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Unblocking your credit card

Old Sep 13th, 2006, 11:06 AM
Posts: n/a
"2 years ago, I called to inform Cpaital One I waould be in Italy for 3 weeks. Half way through my card was blocked. Aftre spedning a whole day trying to call them . . ."

Huh? Isn't that the "no hassles" company?
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,127
Bank of America requests that you notify them 24 hrs. prior to your departure which I find to be stupid. Other credit card companies allow you to notify them in advance. I already complained to B of A that theirs is a silly procedure because 24 hours prior to traveling I have alot to think about and may forget to notify them.

And I am questioning B of A's security measures. If a client calls them to question an account they make you answer what feels like 20 questions. However, I booked a hotel that required one night's deposit using my B of A credit card and thought I should alert B of A about it before the charge got blocked. To my surprise the charge had been authorized within a 24 hour period. I would have thought that the B of A would have held the charge and notified me first. Other credit card companies-Discover even-are more particular and will make sure with the client that the charge is legitimate before authorizing the charge.
francophile03 is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13
I am also with Bank of America - leaving tomorrow for Greece - and I called them a couple of days ago to make sure the card would be "unblocked". I had no trouble. No one said I needed to call back the day before, etc... though I will now, just to be on the safe side.
I was also given a phone number to call in case I had any trouble (this is an Atlanta phone number, so maybe it's just for us southerners)... here it is:
770-491-4064. I was even told to reverse the charges on the call so the bank would pick up the tab!
skriker is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,247
I'm also Bank of America, and they gave me an access number so that I don't have to bother calling collect and can use their 800 number

For France the access number is 0 800-99 0011 then the number you usually call in FL that is 800 432 1000.

You might try calling and see if they can give you one for Greece
jody is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 11:31 AM
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francophile, are you sure they weren't saying you needed to contact them at least 24 hours in advance? You couldn't call several days or even a week ahead with the dates?
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,127
Well, yes, the B of A security reps. (btw, you will get transferrred over to their security dept. after calling the 800 # on the reverse of the credit card) would tell me I needed to call 48 hours (I made a mistake in saying it's 24 hrs.) prior to my departure to notify them. I tried informing them a couple of weeks before my departure date but they insisted on the 48 hours time period.

francophile03 is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,778
I always call before departure, but the pattern of spending is what flags security. I use my MP Visa for everything. Last month I was blocked at a Target of all places. The reason (according to customer service) - I used my card at Target twice that day, so security assumed that I dropped the card in the parking lot and someone went back inside and went shopping. I would have appreciated a phone call, but blocking the card for $30 was insane. The card probably wouldn't have been blocked if I went to Best Buy and bought a bigscreen tv.
wtm003 is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 23
I will be leaving for Italy on the 28th of this month and called my Capitol One card just a few days ago to notify them. I was told by customer service (in India) that in order for my card to work in Italy "changes" would have to be made to my card and I needed to call back with my information closer to actual departure date as the "changes" only lasted for 28 days. I was then given another 800 number to call after the 22nd. After contacting all my card companies, inconsistency in how things are handled seems to be the only thing that's consistent!
raindame is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 01:20 PM
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In early May I called Citibank and advised them of my travel schedule, leaving on May 15 -- for just over two months in Europe. At that time I also said I'd then be home for two weeks (gave them the late July, early August dates) and then gone to California for 5 weeks.
They supposedly marked it all down and we never had a problem.
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,937
I have a Capitol One card and always call them. I assume the changes they are referring to is their blocking list or whatever they call it -- the one that screens for unusual charges. I don't remember it only lasting 28 days, but I might never have tried longer, and actually, that's a good idea to make people check in for long periods to re-up, so to speak. I also think it's a good idea that they don't take such notes far in advance of the trip (although exactly 48 hrs is unusual, and not what Cap One required). Where the customer service agents are is irrelevant, and that is an apparent prejudiced and bigoted comment about them.
Christina is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
"The fact that multiple posters in this thread have said they have their cards blocked in Europe after they've called their card company suggest it's really useless to do so."

I disagree since just as many posters have said their cards weren't blocked.

I think it might just have something to do with the people who have supposedly done the "unblocking" and whether or not anyone has even looked at the user's file before the block is put into effect.

Dukey is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,127
I've got Citibank and Chase Visa credit cards also. I always notify these two companies about a month in advance without any problems. There is only one customer service rep. for each company and they just note down the travel dates and destination in their systems. That's what frustrates me about B of A and why they will not revise their system to accomodate an early notification.
francophile03 is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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As if checking for currency conversion charges, fees, rewards, etc., isn't enough, now we have to check that the bank actually refrains from blocking our cards when we notify them. TCs are looking better and better.

My bank makes some sort of annotation in my electronic record when I advise them that we will be in another country, and I have yet to have any of my cards blocked. I suspect we are very dependent on the representative we call actually doing their job; it sounds like a lot of them don't.

I did break my pattern of usage with one card when I charged a major auto repair right in my home town. Rather than blocking the card, the bank apparently notified the dealer to call them and put me on the line. When I finally convinced the bank I was who I am (I've never mastered the spelling of my mother's Swiss maiden name) they let the charge go through. My immediate reaction was resentment, but then I realized that they are just protecting the system, and keeping our costs down. If they had just blocked my card, I would have changed banks. Having a card blocked while you are in another country would be a real hassle.

I did have some villain run up some charges on my Discover card, but Discover discovered it within a day, and called me to see if the charges were valid. When I said they weren't they cancelled our cards and it took over a week to replace them, so I suffered some inconvenience, but lost no money.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 23
I apologize for my (in India)notation. It WAS irrelevant to the subject being discussed,despite the fact that I had to make a second call before connecting with a representative that I could understand (my poor comprehnension skills). Both Indian representatives were extremely tolerant and gracious in dealing with my "please repeat" requests, which only shows that making snap judgments of a person's apparent character based on their verbal or writing skills is something not subject to national boundaries.
raindame is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 04:35 PM
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Btw, I find that Discover is pretty good in questioning charges.
francophile03 is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2006, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 328
Capital One allows 28-days, and then you need to call them for more days. The 28-days start the day you call. I tried to call and use a date a few days later, and I was told the date starts the day you call. They also keep notes, they knew that I had called earlier in the week to ask questions about traveling out of the country.
Susan33 is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2006, 04:14 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,627

Always call the credit card prior to trip and will continue to do so.

Thanks for starting this thread. I hadn't thought about taking the credit card phone number with you in the event of a block.

SandyBrit is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2006, 04:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 196
My friend and I both just got back from two weeks in Italy. We both have Capital One cards. We both called them a few days before the trip to make the notation. Neither of us had trouble on the trip, but she had a message on her answering machine when she got home regarding her charges in a foreign company. She called them and they went through each charge and everything was fine.

modglila is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2006, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,755
The "numero verde" (green, toll free number) to use while in Italy if experiencing problems with your Visa credit card is:

800 877 232

This number can be accessed from any pay phone and does not cost a thing. I was calling from the train stations!

In concurrence with what others have said, oftentimes the errors occur when a representative does not follow up or close a transaction. This happened in my case as the rep told me on the day I arrived that the block was removed, but then apparently, failed to do step 2 of the block removal and remove the notation. Visa saw it on there and put the block back on (unbeknownedst to me). Anyway, all is settled now and I am back in the U.S. but this was a big pain and something I hope not to go through again. I am glad to have the numero verde in case of emergency though.
Huitres is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2006, 09:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,247
Thanks Huitres,

I've added the Italy number to my emerency phone list!
jody is offline  

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