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yk Feb 28th, 2008 06:30 AM

Do you call your ATM/CC company before your trip?
I am curious to see how many of us here actually call our bank (ATM) and CC company to notify them of our travels prior to departure?

You know, I've read trip reports here with people saying that their ATM card or CC didn't work overseas even after they had placed the call. I wonder if those calls really achieve anything?

I have been on 15 European trips within the last 5 years and had <b>never</b> once called a single company or bank. I never had a problem... call me lucky? And this is with different banks, different ATM cards, various CC including MC, Visa, AE.

When I was waiting for my flight to London at the Boston Logan Admirals Club 2 weeks ago, I overheard a phone conversation by a fellow traveler. He was on the phone with his CC company, explaining to them that he's on his way to London and wanted to make sure his CC will work there. After explaining himself over and over again for several minutes, it sounded like his CC company wants him to FAX them a copy of his plane ticket (or itin)! He then screamed at the phone saying (again), &quot;I'm at the airport right now about to board the plane! I can't fax anything to you, as I am getting on the plane!&quot;

Anyway, it seems to me more trouble than not, so I guess I will continue <b>not</b> to notify my bank and CC company for my future travels.

What has been your experience?

Statia Feb 28th, 2008 06:35 AM

I call them before overseas least when I remember to, which is most of the time. :)

I've never had an issue with my cards overseas (even when I forgot to call), but I've had issues when traveling domestically from not calling. Go figure.

katzen Feb 28th, 2008 06:36 AM

I've called my bank(ATM) but never my credit cards.

yorkshire Feb 28th, 2008 06:39 AM

I call--probably not a necessity, but I figure better safe than sorry, and my banks are always great about it -- no hassle.

StuDudley Feb 28th, 2008 06:40 AM

We call all our banks/CC companies. Once in London, or CC refused to pay for an Apt we had rented for a week. Lucky for us the rental firm was patient until we got it resolved.

We spend 2 months vacationing in Europe every year.

It doesn't take much effort to call the CC companies &amp; banks.

Stu Dudley

amyb Feb 28th, 2008 06:47 AM

yk, I'm not sure if you realize why some of us call. You say that &quot;people saying that their ATM card or CC didn't work overseas even after they had placed the call&quot;'s not whether they work or not (if you mean like the smartchip discussion), it's whether your card gets shut off for what the company interprets as fraudulent activity.

I always call now because the first time I was in Florence, I went to buy a leather jacket and briefcase, and both credit cards rejected the purchase because it looked fraudulent, which then shut my cards off thereafter. Now I call, let them know where I'm going and that I am a shopper while I'm away and what I expect to be buying (jewelry, leather, ceramics, paintings) and I haven't had a problem since. I also visit my bank to have them up my daily withdrawal limit and mark the file of where I'll be and when so they don't shut me off.

It is a huge PITA to get your cards turned back on from Europe.

Christina Feb 28th, 2008 06:48 AM

I call my credit card company, but I've never called my bank about my ATM card. I've actually never had any CC or ATM card rejected when abroad, but I have always called the CC company. As I know I've used my ATM card many times without calling them and never had a problem, I see no reason to start calling them now.

Way I figure -- it can't hurt, although I do agree one of my CC company's is kind of stupid (aren't they all) in that they questioned a foreign charge on my card even though I had called them with the exact travel dates -- and it was some small charge after I'd already been traveling at least a week. They call me at home and left a message on my machine to call them to verify these charges. Duh!!! I told them I wasn't going to be home during those dates. I think I related this story on here before, it was really stupid. In fact, they never did reject any foreign charges during that trip, even though I didn't contact them for maybe a week more. And they could give me no logical explanation why they were questioning that one minor charge in comparison to all the other larger ones.

gracejoan3 Feb 28th, 2008 06:51 AM

You are really looking for trouble if you don't call.
Due to all the security problems, the CC companies are doing all they can to protect you. If you don't call, be prepared to have them blocked!!
I have called all of mine for many years..where I am going along with the dates. Even so, in Nice a few years back, upon arrival to pick up my car the first card I used was blocked..I used another. I called them later..someone had failed to note it on the account! Now I call them twice..about a week before I leave, and again a couple days before I leave.
Why look for trouble!!

ira Feb 28th, 2008 06:52 AM

Hi yk,


The CC companies like it.

