Calling before travel/irregular purchases

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CarefulBuilder14
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Calling before travel/irregular purchases

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:53 am

Amex lets customers know that it's not necessary to call them before you travel or make an unusual purchase. I'm starting to appreciate this more.

Most other issuers like to at least get travel notifications, but I'm curious as to what sort of large (but local) transactions have either triggered a fraud alert or other delay on various cards.

The delays/declines I've encountered:
1. Discover decline after not giving a cross-country travel notification. They emailed me. I've since used travel notifications for non-Amex cards (call Chase and maybe Discover, not using Barclaycard or Citi). This was also before the chip was available on Discover, fwiw, so the magnetic strip could have been duplicated easily.
2. CSP decline for the second of two online transactions 24 hrs apart with the same merchant right after getting the card. I had to call them for information - rather annoying.
3. PRG sat "authorizing" for a minute before going through on a cab fare. A minute is a really long time for a charge to take, so I assume there was some human involvement since a computer would probably make up its mind more quickly. Maybe someone let it go through after seeing I had a pending $25 charge from an airline that morning, indicating a checked bag and travel. Still, I didn't have to do anything. The driver was very puzzled, so I don't think it was just a bad internet connection (to which he'd be accustomed, if that caused the delay).

I charged about $1k on CSP recently for a meal for a large group, which is definitely out of my usual spending habits. The charge went through without any delay. I had charged about $200 before at the same restaurant a week before, which may have suggested to Chase's computer that it was less suspicious. I was a little uneasy about the possibility of a decline, and maybe I should have called in advance to be safe.

So what delays/difficulties have others faced for local large or unusual transactions?
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takeshi
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Re: Calling before travel/irregular purchases

Postby takeshi » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:09 am

I don't usually bother with the notifications though it has bitten me in the past a few times. The only recent incidents that I can recall off the top of my head involved an online purchase from an international vendor on the CSP and a balance transfer to the Freedom.

My wife and I just recently returned from Japan and I used the CSP quite a bit over there with no issues and no notification but I think every terminal over there was EMV capable.

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Re: Calling before travel/irregular purchases

Postby Vermonster » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:55 am

Chase changed the wording of their travel notification to say that it is optional for international travel. I spoke to someone on the phone and she said that without the notification there is a chance of decline, but it isn't guaranteed. (As a side note, the international toll free number on the CSP is a pain in the ass to use.)

I had one issue where I was using my BCP to purchase groceries. I swiped and the terminal turned off. The cashier turned it back on, I swiped again and it was declined. She tried on her machine and it was declined again. Luckily I had another card. I tested it by making a purchase online and it was declined again. The next morning I used it to buy gas with no issues.


I had a few problems with my CSP not swiping properly. But this hasn't happened in a while.
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Re: Calling before travel/irregular purchases

Postby kcm7 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:32 am

Whenever I fly to the Midwest to visit my family, my first stop is Target or a grocery store to pick up supplies on the way to my parents' house.

Barclaycard Arrival denies this transaction, every single time, without fail.
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Kevin86475391
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Re: Calling before travel/irregular purchases

Postby Kevin86475391 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:12 pm

My cards have fallen victim to a lot of local fraud. I can't recall ever seeing a fraudulent charge from out of state or out of country. Instead when the fraudsters get a hold of my card info they apparently use in the same city I live in, or in nearby suburbs.

Citi did a terrible job detecting local fraud several months back. They declined a legitimate purchase at a restaurant I frequent and where I'd used the card successfully before. Unfortunately the obfuscated actual fraud going on at the same time because the only fraud alert I got was on the one valid charge. Meanwhile there were like 5 other random, local charges that were fraud - and also outside of my spending habits on the card.

BofA declined a valid iTunes charge for about $100 a year or so ago. I used and have been using Discover for iTune charges ever since without issue. BofA also failed to detect a roadtrip a couple of years ago, although I suppose the activity did look odd both for my personal habits and in general. I made charges at like 6 gas stations that day, and they kept declining the last one. Granted I usually only purchase gas like once every 6-8 weeks, but still it was clearly a chain of stops along the same highway, so it should have been obvious I was traveling in that direction.

