Do I Need To Let My Credit Card Company Know If I Travel Abroad?

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Do I Need To Let My Credit Card Company Know If I Travel Abroad?

Written by Erich Allen Sep 12, 2022 03:00 PM

Almost all travelers get standard travel tips: creating a packing list, booking flights and accommodations, pre-travel planning, and reaching airports on time. While all these tips are quite helpful and essential, it's important to make sure you're not missing out on this one; letting your credit card issuers know where you're headed. 

With the rise in fraudulent transactions, banks are becoming more and more protective of your money. They're freezing accounts at a rapid rate. They don't hesitate to shut your card off even when you're the one withdrawing money. It usually happens in cases where banks have no knowledge of your travel plans. 

While the practice is widely lauded, having a transaction denied or questioned can set the wrong tone for your entire trip. Imagine you're away from home, trying to buy something at a mall or maybe at a coffee shop, and the card keeps declining the transaction. Worst nightmare, right? 

So, the answer is simple: before reaching the airport for your trip, quickly call your bank and let them know your plans. This little call can save you from a potentially embarrassing moment in far-off lands and ruin your mood for the holidays. Let's quickly scan why (and how) you should do it. 

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Travel Notification to Your Credit Card Issuers

If you want to save yourself from a glitch in your trip, you might want to tell your bank or credit card issuers about your plans. This should be done as soon as you've picked your destination so they can make the necessary adjustments. Although you are not obligated to provide such information, failure to notify can risk your international transactions. 

If your issuers notice a slew of charges coming from a different location, they'll put your account on emergency freeze. Any unusual or unexpected account activity is enough to shut down your cards. Notably, when you're traveling to a location that has a high chance of fraudulent activity, your banks, in an instant, would decline your card based on suspicious activity. Therefore, it's always insisted to let the service providers know of your itineraries. 

Don't Shy Away from Asking Questions

When you're notifying your credit card providers about your travel plans, ensure you're not holding yourself back from asking all the questions that pop up in your mind. For instance, ask your service providers whether the card will work in the countries you plan to visit. You can also inquire about the added costs associated with international transactions. If available, request the bank to provide you with a credit card with PIN technology that can give you wide acceptance worldwide. 

Ways to Inform Your Credit Card Company of Your Travel Plan

Today's world of technology offers various ways to notify your credit card company before you set off for a vacation. You can report by making a simple call, through their mobile app, online via their website, or even in person. The questions you must prepare for beforehand are which dates you are traveling and where you're going. If you plan to stay longer, ensure you have your travel data.

Setting the notice through their app or website is way more accessible than talking via their customer care representative on call. If that is how you prefer to inform, log into your account on your service provider's website and look up the travel notice section. You can also directly contact your credit card company via the live chat tab available on their website.

However, if you are more comfortable with doing it over a phone call, that's fine, too. Just find the credit card company's number from the back of your card and dial it. The system will connect you through a representative or an automated Al where you can raise your concerns and alert the company about your plans too. You might also want to consider doing it in person by visiting their nearest branch and having a one-on-one meeting with their employee.

Why should you use a Credit Card for your International Travel?

There are many reasons why credit cards are preferred for international travel, with adequate protection from fraud and better exchange rates being two of them. Credit card companies must comply with the Fair Credit Billing Act, which protects you from fraud and theft. 

You're also protected against your financial data, which you can import on an encrypted flash drive. Moreover, credit card transactions are useful for international use because they provide simplified exchange rates. The card automatically converts the charge to the present-day rate, which can be great for shopaholics.