COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Consumers can expect a 32 percent decline in gas prices in the summer of 2015 versus the summer of 2014, according to a recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Drivers are expected to pay an average of $2.45 per gallon for regular gas in the summer of 2015 compared to an average of $3.59 per gallon in the summer of 2014, the agency says.
To help the millions more consumers hitting the road, Huntington Bank is issuing financial travel tips so that vacationers can make wise money decisions during what is expected to be the busiest travel season in years. The 10 tips are aimed at helping consumers to save money and avoid identity theft.
“Many Americans chose not to travel during the economic downturn,” said George Mokrzan, director of economics at Huntington. ”Thanks to declining gas prices and an improving economy these consumers feel more confident about their finances and are ready to take a vacation. Huntington designed its financial travel tips to help consumers enjoy their vacations and not worry about making unwise financial choices or in the worst cases becoming victims of identity theft.”
Not only are more consumers planning to travel, but more regular vacationers also plan to increase spending this year. A consumer sentiment study Huntington commissioned with the research firm Ebiquity late last year, found that in its markets three out of four consumers plan to take a vacation away from home in 2015, with 59 percent saying they will spend between $2,000 to over $5,000 for the trip – an increase over the summer of 2014. Huntington’s markets include Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania.
Huntington’s financial travel tips include:
- Budget, don’t binge: Develop a budget before you hit the road and stick to it. It is all too easy to overspend while on vacation. By spending in moderation and paying for as much in advance as possible, you can avoid returning home to unforeseen debt.
- Pick your payment: Before you go, decide how you are going to pay for the trip. If you are going to pay with a credit card, you may want to select one that will give you rewards based on how you are spending during the vacation. For example, if you are driving, select a card that will allow you to obtain gasoline rewards while you are away. If you are going overseas, select a card that does not charge extra for foreign transactions.1
- Call your credit, debit and ATM card banks and companies: Whether you are traveling internationally or to a neighboring state, notify your credit, debit and ATM card banks or companies that you are traveling and where you will be. This will help ensure your card isn’t declined because of security concerns.
- Protect your PIN: Never write your PIN number on your credit/debit card or keep it in your wallet with your cards.
- Check it daily: Be sure to view your checking account and credit card balances every day. This is easy to do with your phone or tablet and will help you to monitor your spending.
- Look over your shoulder: Be on the look-out for so-called “shoulder surfers” when using an ATM. Use your free hand to shield the keypad when using an ATM.
- Stay alert and get alerts: Sign up for text alerts from your bank so that if your checking account dips below a certain balance, you will be notified.2
- You’ve got our number: Be certain to keep your bank’s toll-free number with you so that if questions or problems do arise, you can call for help.
- Secure your mail: Let the post-office know when to stop delivering mail to your house and when to resume--even if you are only going to be away for a day or two.
- Be prepared: If your wallet or purse is stolen or you suspect identity theft, report it to your bank. Call the local police immediately and keep a copy of the police report. Finally, contact the credit-reporting bureaus and ask them to flag your account with a fraud alert, which asks merchants not to grant new credit without your approval.
1For more information on the Voice Credit Card® from Huntington that does not charge extra for a foreign transaction, visit www.huntington.com/voice.
2Carrier’s message and data rates may apply to alerts. For more information on mobile alerts visit: https://www.huntington.com/mobile/alerts.html.
The third Huntington Bank Survey conducted by Ebiquity between October 20-30, 2014 among 2,107 adults within their surrounding community, representing five Midwestern regions – Ohio, Michigan, Western Pennsylvania, Indianapolis and West Virginia. These findings have a margin of error +/-2.1 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.
Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ: HBAN) is a $68 billion asset regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with a network of more than 700 branches and almost 1,500 ATMs across six Midwestern states. Founded in 1866, The Huntington National Bank and its affiliates provide consumer, small business, commercial, treasury management, wealth management, brokerage, trust, and insurance services. Huntington also provides auto dealer, equipment finance, national settlement and capital market services that extend beyond its core states. Visit huntington.com for more information.
Member FDIC. The logo mark and Huntington® and Voice Credit Card® are federally registered service marks of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated.
Ebiquity are independent marketing performance specialists. Ebiquity enables brands across the world to make better informed decisions to improve their brand and business performance across integrated communications channels. Learn more at ebiquity.com.