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Alerting Credit Card bank that you will be travelling...

Alerting Credit Card bank that you will be travelling...

Feb 19th, 2007, 03:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 311
Alerting Credit Card bank that you will be travelling...

I recently came across a post on this subject, and cannot find it, so here's a new experience on the subject:

We have also run into the same problem as others when banks stop card purchases in Europe, even after we have called and alerted security to our travels. One year we emailed AND telephoned. Regardless, at some point three or four days into every trip, a sales clerk looks up and says, "Sorry, there's a problem with your card." This has caused chagrin, but I understood.

Today, however, I got a totally NEW look at the security situation when I routinely checked my card activity on line and found eight purchases over a period of about eight days which were not mine. There were three to purchases airline tickets in England, another for an airline ticket in South Africa, and four to Yahoo.com for something which was not described, but the purchase was from Great Britain.

Now all this transpired as I was here, in Houston, also using the card for local purchases.

I doubt seriously that it makes any difference whatsoever whether or not you call your bank before leaving home. But, IMHO not only should you not leave home without your favorite card, I'd suggest you pack at least one backup and the telephone numbers you need to get service reactivated.

My card service was stopped when I was on the road, and yet when this blitz on credit occurred at points around the world, no one in Master Card security noticed.

JimF is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,521
I know what you mean. While checking my credit card online recently I discovered three charges to the US Postal Service for their "buy stamps online" program -- three charges over three days for a total of $2600. Who buys $2600 worth of stamps in three days on their credit card? That didn't send up any signals?
NeoPatrick is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
I agree. Seems like some decison filtering could be done. The fees for card use are high and banks make a ton of money off credit card use. It seems to me like it would be cheaper to expend more resources to make an attempt to stop fraud than it would be to clean up afterwards.

My email service does a good job of catching junk mail. I am sure the situations are not analogous, but the point is that a sophisticated filtering check can identify potential problem areas.

If by bank knows I AM in Europe, it should also have some idea that I am NOT in Europe!! Too many holes in the fence.

bob_brown is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I'm the one who started the post on this subject the other day.

I find it just mind-boggling that they "catch" purchases in Europe after you've called to tell them you'd be there but don't catch them when you're still using your card at home! How does that happen?!
CAPH52 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 07:54 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 41,982
Well, I can't believe that I'd ever defend a bank, because I don't love banks at all...however, I have to say: the company with which our cc is connected has been nothing but excellent regarding red flags.

Two months ago, my absent-minded husband's wallet was stolen, and before he even realized it was gone, I got a call from the bank about some suspicious charges. We were pretty impressed.

I understand they're protecting themselves, but still I appreciated the notification.
LucieV is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 626
My CC bank just blocked a charge for a deposit to my travel agent in Iceland, so I called to ask them to allow the charge and future charges from Iceland. Another bank once alerted me to the purchase of $10 in Russian rubels on my card before my statement even arrived, and they never held me responsible for the charge. I guess some banks are better at this than others.
sunny16 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,238
It certainly depends on the specific bank, and has the bank 'lost' it's records recently.

I've traveled recently to Singapore (wtih warning) and, without warning to Taiwan, Montreal, Italy, Switzerland, Holland and Spain.

I just came back from L.A. for a business trip and they (Citibank) put a hold on my card. The VP of Operations where I work also had the same hold. The problem is that they will send you a message to your home, which is worthless if you're traveling.

Remember, the bank is not there to protect you, but to protect themselves.

However, it did turn out that one purchase was, I suspect, fraudulant. It was to wallmart.com online. I've never shopped there in my life and never intend to. The net result is that my card was cancelled and I'm waiting for a new one, as they say, any day now.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 02:51 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
I once got a phone call from a CC company asking about an unusual transaction on my account from a "bicycle shop".

Turned out the transaction was from Halfords - who are a major supplier of car spare bits in the UK - but who also sell bicycles.

As it was also at a shop that was within my normal spending area can anyone work out the "logic"?
alanRow is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,725
<<and they never held me responsible for the charge. I guess some banks are better at this than others>>
I see this misunderstanding a lot of times on this forum. You are not responsible for fraudulent charges on your US or Canadian Visa (and other I presume) credit cards - not $50 - nothing. This has been Visa's policy since 2000. Before that time you had to report fraudulent charges and were responsible for the first $50. Now... nothing.
Visa Cards are issued by different banks, etc. (eg. Royal, TD in Canada). If one is screwing up... change banks. The new bank will likely welcome you with open arms - no fees for a year, preferential interest, gifts. The perks and the fees differ from bank to bank. Use that to your advantage. We fly business class to Europe every 12 to 18 months courtesy of our Visa.
robjame is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
I always say: please make a note on my account. The reply is usually this: please hold while I key the dates in.

Not sure if they make a note or not, but I feel I do all I can.
FainaAgain is offline  

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