Tips for Traveling With Credit Cards
As anyone who has gone through it can attest, there’s nothing worse than being on a trip outside the country and getting a phone call from your bank about unexpected activity on your credit card. Banks continue to improve their anti-fraud tactics as the years go by, and while this is meant to protect you, it can be a hassle while you’re traveling. And of course, there’s always the minor risk of theft while traveling.
At Cruise Lady, we’ll send some gentle reminders about things like this well before you start your LDS cruise. Just in case, though, here are some basics on credit cards and traveling.
As credit card fraud becomes a bigger and bigger issue, so have efforts from banks and credit companies to block illegitimate charges. Anti-fraud software is a big part of this – it uses algorithms to track patterns of transactions and determine if they’re legitimate.
If you’re suddenly traveling halfway across the world and making a purchase without notifying your bank or credit company first, this will raise red flags in anti-fraud software. If you’re unable to respond to them, in some cases they may be forced to put your card on hold, which could ruin your trip.
Tips for Traveling
Here are a few tips for managing your credit cards for a trip like a cruise:
- Call your credit card company or the bank that issues the card and let them know your travel itinerary. Include both dates and destinations. Many banks and credit companies have apps now that allow you to do this more easily.
- Make sure you have the card issuer’s toll-free number for overseas customer service, as your regular 800 number will not work outside the US.
- Note your card number as well, and keep this in a safe place away from your card so you have information to make a report if it’s stolen.
- If you have a chip card, consider RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) protection, which is found in a wallet or individual card sleeves. This will keep digital thieves from taking your card info without ever touching the card itself.
Know Your Rights
Under federal law, you will not be responsible for unauthorized charges over $50. However, for this law to apply, you must report the card stolen or lost immediately – they need to be documented in writing to your credit company within 60 days. Check with your specific company about any particular policies they may have here.