Use A Travel-Only Credit Card To Isolate Fraudulent Activity

Use A Travel-Only Credit Card To Isolate Fraudulent Activity

A significant percentage of the credit card theft each year is a result of poor data security at hotels. Keep a separate card for travel expenses to quickly identify a compromised card and report it to your credit card company.

Photo by stelogic.

Hotels security breaches make up a shockingly high percentage of the credit card data heists each year. How high? 38 per cent of cases can be traced back to hotels. Everyone is worried about the waiter stealing their credit card info but restaurants comprising only 13 per cent of data breaches by comparison. At the New York Times they highlight the root of the problem:

Mr. Roman works with hotels to improve security technology, but he said that as the industry hit tough economic times and hotel owners cut spending, security upgrades sometimes lagged. Proper technology security “requires purchasing not only of software and hardware, firewalls and encryption programs,” but training staff and constantly monitoring of transactions and data access, he said.

“We’re seeing thousands and thousands of credit cards being hacked out of hotel systems. So I would say the industry is not doing incredibly well on this,” Mr. Roman said.

Ideally you’ll use a separate card for your travel expenses so any odd charges, however small, will stand out immediately. Barring a separate card for travel be extra diligent about checking your statements after you travel to ensure no mystery charges appear. Many times credit card data is sold and sits idle for a period of time before being used so stay vigilant about combing through your bills.

Have a story to share about travel-related credit card problems or a favourite tool that helps you keep on top of strange happenings on your credit card? Let’s hear about it in the comments.

Credit Card Hackers Visit Hotels All Too Often [The New York Times via The Consumerist]


  • With Many Free credit cards with interest free days are around.

    I’ve always been doing this anyway. No one cares if you have a credit card sitting Idle for months or years.

  • Interesting that in the five years the hotel I work at has been opened, there hasn’t been any data theft. Particularly as in order to access guest credit card details, you must be logged into the system, and 30 days after check out, the number is removed with the exception of the last four digits.

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