minor fee for this service and it can take several days, so planning ahead is a must. Please visit your branch or call 1 (855) 878-9378 (that’s 855-TRUWEST) for details.

Blocked Countries

Certain countries are known for a high rate of debit and credit card fraud. Therefore, to protect our members, TruWest (like most financial institutions) blocks these countries from authorized transaction. To find out what countries are blocked, call 1 (855) 878-9378 (that’s 855-TRUWEST) or visit a TruWest branch before traveling to ensure your transactions are not declined abroad.

Bon Voyage!

We want to help ensure your trip is as smooth and stress-free as possible—you should be having fun after all. Just in case, we're available 24 hours a day by phone at 1 (855) 878-9378 (that’s 855-TRUWEST) as you plan your trip and even during your travels. Please reach out to us if you:
  • Plan to use your TruWest debit or credit card during your travels
  • Lose your TruWest debit or credit card, or to report it stolen
  • Have questions about using your TruWest debit or credit card while you travel
  • Want to know more about foreign currency