News & Views - Savantor

Going abroad on a business trip with your Credit Card?

Wednesday, 01 June 2005

This currently-normal practice may not be as easy as it seems and you may need to ensure that you have enough old-fashioned cash with you. This may be the age of Chip and PIN, faster payment methods and cards taking over from cash but some card issuers may be taking anti fraud measures a little too far.

Credit card statements from some card issuers include a message to the effect that the cardholder should advise them when a foreign trip is planned so that their transaction tracking systems do not throw these transactions up as possibly fraudulent. In many ways this makes sense but you are then telling a stranger exactly when your property is going to be unoccupied and for how long. Recent alleged examples of the sale of credit card details to newspaper reporters may make you think twice about this. 

The leaflet that accompanies the statement actually intimates that the card could be refused when you need it most. Refusing transactions when an account is out of order is understandable but should this happen just because you are in Spain on holiday? Do we have to do this every time we go away for a week end? What if your company wants you to fly abroad on business at the last minute – will your card work? What if your flight home is diverted to another airport and you need to use the card in the airport as you have run out of currency – a not unusual circumstance – if the card usage doesn't match the detail you provided the transaction will be declined.

Asking the helpline if this applied to Chip and PIN cards the response was that it did. This sounds like a change to the Conditions of Use as you can't rely on using your credit card abroad unless you have provided your issuer with the dates, destinations and contact details, beforehand.

If cardholders have a responsibility to guard their card details and PIN numbers carefully don't issuers have a responsibility to let us use the card when we need to?

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