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Discussion Starter #1
I know that I cannot possibly be the only member paying bills and handling financial matters while 'en cavalcade.' With increasing frequency I find myself moving cash, by way of ones and zeros, from here to there. I have been at this for awhile.

Back in 1997 I distinctly remember wandering down to the lobby of a Hampton Inn in Huntington, WV to hand a the desk clerk a rather large bundle of stamped envelopes to post with the morning mail. It made me rather uncomfortable. But that was back in the pre-internet days. Things are different now.

I am a week away from taking off on summer tour (NASSIR 9 included) and I guess my topic is: "How do other folks handle paying bills and banking from the road?"

Here's what I am currently doing:

  1. I like REALLY long passwords. Mine typically are 14 to 16 characters long, include upper and lowercase, numbers and a few special symbols.
  2. I have a laptop with a paid subscription to a good VPN proxy. So everything going in and out of the WIFI is 256 bit encrypted. (I haven't really taken to using my phone yet. Still using the laptop.)
  3. I have a portable encrypted flash drive, and a back up (just in case) which holds a password management program that helps me keep up with the hundreds of usernames, passwords and account details I need. This program runs from the flash drive and doesn't leave traces on the laptop.
  4. So... if I manage to get a connection. I secure it with the VPN. Insert the flash drive, open the software and pound away.
Any suggestions on keeping things safe while I am out and about? Anyone have a better system. Rudy used to be really good at stuff like this. Really miss that old fart...

T
 

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I have everything set up to auto debit.
I very rarely need to handle a single payment, but when I do, I turn on PureVPN and just get it done just like if at home.
I use LastPass for that job.
I don't have anything that requires a paper/envelope/stamp.

You seem to be much more worried about security than I am.
I don't see a need for being worried about what is on the laptop. It never gets out of my hands anyway.

Never use the cell phone for finances.

Simply because it is all too easy to make a mistake on those tiny screens.

I have a carrier provided 4g WiFi router that requires a 16 digit password to log in.

I never use local WiFi for anything except casual browsing, such as our forums and Facebook.

And actually, with a 6 gB/month DATA plan I really don't need foreign WiFi anyway.

The only "On the road" finances I need to handle are done in person with a debit card.

.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks John,

I too like to use my own data plan... I have 8gigs. Oh, one more thing...

A couple of us lowly Horn Toads have had issues with our Debit and Credit Cards that seems to be caused my using them at fuel stops. Cards getting shut down while we are on the roads because of certain unauthorized attempts at questionable transactions... someone trying to purchase gifts cards at Cabella's online site in my case. (It is especially bad down along the border.)

Have been considering getting a pre-paid credit card to cover all the fuel and out of pocket purchases while out on the road. thus insulating my primary accounts from this sort of nonsense.

Commentary?

T
 
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With online bill pay, you get so set the dates the payment(s) go out, so paying the next 2 or 3 months bills is quite easy. I don't like auto pay for a lot of reasons, like our trash service that the city just switched. I payed the company for an extra can. They auto paid themselves 3 weeks ago for the next quarter, then when the city got a new contractor, the old company collected all their cans, including the one I just paid for......

I used my debit while traveling with a Visa CC as a back up, stored in a different location than my wallet,for obvious reasons. If Im traveling somewhere beyond my normal travel, we talk to the people at our local bank and just tell them and they will personally look in on our account a couple of times a day.
 
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Before you start your trip call your credit/debit card company and tell them you are going to be traveling and what states you will be in. Then they know your on the road and you will not have any trouble with you cards.
If you don't want to use internet on the road to pay your bills just make double payments before you leave.
 

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I used to pay cash for all my fuel but just got tired of making trips inside to leave a deposit and then paying the bill. We opened another checking account with a debit card and use it only for fuel purchases. When you swipe the card and get "credit/debit?" I always press credit. Same when asked for "PIN" I press no and then enter the zip code when asked for. Every time the debit card is used X amount of money (as much as $100 per purchase) is locked until it has cleared the bank. If traveling, using the card many times a day may cause you to be locked out due to insufficient funds. With a credit card they lock only the amount of purchase. By having a special debit account I can lose no more than $500, the max I ever allow in that account. Have never had a problem since I started using it as a credit card, before that I was locked out several times. Other than that I'm still old fashion, pay all bills with checks using the post office.
 

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when I start a tour, I do the internal Secure Email thing to the Credit Union and advise them of my route. They have always emailed me back "thank you, we will watch your back".

Had not thought of using the Credit Feature on the gas pumps, I am going to start trying that out and see how it goes. Way too late to do anything about it for this tour, we leave Thursday morning on the 7th.

flylow: have you tried to enter an incorrect zipcode to test the validity of that use?
 

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This thread has been timely, and thank you Travis.

