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Old January 30th, 2010, 11:18 AM
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Default Lesson I learned re: c card use outside the states

On recent stop in Cozumel port I decided to use my credit card to treat myself to a Phillip Stein watch and quickly discovered at next store I tried to use my cc in that my card had been declined. Tried calling the number on back of my card and was not able to use that number from that location on my phone. Long story short, when i called the cc card company when we arrived back in port found out you have to tell the ccard company you will be traveling out of the country or they WILL put a hold on your card with the first charge. Was SO glad i had put my sail and sign acct on other card. So now when i put a hold on my mail for next cruise will also call cc company!
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Old January 30th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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I like to warn others of this from time to time. Yes, it is true that you need to warn the companies. I have it listed on my packing, to do list.

It is best to take the time to call the company and let them know where you will be spending your card, even if not on a cruise. It does not have to be the exact store, but city, or even state you will be visiting.

Also know that the ship puts a hold on your card up to a certain amount, so when traveling, try to either use two cards, or limit the amount you spend.

Hope this helps future cruisers.

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Old January 30th, 2010, 01:50 PM
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My wife is a manager for a large credit card company and we have learned to always call your cc company prior to a trip far away from home so they will not "trim" the account making it a big mess for you. A quick call can help avoid a great deal of inconvenience.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 06:04 PM
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I have notified my credit card company before we left on all three of our cruise and never had an issue. I just pick out one CC and let that company know that we will be using that card at the ports we will be visiting and on board Carnival. It's the best thing to do.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 06:42 PM
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This message cannot get out enough. The first thing I do is notify my cc company's and banks of my plans. It takes little time and saves many heartaches.

It also doesn't hurt to charge your purchases/excursions on your cc. If things go awry, your cc company (most of them) will stop the charge with proper notification.

It pays to be diligent.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 07:55 PM
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Thanks - It never dawned on me to do this.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:33 PM
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Another lesson we learned was that the credit card company knows a lot about our spending habits even when we are on vacation. We had alerted our CC company to the fact that we were travelling and on which islands we would be making purchases. What we hadn't counted on was the fact that when we shopped more than we normally would, the CC froze would freeze our accounts. When we reached them by phone, they said that they thought maybe another guest had gotten a hold of the card because in the past we had never spent so much or so frequently. We told them that just before we set sail we had received a company bonus and decided to do some early Christmas shopping. Thank goodness we were able to reach them to clear things up because I was panicking pretty bad when that card got declined in port! So I would add to the excellent advice posted and say that you should also let them know if you intend to go a little crazy while you're away!
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Old January 30th, 2010, 09:26 PM
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don't forget if you are flying to report the cities you are stopping over on your way to the port - purchases in the airport restaurants, gift shops, etc.

the same applies if you are driving across the country - you are stopping off along the way for gas, hotel, food, etc. so make sure the bank knows what citis you expect to be making charges in as best as you can.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gail4cruising View Post
Tried calling the number on back of my card and was not able to use that number from that location on my phone.
When we make calls on cell phones in the US the cell number typically doesn't include the country code "1". Tried calling our DS over and over on our last cruise until we realized that.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 09:48 AM
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I am so thankful that the credit card companies/banks are becoming much more vigilant on our transactions. They really saved me right before Christmas. Someone had gotten hold of one of my corporate account debit card numbers and made a counterfeit card with our number on it. Well in less than 24 hours they had emptied over $1,500 out of my business account on purchases made in Ireland. Luckily all of our cards will not let anyone take more than $1000 a day out of those accounts and the ladies at the bank called me with in a few hours of the first transaction that transpired. Unfortunately by the time I got the message and returned their called and they hot carded the account, the crook was able to make more charges. Within about 2 weeks all of my money was credited back to the account.

I always let them know if I am going to be out of the country, and this time they knew I had not notified them of any upcoming trips so they saw the red flags immediately. Based on this experience I think I may ask them to start emailing these alerts to me as well as contacting me by phone in order to communicate with them sooner.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 09:54 AM
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Yep,
I've been doing that for years now. Its actually a good security precaution for you and your credit card. I just use one and give them a call before I leave so I can use it and they won't think it was stolen and being used by someone else, excellent idea.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 02:16 PM
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I have never done this,and never had an issue....one of you will have to remind me next cruise... Gail, so no Phillips Stein watch? drat!
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Old February 1st, 2010, 07:00 PM
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Yes tell the ccard company you will be traveling out of the country or they WILL put a hold on your card with the first charge. Learned this about 8 years ago. Good I had 2 cards then.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 12:23 AM
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I did get the Phillip Stein...lol..that was the purchase that caused the hold to be put on my CC acct. Love the watch..wish I had gotten one sooner! One thing I found out when I got home though..while looking online for extra watchbands..could have actually gotten it a little cheaper on Amazon (even with paying the taxes). Should have researched a little before I went but watch was an impulse purchase.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 02:32 AM
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Travel notification should be done on all cards "including debit/ATM cards" before you travel.

On my Amex, Visa and ATM card there is an International number on the back of all the cards.

The only incident I've ever had was many years ago when I was on business in England. American Express denied my final hotel charge and requested that I call. I had paid for two employees, entertained clients and had also booked a conference room and provided lunch for 20 people. The total bill for the week was $16,000. One call was all it took to rectify the situation.

I have never used travel notification when traveling domestically.

Take care and use Travel Notification before your cruise.
Mike
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Old February 5th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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We travel quite a bit, and I only notified our credit cards once a few years ago. Now not too much time goes by without us traveling somewhere and our credit cards have never been declined.

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Old February 6th, 2010, 11:57 AM
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Manuel and all:

If you do travel a lot then foreign purchases will usually not trigger an alert or hold on your card. Card companies rely on programs that trigger alerts when spending or origination of charges change from the card holders normal routine.

Card companies are becoming more diligent in their monitoring because of fraud and their own loss of revenue. Many people who never had their card flagged are now being flagged because of this.

My son works with Wells Fargo security and in the last six months they have updated their systems four times to catch spending pattern changes and potential fraud.

Take care,
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Old February 6th, 2010, 07:14 PM
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What Mike says is right. Last year when we bought a new computer and TV, the home office of the store we bought them from called that afternoon to make sure we bought them. I appreciate that any "unusual" purchase is checked .
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Old February 6th, 2010, 07:52 PM
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I always notify my Visa card people that I am going out of the country.
Last time we were in St Thomas I made a jewelry purchase, when the clerk tried to ring it up she told me that she needed to phone it in - ? why - when Visa answered they had me get on the phone and answer some basic security questions then they OK'd the purchase. I have used it many times in Europe and never had this happen, I think it must pertain more to the Caribbean area.
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