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Do you call your ATM/CC company before your trip?

Do you call your ATM/CC company before your trip?

Feb 28th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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I live in the UK and i've never called my bank to let them know and never had any problems. This included when i had a six month stay in the Netherlands and travelled to different countries quite a lot in this time.
Feb 28th, 2008, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 949
We always call--credit cards and bank cards.
kathleen is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Always call CC companies; have never called bank and have never had a problem with CC or ATM ... except once, when my wife went to Europe without me. She neglected to call ahead, and the card was blocked. They called me at home almost immediately, I explained the situation, and they fixed it quickly.

On a related note, on the same trip, my wife also discovered it pays to give the airlines contact info. at your destination: United Airlines moved her flight earlier by about 5 hours, and they had no contact information for her. She would have missed her flight, and the next available seat was over a day later, she had no hotel reservations, and she would have missed important obligations back home. She only found out because UAL called me at home, and I called her hotel (they wouldn't leave a note on her room door, so I had to keep on waking up the hotel staff at 1AM, 2AM, and 3AM until she was back in her room).

In conclusion: if you're leaving a spouse at home, you can probably getting away without telling anyone anything (except the spouse). Otherwise, call.
scottvan is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 148
We had our Mastercard blocked last year in Italy -- we have two different Mastercards and had only notified one of them. My daughter (who lives in England) took a weekend trip to Spain without notifying her bank and they called me (I'm her US contact number). Of course, they wouldn't tell me WHY they were calling, but I told them that if the problem was that they were seeing charges in Spain it was because she was in Spain. The person calling sounded relieved to hear it.

el344 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,950
Daily I have customers in my stores who, when the charge is rung up a message says, "Call." They have to call the 800 number on the back of the card & verify who they are & give their return dates. The charge then gets approved.

It's not a big deal to call before you leave.
Carrybean is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,700
I always call a couple of weeks before leaving for a trip. Takes two minutes and better safe than sorry.
Once right in my own town, but at a festival where there were vendors from all over, my USAA credit card was refused. The first two purchases (a vendor from another state and the other vendor from yet a different state) went through, but the third purchase (from yet another state) was blocked. Actually, I was glad to know the credit card company was looking out for me. Could have been that my card was stolen and someone was making purchases via phone or computer.
cynthia_booker is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 466
I call all cc companies that I am taking their card. I call the banks that I am going to use the ATM, both local and the 800 No. on the back, then call them again the next day to be sure it got recorded. Nothing like landing in London at 10:00 PM and ATM card not work. Can you spell hassle!!
jkbritt is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
I always call both CC and ATM, and tell them to make a note with the dates on my account, and get a phone number to call collect from the country I visit.
FainaAgain is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 100
We always call our CC company and ATM bank. We overlapped in Rome with some friends a few years ago. They had not called their CC company. Toward the end of their stay, they were trying to make some purchases, and were unable to because their credit card was frozen.
dickensdad is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,196
I always call. As mentioned, it's especially important with Capital One. They will transfer you to the Fraud Dept to authorize the card's use in Europe. They don't necessarily care which country you will be in, but without talking to the Fraud Dept, it would be blocked anywhere in Europe. When I called for my trip last July, that was the first time this happened, so it's something they've instituted in the last year.
SusanP is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 50
American Express did not let my charge for online payment for three tickets through Iberia Air for travel to Europe for June go through in Jan without my calling to verify that it was me. They reminded me to call before I leave for Europe this summer to remind them of my trip so I would have no problems using my card.

When I had my bank wire the deposit for my apt, they also said to call the number on the back of my ATM/Debit card (I have one of each) before I leave so that they will know the use of an ATM machine in Europe is "legit."
sunnyflorida is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 05:45 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 145
My cards are multipurpose functioning as ATM/debit/credit. When they arrive first time at home they are blocked both domestically and internationally. I first unblock them domestically and when travelling unblock for use abroad. The bank gives me the option to unblock it permanently for use abroad or to specify that I will be using it/them between such and such dates in such and such a country.

I actually think this is a good practice to limit the use of your cards so I always specify countries and dates.

Never had a problem.
jfcarli is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,533
We always call both.
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Feb 28th, 2008, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,018
I never call, but one of my CC companies rang me about "suspicious activity" and they were right. My card details had been "cropped" somewhere that I'd used it and the card was being used all over the world. The company were great and the whole thing was sorted out very quickly and painlessly.
Susan7 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 09:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 674
I always call, ATM and CC's.

Last month I bought an airline ticket online with a Spanish airline. Used my CC. My bank called a few days later to confirm I had made a foriegn transaction, I liked that.
bozama is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 10:04 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,467
Hi, unlike some other posters, I did have an issue before I even left the States.

I called and alerted the bank where my credit card is issued. Somehow, they didn't enter the information correctly.

Then my reservations for the Scavi tour went through, and that caused them to block my card. I found out when I went to make another purchase, still in my hometown. I was glad to figure it out before I left!
5alive is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 11:12 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,148
I don't usually call. I'm not saying that is good advice, but I don't usually do it. Indeed, we spent quite a while living abroad before letting our CC companies know that we had moved.

We have never had our cards shut off, but we have had instances where the vendor has had to call AMEX for verification that it was actually us. I have had this happen, however, even in our home city when making a purchase that didn't fit our profile.
travelgourmet is online now  
Feb 28th, 2008, 11:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,811
It depends on the bank.

My credit unions says don't bother; they don't have capability to put a note. It is always enabled, so I don't call.

Other banks enable my cards for oversea use only when I call them.
greg is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 03:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 488
I always e-mail them, just in case they are used after I return.
Nlingenfel is offline  
Feb 29th, 2008, 04:09 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
I live in the UK & I'd never thought of calling. However on my main holiday last year, one week in, I had a withdrawal request at an ATM refused. About 2 hours later my bank called me on my mobile to ask if I was in Italy. My card then worked again. So it looks as though the banks here are tightening up their monitoring of 'unusual behaviour' so I will try to remember to call mine before I go abroad the next time.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  

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