I've had a couple of instances of recurring large charges with the same company on my Discover card being delayed, but the problem was with the merchant, not Discover. The first time it happened I called to Discover to make sure and they assured me everything was fine on their end - and I'm a lot more inclined to believe them. Now I know that even though it says it can't process the charge it will go through after a day or so in limbo.

Vermonster wrote:(As a side note, the international toll free number on the CSP is a pain in the ass to use.)


I feel like companies make it too hard to give notifications or verify a charge. It seems like Chase should have a feature online where you could just login and click that you'll be traveling without having to call.

Likewise, when I have had to validate a charge it's so frustrating going through a phone tree and/or having to talk to a live representative. I think they should just shoot you a text with the amount and merchant shown and basically saying, "Is this valid?" and that you should just be able to respond with a one-word Yes or No; or 1 or 2. I mean I guess someone could have stolen my phone as well as my credit card...that actually has happened to me before, but still unless it's a very large amount a quick text should be sufficient.

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Re: Calling before travel/irregular purchases

Postby oldsoldier » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:42 pm

kcm7 wrote:Whenever I fly to the Midwest to visit my family, my first stop is Target or a grocery store to pick up supplies on the way to my parents' house.

Barclaycard Arrival denies this transaction, every single time, without fail.


Do you put in a travel notice when you make this trip?

I was just wondering because I don't want any issues when I travel this month.
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Re: Calling before travel/irregular purchases

Postby Vermonster » Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:37 pm

Kevin86475391 wrote:
Vermonster wrote:(As a side note, the international toll free number on the CSP is a pain in the ass to use.)


I feel like companies make it too hard to give notifications or verify a charge. It seems like Chase should have a feature online where you could just login and click that you'll be traveling without having to call.


You can go online, I was just sitting in an airport with free "wifi." quotes meaning a carrier pigeon would be faster than the internet. I was using a payphone and didn't really want to pay an international toll to call. Totally my mistake for not calling before we left though.
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flan
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Re: Calling before travel/irregular purchases

Postby flan » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:52 pm

Vermonster wrote:
Kevin86475391 wrote:
Vermonster wrote:(As a side note, the international toll free number on the CSP is a pain in the ass to use.)


I feel like companies make it too hard to give notifications or verify a charge. It seems like Chase should have a feature online where you could just login and click that you'll be traveling without having to call.


You can go online, I was just sitting in an airport with free "wifi." quotes meaning a carrier pigeon would be faster than the internet. I was using a payphone and didn't really want to pay an international toll to call. Totally my mistake for not calling before we left though.


they provide a regular number to call collect. what's hard about that?

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Re: Calling before travel/irregular purchases

Postby Battery111 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:21 am

Kevin86475391 wrote:
Likewise, when I have had to validate a charge it's so frustrating going through a phone tree and/or having to talk to a live representative. I think they should just shoot you a text with the amount and merchant shown and basically saying, "Is this valid?" and that you should just be able to respond with a one-word Yes or No; or 1 or 2. I mean I guess someone could have stolen my phone as well as my credit card...that actually has happened to me before, but still unless it's a very large amount a quick text should be sufficient.


Chase has done exactly this to me before regarding my freedom
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Vermonster
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Re: Calling before travel/irregular purchases

Postby Vermonster » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:52 am

flan wrote:they provide a regular number to call collect. what's hard about that?


The payphone I used was trying to get me to pay. When it finally went through the computer on Chase's end hung up on me twice. I ended up having to call a collect operator to have her dial the number and verbally talk to someone before the call would connect. I'm sure half of the problem was the payphone I was using, but it definitely was not as easy as just dialing a number.


Kevin86475391 wrote:
Likewise, when I have had to validate a charge it's so frustrating going through a phone tree and/or having to talk to a live representative. I think they should just shoot you a text with the amount and merchant shown and basically saying, "Is this valid?" and that you should just be able to respond with a one-word Yes or No; or 1 or 2. I mean I guess someone could have stolen my phone as well as my credit card...that actually has happened to me before, but still unless it's a very large amount a quick text should be sufficient.


Chase does this if you have it set up in your account. I also have email notifications that have a giant green "yes" and red "no" button.
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