I just realized that I had not forewarned my CU of my upcoming tour, so just sent in a Secure Email to them advising of my routes.

I also asked them if using the debit card as a CC would stop the gas stations from blocking out the $75 per use?
That has never bothered in the past, as I always transfer over $2000 from savings to checking... and have auto draft from checking to savings anyway.

never hurts to build up a safety net though.

Now, I have a PayPal credit card.
Anyone have any success at using that for a Travel Card??

I can't use it at the grocery store here at home.
 

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I never use a debit card. First off is the $100 hold put on your account, sometimes for days. Second is if the card gets cloned the money comes out of the checking account and if you don't know it soon enough you can get bounced checks. Also it can take several days and a trip to the bank to sign off that you did not make those purchases.

With a credit card I have never had any of those problems. I carry 2 different cards so if one is compromised I can use the other one plus the wife carries on. I make sure I can pay it in full every month so I never pay interest plus I get points so every year or so I can get a doodad of some sort.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
As we say down here in Texas: "Das Goodernshit!"

T
 

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DougW

I just got off of a very long phone call that totally refutes what you just said.

Using a Credit Card the gas stations put a $75 hold on the account.

With Debit Cards, by Federal Law they are not allowed to do that at all.
And I have personal proof of that from my last tour covering 4500 miles on my bike.

I ONLY used my Debit Card, and I filled up at any gas station that came into view.
Shell, Conoco, Standard, Exxon, The Dinosaur ( yep saw and used one ).

Every single time, 2 minutes later my cellphone dings and I have a TEXT message that a transaction has just occurred at the gas station.

I immediately open my Email app and there I can read the full details of how much, the name of the station, and the location of where it happened.

And not once, was the amount different than the exact $ dollar reading on the pump.
And I purposely did not leave that station until I read that Transaction Alert.... if it ever hit me with a hold, I was going to hit the station manager with a very loud threat to sue him... Never needed to, it never happened.

So, what you say is not true anymore, you are talking of history, and it ain't true.

Now, the Credit Cards..... when a Credit Card is used, the gas stations automatically tack on a $75 hold..... I just got off the phone not 20 minutes ago with Jobe05 and he related a trip he made to Florida just a couple of months ago. He used his Debit Card as a Credit Card on his personal account for all of his fuel purchases...

Our bikes don't use much fuel, what, $15 bucks a pop?
yet every time, he used that card, a $75 hold was put on his bank account.
After the 10th time he used it, that special account he had set up for fuel, was maxed out for more purchases.

he called the bank and asked them what happened. They told him that Shell had put a hold on his account for $75 every time he used that card....

He immediately called Shell and threatened them with a lawsuit if they did not immediately release the holds on his bank account...

So, a word of Warning!!!

Do NOT use a Credit Card for your gas purchases.....
Only use Debit Cards.
 

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I learned the hardway on my trip to N5 where I used my bank card as credit for gas. 11 gas stops amounted to no way home with that card as each stop, Shell oil put a $75 hold on my account for EACH stop. $825 in the account and it took a week and a half to get them to release the holds. All for less than $100 of gas........

When I complained to my bank, they told me as credit, the vendor can put a hold on a set amount. Te Laws are different with Debit, and they can not put a hold on the funds any greater than the purchase, if they put a hold o at all, which most don't as a debit charge is paid immediately.
 

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I guess it depends on your bank and the place of business. Last summer I filled 2- 5 gal tanks with gas, then filled 2- 5 gal tanks with diesel. Took the fuel home, emptied the diesel in a larger tank and went back for more diesel. The card didn't work the 3rd time. Went inside and the guy behind the counter said to leave the card with him and he would start the pump. When I finished and returned he just swiped the card and gave me a receipt. That's when I called the bank to find out what was going on. My bank told me that I had been using it as a debit and the clerk used it as a cc. I just returned from a trip to Utah using my debit as a cc 10 times in 7 days. Starting with my usual 500 limit I never had a problem.
 

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I've never had a problem using a debit card.

Of course...
...Usually I just head out with 2 or 3 hundred thousand bucks cash and never have to worry about it. Just give the cashier a hundred and don't bother to go back for the change. Or, leave it for my people to deal with.
 

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2 or 3 hundred thousand.................can I ride with you?:cooler:
As Bike seems to be tired of Dennis's constant nattering and wants some new company on the way to NASSIR I think he would agree to let you ride there on Dennis's wallet.:ROFL:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Dennis? Are planning on being at NASSIR this year... would be great to finally meet you & Bike.

T
 

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Most of my bills that are always the same amount each month are on auto-pay the others I just prepay before I leave for my fuel and travel expenses I have separate slush fund account and debit card for the road, just for good measure always carry emergency cash with in a safe place.
 
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