I faithfully call my local bank (my my ATM card) and let them know when I will be abroad, and they tell me it doesn't matter.


CarolA Feb 28th, 2008 06:54 AM

I do call.

BOA (whom I hate, but am too lazy to leave) swears they will cancel my Debit card otherwise. (They are probably lying which is why I hate them!)

I use my USAA credit card and they tend to be &quot;cautious&quot; so I figure better safe then sorry.

Everything has always worked....

sandi_travelnut Feb 28th, 2008 06:54 AM

Absolutely! I always tell them when I will leave and return and the cities I will be in. In 2000, we went to Italy and at some point someone got ahold of our credit card number (not the card itself) and began using it. But they started after we returned to the States. The fact that we had the documentation and we had called the bank prior helped us get all our money back.

chartley Feb 28th, 2008 06:56 AM

I live in the U.K. and usually phone for one of my credit cards.

A friend has a card from the same company and had his card refused when he tried to use it twice in one day in different countries. The places were not that far apart - Narbonne in France and Girona in Spain. Strangely, the card issuer does not state anywhere that one should notify them before travel, although they are all set up to receive calls and ask the right questions about where one is going, when, etc.

I have never been asked for &quot;proof&quot; that I was going, but overseas travel is so common over here that it would involve them in far too much work.

It is certainly worth taking international contact phone numbers for your credit card and atm card issuers.

mms Feb 28th, 2008 06:56 AM

Yes, we call the bank and the CC companies. They both make note of our dates.

In Dec. a SIL went to France on her honeymoon and didn't plan for anything. They did not call the bank/CC companies and sure enough their cards were blocked.

Travelnut Feb 28th, 2008 06:57 AM

I take one debit card and two credit cards (one c.c. is 'just in case') and I call each bank every time we go.

I also confirm the local long-distance ph number, in case there is a problem with the cards - - many 1-800 #s don't work overseas.

DeborahAnn Feb 28th, 2008 07:02 AM

yk, I always notify my cc companies and banks for my debit cards when I am traveling internationally.

As much as I appreciate Capital One, they are the quickest to send me notice about &quot;unusual activity&quot; on my account and if I don't respond quick enough to the phone notice they will stop my card. This way I avoid any such phone call while I am traveling

It's a precaution that I do just before leaving. Deborah

Celiaanne Feb 28th, 2008 07:09 AM

I call. We had our card refused twice in Barbados (didn't know why at the time). Embarrassing.

My sister had her debit card refused in Italy, and my old boss had his CC refused in Norway. He had no idea why as he was a frequent visitor there and it had never happened before. This was before I had ever heard of calling. Actually, I think it happened to him more than once.

Since I've begun calling, I've never had a problem.

gracejoan3 Feb 28th, 2008 07:09 AM

Capital One is one of the best for security is also probably the one most used, as they do not charge conversion transaction fees.

For Capital One you need to contact their Fraud Dept. before traveling. They do have a separate number.

cherrybomb Feb 28th, 2008 07:13 AM

The one time we called, we did have a problem--my atm card worked, but my husband's did not--it is a joint account so go figure.

We called and it was fixed.

hetismij Feb 28th, 2008 07:13 AM

I never call. To be honest I've never even thought of calling. It has never been a problem in the past, either whilst on holiday in Europe or in the States. Nor for that matter for ordering things online from another country.
Maybe Europeans banks and credit cards accept their customers are likely to travel abroad?

Grassshopper Feb 28th, 2008 07:17 AM

Wow, does EVERYONE call, besides hetismj and me? I've never called and never had a problem. I wonder if being a frequent business traveler makes a difference. My bank is used to my charges abroad? I doubt that any of my work colleagues call either.

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