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Notifying Credit Cards of International Travel

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My wife and I will be going to England to visit good friends of ours and so after researching the best international credit card, we settled on a Capital One card.

Now came the somewhat mind-numbing task of notifying our cards of international travel so that we wouldn’t get declined. The process for each was pretty straight forward but I’ve listed instructions for all the cards I called up. I imagine they all do pretty much the same thing but it’s always good to get concrete information.

Capital One

You can notify Capital One by calling their automated system for travel notification (1-800-214-4823) three days in advance of your trip. It’s entirely automated and you’ll need to key in your card number, security code, dates of travel, and then speak all the countries you’ll be visiting. If you have a contact number abroad, they’ll ask for that too. Afterwards, the message starts telling you about where to call if you have problems but you can hang up after that.

You can also call their customer service line (1-800-903-3637) and they will add a note on your account but the CSR said that calling the notification system alone is enough.

American Express

Call up American Express’ customer service number on the back of your credit card (it differs for the type of card you have), key in some of your personal data, and go directly to the representative. They’ll just need to know the dates of your travel, where you’ll be going, and approximately how much you plan on spending.

Citi

Call Citi at 800-950-5114, enter in your card information, then key in “0″ twice to get a representative. You’ll want to do a “travel notification,” letting Citi know to expect charges from a particular area. You’ll need to know the dates of travel and the area you’ll be visiting. If you have a contact number abroad, that’s good to have but if not they can try to contact someone here in the US.

Discover:

Call Discover at 1-800-DISCOVER (347-2683), key in your information, then key in “0″ twice to get a representative. Again, it’s simple, just let them know the dates and where you’ll be going. What was odd to learn was that Discover isn’t really accepted in Europe, the CSR told me that unless I was going to a military base, I probably wasn’t going to see it accepted anywhere… that was interesting.

And soon we will be off on our wonderful adventure!

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8 Responses to “Notifying Credit Cards of International Travel”

  1. Eric N. says:

    Bookmarked for reference…I’m traveling extensively next year. Have fun Jim!

  2. Jessica says:

    What’s funny is this past spring my fiancee and I went on a Mediterranean cruise with his parents and sister. His parents and sister notified all their card companies of their international travel, my fiancee and I didn’t. So naturally, their cards got cut off the very first day and ours were active the whole trip.

  3. Phil says:

    I traveled to Australia in October and never notified the credit card company. I primarily used a Capital One Platinum card, and I didn’t have any problems at all. That card is nice because they don’t charge any fee for currency conversion.

  4. And if you forget to call in advance, remember that if you need to contact your credit card company while traveling, most will accept collect calls.

  5. jane says:

    If you regularly check access your account online, you can also use the same site to notify the companies. Both Chase and my local bank have a section online for notification of travel. Much quicker than the phone I think.

  6. This was about the only smart thing I did on my last vacation. I’m usually much, much too Lazy to call and talk to customer service about this. Sometimes it seems I get passed around 2 or 3 times and – it’s not how I want to spend my day.

  7. Alessandra says:

    I am moving to France in a week but I will be working in France AND Switzerland…I’ll be on the border (at CERN). I have a Chase Freedom card, which I like a lot, no problems ever. Except…they want me to call every time I go to a different country to use my card and not have it shut off. So I was sent to the Fraud Operations Section. This guy was really helpful and he said I’ll have no problems as long as I establish a purchasing trend over in both countries, during the time I’ll be over there. I will post another note about my card working or not after I get there, but I figured it’s nice to have the direct number rather than going through India and having some guy getting mad at me! So here it is (only for domestic calls..so do this before you leave!):

    Chase Freedom Card
    Fraud operations (domestic number)
    1-800-955-9060

  8. GotNoNAme says:

    For the very last time. NO CREDIT CARD COMPANY REQUIRES YOU TO INFORM THEM OF TRAVEL. DOING SO WILL NOT TURN OFF THE SECURITY CHECKS PREVENTING CHARGES WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION. IF YOU DONT LIKE THIS RULE THEN CHANGE CONGRESS and stop belittling a CSR for YOUR inabilities and shortcomings.

    And by the way, i work for one and have been working for 3 different ones since 1995


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