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Credit cards blocked when travelling

I have persistently found that some credit cards get blocked when used abroad. So I carry several. Sometimes only one of them is still working when I get home…

They can be unblocked but it can be an hour on the phone. No bank here that I know of supports any form of electronic communication (email, secure messaging via their website, etc).

The worst card is Halifax. People use it for travel because of low foreign exchange charges. It gets blocked almost 100% of the time.

How do people deal with this?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

How do people deal with this?

I call the banks the before travel, that way they set a flag and don’t block it.

EGTR

Why not get something like Revolut & Monzo for this? then it’s a matter of two clicks

When flying I get asked credit card details by hotels, operations, handlers…

Paris/Essex, France, , United Kingdom

I call the banks the before travel

Same here, though it’s becoming more difficult to reach any human interface by the day…
Also wiring an advance amount that will effectively transform a credit into a debit card helps.

Dan
- Journey = Destination -
LSZF, Switzerland

Dan wrote:

Also wiring an advance amount that will effectively transform a credit into a debit card helps.

Not here – they just block all transactions on the card!
“for your own safety” “we know what’s best for you”

EGTR

Amex is typically giving you a call before they block the card. Revolut and Vivid have an unlock feature in the app.

Beyond that: I have the best experience with my good old local savings bank where I do have the mobile number of a person that can unlock my card…

Germany

Revolut is a fraud magnet, apparently. Not sure of the mechanism but it involves linking other cards to it. I got taken for about 2k a year ago (Halifax). Refunded, of course.

I know the bit about phoning them to warn them of the trip abroad, but that can be 1hr in the phone queue.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Not sure of the mechanism but it involves linking other cards to it

The “whole idea” was to make bank wire transfers to Revolut card and use their card
You keep your original bank credit card in your pocket

Paris/Essex, France, , United Kingdom

After I had several occasions where my card was blocked – anti money laundry mechanism don’t deal well with using a credit card in a short period but at two places several 100 miles apart – my bank opened up the settings for the credit card in my bank app on the smartphone. Now I can set the countries in advance and unblock by myself in case needed. Unblocking is instantaneous, so even if I stand at an ATM and it refuses to work I can get it unblocked in a blink of an eye.

Germany

I use wise.com (formerly Transferwise). Totally happy with it. It’s the same kind of outfit as Revolut (i.e., a multi-currency e-money company rather than a bank), but working properly They issue a physical Mastercard (takes a couple of weeks to arrive) and a virtual Visa (instantaneous via website, and you can have many of these). You can block and unblock them via website. You also get real bank account numbers on the EU, UK, US and other national banking networks. Currency conversion fees are on the order of 0.5%.
If anyone wants to sign up, feel free to drop me a line, they have some kind of referral bounty that works both ways.

LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic
83 Posts
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