Do I need to tell my bank before going abroad?

tell my bank before going abroad
Holiday money: most banks don't need advanced warning

One of my pre-travel rituals for the past 20 years has been to ring my bank on the morning of travel to tell them I’m going abroad.

Banks used to encourage you to do this, so that if foreign transactions suddenly started appearing on your account, they would know your card hadn’t been stolen.

Nowadays, however, the bank’s security has reached such levels of sophistication (sorry if that made you choke on your tea) that many banks say it’s no longer necessary to alert them to the fact that you’re going on holiday or travelling on business.

Below is a table of British banks and whether you need to inform them before travelling abroad. We’ve added as many banks as we can find information on, but if your bank isn’t listed and you know their procedures, drop a comment at the bottom of the article and we’ll update the table.

All information correct at the time of publishing.

NatWestYes, register your travel plans here
SantanderYes, give them a ring on 0800 912 3123
HSBCYes, follow the instructions here to inform the bank
Royal Bank of Scotland Yes, register your travel plans here
Metro BankNo
Marks & SpencerNo
Tesco BankNo

Now read this: Curve review: can this replace your bank cards?

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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