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Summer Air Travel Is Very Different This Year

More people are starting to travel again—airports are packed for much needed excursions. Here are some newer developments you’ll see in the summer of 2021, according to NPR’s Here & Now interview with transportation analyst Seth Kaplan.

Onboard flights are full. Middle seats are no longer being blocked.

Airline ticket prices are rising—but somewhat unevenly.

Even if you’re vaccinated, the TSA says you’ll still need to wear a facemask in airports and on planes.

Rental car rates are through the roof. The Washington Post recommends “car sharing, coupons and lesser known rental companies” for summer travelers to get through the “carpocalypse.”

“Air Rage” unruly passengers. Incidents of bad behavior are at record highs. Penalties include bans and fines.

Are you getting ready to fly this summer? Before you take that next business trip, family vacation, or cruise, let us help you with some basic tips and precautions.

Let Us Know, Before You Go
To protect against theft and unauthorized use of your Tower credit and debit cards, Tower monitors your card activity 24 hours a day. If we notice suspicious activity on one of your cards, we’ll need a way to contact you while you’re on the road–just to confirm if the activity is authorized.

Before your trip, let us know so we can help protect against theft or unauthorized card use. Fill out a Travel Notification form in Home Banking, under Additional Services. You can also call the Member Service Center at 301-497-7000 or 866-56-TOWER. If you receive a message from a Tower representative about possible unauthorized card use, please respond to our phone call as soon as possible. We’ll place a temporary hold on your card if we do not hear from you. If you find that your card has been temporarily suspended, simply call to remove the hold.

Be Prepared

  • Take Tower’s Fraud Service Center contact information with you.
  • Sign up for Tower’s Home Banking for safe 24-hour access to your accounts—anytime, anywhere. Keep track of your debit and credit card purchases, transactions and account balances online. Download our Mobile App. You can even pay your bills with online Bill Payment while traveling. Sign up for Mobile Banking and e-mail alerts in Home Banking before you leave so you can receive account information and reminders on the go.
  • Photocopy the front and back of all your cards and IDs. Take copies with you and keep them in a separate, secure place like a hotel safe. If your cards are lost or stolen, you can immediately pull out the copies and cancel the cards.

Credit Card Tips

  • Take both a Tower Mastercard® credit card and debit card with you so you have another form of payment in case one card is lost or stolen.
  • Check the expiration date of your credit card before leaving on your trip to make sure it is valid for your travel dates.
  • Choose to pay either the total new balance or the minimum payment for the month(s) out of town. Never miss a credit card payment when you set up automatic payments from your Prime Share or Regular Checking account before your trip.
  • Mastercard’s Zero Liability protection gives you peace of mind. You won’t be responsible for purchases in the event of unauthorized use of your Tower credit or debit card, if reported in a timely manner.

Tower’s World Card is a great card option for overseas travel, as there is no Foreign Transaction fee and you earn rewards points redeemable for cash back, future travel, gift cards and more.

Debit Card Tips

  • Set up debit card alerts and controls, so you can be notified of certain activities on your account.
  • Check the expiration date of your debit card before leaving on your trip to make sure it is valid for your travel dates.
  • Most card terminals will request that you use a keypad to enter your PIN number. However, you can initiate a signature-based transaction by canceling and selecting credit in order to pay without a PIN.
  • If you’re in the U.S., you’ll have unlimited access to over 30,000 free ATMs If out of the country, use ATMs with recognizable logos, such as Mastercard.
  • Similar to our credit cards, Tower’s debit card offers Mastercard’s Zero Liability protection. You won’t be responsible for purchases in the event of unauthorized use of your Tower debit card, if reported to us in a timely manner.
  • Some overseas ATMs will only allow access to your checking or savings account.

A Foreign Transaction fee of 1.10% will be added to any debit card transaction with a foreign merchant, whether originally made in U.S. dollars or converted from a foreign currency.

Helpful Sites for Travelers
U.S. Department of State

U.S. Passport Agency

Transportation Security Administration

Resources: WBUR (Boston, MA), The Washington Post, Mastercard