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Do Hotel Key Cards Reveal Your Personal Information

You either love them or you hate them for their ease of use or lack thereof, but it's a safe bet hotel key cards are here to stay. For the business traveler, this is an advantage. A hotel key card slips right into your wallet or pocket, there's no awkward key fob to fumble with, and if you lose your card you don't have to worry about anybody trying to break into your room.The advantage hotel key cards have over regular keys is that should a stranger find your card, it will be rendered useless once it's reported lost. A hotel clerk needs only to reprogram the card and issue another one to you.

That can't be done with a regular key!.However, lately the rumor is going around that hotel key cards offer more information than just a room number. A friend tells us about a trip to Vegas, and how her companion advised her to hold onto her card after checkout. Our friend was told that within the plastic of that card was an electronic strip with the holder's personal information. Name, home address, credit card number.everything that can help someone commit identity theft.

Our friend was so spooked she took the card home and cut it to ribbons!.The story, naturally, has all the makings of an urban legend. Why would a hotel encode personal information on a key card for later use when their computer system already has everything upon check-in? What purpose would it serve to add information elsewhere? A search for hotel key card fraud on the Internet will debunk this fear appeal (we found such a story at Snopes, the ultimate urban legend site, that is certain to put travelers' minds at ease).All the same, if you feel it necessary to retain your hotel card after checkout, rest assured you will not likely be charged extra. In fact, there are a few resort hotels (in Vegas, no less) that encourage guests to take home cards as a souvenir.

No doubt collecting key cards from top hotels will become a grand hobby. For now, though, the only cards that you need be concerned about with regards to identity theft are your credit cards - always be mindful of where they are when you travel. Report them immediately if they are lost or stolen.


Kathryn Lively (http://www.kathrynlively.com) writes travel articles for Park Atlanta (http://www.parkatlanta.com) and The Grand Summit Hotel (http://www.grandsummit.

com).Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kathryn_Lively.


By: Kathryn Lively


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