Credit card companies have certain safety measures in place to help proactively prevent fraud. Often if you purchase something from a shady website or try to make a purchase on a different country’s version of a website your credit card issuer will temporarily lock your account, send you an email, text, or call, and ask you to verify that you were in fact the person attempting the transaction. This comes in handy when someone tries to purchases $1,000’s of airfare in the middle east or when someone across the country is purchasing gas with your card number, but when you are overseas with limited access to data this may become a huge problem.
How to Notify the Credit Card Company?
Good news, it is incredibly easy to notify the credit card company or bank that you use that you plan on traveling. Simply call the number on the back of the card (usually toll free) and tell the customer service representative the dates you will be traveling out of the country. Usually I try to notify the card company about the same time I have to check-in (24 hr prior) to my flight to let them know my travel plans.
Oh No! I Forgot to Notify the Credit Card Company of My Travel Plans!
So, you’ve just landed and you are in desperate need of a bottle of water and a light snack at the airport before exploring. As you are checking out at the register the attendant informs you that your card has been declined, again! The solution is to simply call the “international toll free” or “from outside of the US” phone number on the back of the card. If you have cellular phone service you can use your mobile phone and you should not be charged for the call. If you do not feel like risking it, seek out the nearest payphone and dial the number. The call should go through without paying.
American Express Platinum Card
Until the recent enhancements to the American Express Platinum Card I had been putting all my travel expenses on the Citi Prestige card and then more recently the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Since the changes to the Platinum card went into effect, I have booked a few trips and today I received an email from American Express notifying me that my travel dates have been noted on my account. It seems American Express has begun using the information provided by the airline regarding my travel to automatically make travel notices on my account. This is the first time I have ever been notified by any card issuer of such a service, but wonder if others already have this implemented.
If you plan on traveling internationally or do not travel often, it is always a good idea to notify your card issuer(s) of your travel plans to ensure the card works outside of the country. When traveling, make sure to take multiple card (at least 2) just in case something happens. I always keep a backup card somewhere other than my wallet when traveling just in case I am pickpocketed or the card becomes frozen.