How sensitive are issuers to where you use your cards?

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credit_card_fonz
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How sensitive are issuers to where you use your cards?

Postby credit_card_fonz » Wed May 22, 2013 7:53 pm

Just how closely do credit card issuers watch where you use your cards and how sensitive are they to this information?

I just got my butt chewed for using a credit card to purchase some used tires - the theory is the credit card issuer will see this activity and think I'm in financial trouble. The tires were for 2 trailers that don't get used very often, but they needed tires to be moved. What I purchased doesn't show up on my statement, just the merchant name and total amount due, so it appears the issuer would know I spent $150 at Champion Tires, but wouldn't know the exact items I purchased.

I was also told frequenting places like McDonald's and WalMart throw up a red flag when using the same credit card. I don't think this is true, but I thought I would ask here. I suppose I could always use a card I don't care about like Capital One, might prove to be good for something, but I don't think using such caution is necessary. Please don't tell me I'm wrong.


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Postby MemberSince99 » Wed May 22, 2013 8:22 pm

It depends on who you ask. Some say companies care others insist they don't.

In my own experience, when I had a Discover More I had an AU, and when she used the card at Walmart they shut it down twice. They would not say why, but both times it was at Walmart, and I had to call in and tell them that it was authorized and yadda yadda to get them to turn the card back on.

So you can draw your own conclusions but I know for a fact that Discover security watches where the charges are coming from. It's too much of a coincidence it happened twice like that.

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Postby Robrus1 » Wed May 22, 2013 8:35 pm

I had an online purchase from Walmart declined by Discover, so I think Discover just doesn't like Walmart. My reply to the OP is no, buying some used tires will not make the CC company think you are in financial trouble. That's ludicrous. They won't even know what you bought, just the merchant name and amount. There's no way they'd come to that conclusion even if they could see that you bought, not just tires, but used tires. As long as you pay them on time, why should they care? That'd be like Amex watching me like a hawk because I spent $5 at Taco Bell on my Platinum card, and they decide I must be in financial trouble since I'm eating at Taco Bell. What if I was in a hurry and Taco Bell was nearby and I just wanted a dang taco? Frequenting places like Walmart and McDonalds mean nothing to the credit card companies when it comes to throwing up red flags.
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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Wed May 22, 2013 9:25 pm

I agree with Robrus and 99. IME, I have used my cards everywhere, whether it be at work (remember I'm in the service industry), out with my friends or just anywhere, and I've never had my cards declined anywhere I've used them. They really don't care where or why the cards were used. I have heard Amex, OTOH, does in-fact watch where you spend...but I don't think they really care as long as you pay them every month on time. But yeah, it shouldn't be a problem where you spend, nor do I think they would really care tbh.
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Postby swipe_masta » Thu May 23, 2013 12:13 am

I find it hilarious that people have trouble using Discover at Walmart, but Walmart's credit cards are branded by Discover!

To the OP: What do you mean by you got your "butt chewed"? Was there recourse from the credit card company? Did they decline the purch?

I agree with Robus. Why would credit card companies care where you spend money as long as it's thru them?

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Postby Marcov719 » Thu May 23, 2013 2:04 am

swipe_masta wrote:I find it hilarious that people have trouble using Discover at Walmart, but [color="rgb(0, 0, 0)"][color="red"]Walmart's credit cards are branded by Discover![/color][/color]

To the OP: What do you mean by you got your "butt chewed"? Was there recourse from the credit card company? Did they decline the purch?

I agree with Robus. Why would credit card companies care where you spend money as long as it's thru them?


I was thinking the same thing. AmEx also has Bluebird at Wal-Mart.

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Postby FastSRT8 » Thu May 23, 2013 3:00 am

I am going to provide my 2 cents on this one.

I am in the camp that believes there is little truth to credit card companies monitoring where and how one uses their cards. IF you pay on time, have an outstanding history and are not at default, then I see no reason for any form of issues.

IF I were to ever get called for eating at a fast food establishment or asked why I am buying items at a discount location I would most certainly give them an earful. There is nothing wrong with eating at McDonalds, Taco Bell or whatever. Hey, people do not become wealthy by eating Kobe beef every day nor by buying designer everything.
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Postby 432521 » Thu May 23, 2013 3:11 am

I don't see why they would even care as long as you pay your bills.

Poor college student here and I will admit I go and get McDonalds a lot during the school year because it is right there when I leave my house for my 20 minute commute to school and its cheap. I charge MCD on my chase and discover all the time when they have the restaurant categories cause hey five cents is more than zero cents. I may have multiple charges for MCD a day because I am a person that uses my cards for everything because I hate carrying cash and then having change so I could end up with a 3 dollar charge in the morning and then a 1 dollar charge at like 6 because on my way back from school I might want a Dr.Pepper or something.
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Postby MemberSince99 » Thu May 23, 2013 6:31 am

In the case of Discover I would guess they have seen a lot of fraudulent use at Walmart. I don't think they "care" where you use the card, they do care about preventing fraud and that is what triggered the decline and having the card locked. So location does matter in that regard.

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Postby Sevenfeet » Thu May 23, 2013 8:31 am

MemberSince99 wrote:In the case of Discover I would guess they have seen a lot of fraudulent use at Walmart. I don't think they "care" where you use the card, they do care about preventing fraud and that is what triggered the decline and having the card locked. So location does matter in that regard.


+1. I think this is all about fraud, not whether or not they consider you a good customer by what you are buying. That's intrusive and frankly, silly. What they really care about is fraud, since that's the real problem. Walmart stores are frequent targets of credit card fraud...so is Best Buy. So those stores will get more scrutiny from creditors, period.
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