Traveling Abroad - Emergency Info and Tips

Emergency contact numbers and tips to remember before, during, and after international travel with your SEFCU debit and credit cards.


      Emergency contact numbers:

  • For emergencies, including lost or stolen passports, call the U.S. State Department 
    001-202-501-4444 (from overseas)
  • To report a lost/stolen SEFCU card from outside the U.S. call the appropriate number below:
    Debit Mastercard®001-518-452-8183 (do not call collect)
    SEFCU Mastercard or Lightning Credit Card®001-727-570-4881
    SEFCU World™ Mastercard: 001-727-227-1428




Here are some tips to remember before, during, and after international travel with your SEFCU debit and credit cards.


Q: How do I inform SEFCU of my travel plans?
A: Submit a Travel alert by logging into online banking and clicking "Secure Forms." (You may need to click "More" and then "Secure Forms" depending on how you personalized your Dashboard.) Then click "Submit a Travel Alert" under Credit and Debit cards.

Q: Why should I notify SEFCU of my travel plans? 
A: If you’re traveling domestically or internationally, it is best to tell us of your plans. This lets SEFCU know that you will be travelling outside of the area, so activity on your card won’t trigger a fraud alert.

Q: What if I don’t know the exact dates of my trip?
A: That’s okay! We would rather know your approximate dates of travel than to not know of your plans at all.

Some additional tips to consider as you plan to travel:

  • Know your daily spending limits. Our debit and credit cards have different daily spending limits which help us protect you. Don’t know your daily limit? Ask for it when you notify us of your travel plans.
  • Download SEFCU’s Mobile App and/or enroll in text banking to help you monitor your account while on the go. Make sure you know how to use Card Management so you can receive real-time alerts and even temporarily turn your cards on and off.
  • SEFCU may text or email you if we see any purchases out of the ordinary. For this reason, please make sure that you update your mobile number and email address with SEFCU prior to leaving.
  • Consider setting payments or bills to automatic payment. This will avoid the hassle of trying to make payments while traveling. You can also preset payments using SEFCU Bill Pay within your online banking account – set a date for a payment and it will automatically be paid while you travel…it’s as easy as that! 

Q: Does SEFCU offer foreign currency exchange? 
A: No, SEFCU does not offer foreign currency exchange. However, SEFCU Mastercard® Debit and Mastercard Credit cards can both be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted while you travel.

Q: Where can I go for foreign currency exchange before I depart?
A: For all of our members, we recommend visiting your local AAA location. With more than 70 types of currency offered, AAA members have the most popular currencies available within two business days. Certain other currencies are available in approximately five business days. 

Please note, The TravelEx foreign currency exchange is no longer operating at Albany International Airport. 
For members located in the Syracuse and Buffalo regions, you also have the option to visit your local EFX Currency Exchange Location. 


Q: Can I use my debit and credit cards overseas?
A: Yes! Except for some country exclusions (see table at bottom of page), you may use your card(s) anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Q: How can I avoid ATM fees when traveling?
A: SEFCU is part of the Allpoint network and CO-OP Network which provides surcharge-free* access to cash at more than 85,000 ATMs worldwide.

Q: Are Allpoint ATMs around the world?
A: Allpoint ATMs can be found across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Visit our ATM locator to find an Allpoint ATM close to you.

Q: Are there fees when using my card during travel?
A: If you make purchases outside of the U.S., you will notice an International Service Assessment (ISA) fee equal to 1% of the purchase or withdrawal amount for each transaction. Visit for more information on debit card fees. There are no foreign transaction fees on SEFCU credit cards.

Q: Is it better to use cash, a debit card, or credit card for travel purchases?
A: Many travelers believe that carrying cash is a must, but despite the convenience, cash also comes with a risk of unprotected loss should it be lost or stolen. Carrying a mix of limited cash, a debit card, and a credit card may be best. It is recommended that your debit card not be used for any purchase which may require “incidentals” – like car rentals or hotel check-ins. The amount of these transactions tend to adjust and could result in additional holds on the funds available in your account.

Q: How should I access more cash, if needed?
A: If you need access to more cash, it is best to visit a local financial institution that accepts Mastercard and go inside to perform a cash advance instead of using the ATM. There is less of a chance of your card information being compromised that way.

Q: Do I need to do anything to use my card while traveling?
A: No. As long as you have activated your card and know your Personal Identification Number (PIN), you can use your card when you travel! Please also check your card(s) to make sure it won’t expire while you are away.


Q: Do I need to inform SEFCU that I’m back in town?
A: No. However, should your travel plans change, please let us know so that we can make the necessary adjustments to the information we have.

Q: Do I need to change my passwords and/or PINs?
A: Not because of travel. SEFCU does recommend changing your passwords and PINs every six months to help avoid the risk of unauthorized access to your account. You can change your card PIN by calling SEFCU Member Care at 866-212-9647.


Depending on your destination, certain card usage limitations may be in place for your protection. The list below shows countries where these types of restrictions exist. If you are traveling to one of these countries, plan to have an alternate form of payment – such as another credit card, cash, Traveler’s Cheques, etc. – to avoid payment problems during your travels.


You will be unable to use your debit card at an ATM in the following countries: 

  • Estonia
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

You will be unable to use your debit card for purchases in the following countries:

  • South Africa 
  • Turkey

You will be unable to use your debit card for online purchases in the following countries: 

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Russia
  • Turkey


You will be unable to use your credit card at an ATM in the following countries: 

  • China
  • Estonia
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland)


*Members are not required to pay a fee at Allpoint and CO-OP ATMs. If a charge screen appears during your Allpoint ATM transaction, enter “yes” to accept the charge and proceed with your withdrawal. The additional fee will not be deducted from your account. The savings can be $3 or more per transaction. Please note, at international Allpoint and CO-OP ATMs, you will still be responsible for any Foreign Currency transaction fees charged by Mastercard® or Visa®.