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Old 11-02-2005, 04:26 PM   #1
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I'm sure I've mentioned this whenever the topic of cards comes up, but I figured since I just went through it, I'll post a dedicated topic.

Anyway, if you're traveling overseas (and who on here doesn't, or isn't planning on it??) and you use your credit/debit/ATM cards, fraud protection can trip you up. Nothing sends your bank a red flag faster than large foreign purchases, say, impromptu plane/train tickets, or a sudden desire to splurge on a nice hotel or meal. Next thing you know, you're trying to buy that bitchin' one-of-a-kind shirt at some unique boutique and your card's declined. d'OH!

Fear not... Before your trip, call your respective banks and tell them you'll be using your card(s) overseas. They'll put a notation on your account, with how long your trip is and what countries you'll be visiting. Some will even ask you approximately how much you might spend or what sort of items you may be charging. That way, if a flag comes up on a purchase, they'll see the note on the account and not shut your card off.

It's a few minutes of work per card, but it can save you a LOT of hassle when you're on your trip.

Also, remember to photocopy your cards - front and back - and leave them with someone at home that you trust. Another thing - if you don't have a foreign phone number printed on the back of your card, ask the operator what number to call from overseas in case you have card problems. Most of them will allow you to call collect, which is nice...
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:59 PM   #2
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Yep. He's right.
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Next thing you know, you're trying to buy that bitchin' one-of-a-kind shirt at some unique boutique and your card's declined. d'OH!
I had this happen to me in Hamburg earlier this year. Used the ATM a couple of times when I was in Madrid, and a purchase in the Zurich, Switerland airport, before heading to Hamburg for 5 days. When in Hamburg, I tried pulling out money from 3 ATM's at different banks and got declined all three times! I was like, WTF??!!

I called them to see what was up and they said that they froze it because of the flurry of activity in a short amount of time (LA, Madrid, Swiss- within a week).

Funny thing was, was that I had emailed them (I guess that I should've called too) before I even left for my trip to give them this very warning (about my travel itinerary) !

Anyways, they turned it right back on, apologized for my inconvenience, but said that they still did it to protect me.

Oh well, whatyagonnado....


Take a few minutes to do as Omi said . Better safe than sorry (or embarassed), guys!
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:54 PM   #4
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Take a few minutes to do as Omi said* . Better safe than sorry (or embarassed), guys!
Yup. Very good advice. Have had this happen more than once. Including my corporate Amex card.....I mean.......duh....wtf do they think you are going to do with a corporate Amex card? Anyway...make the phone call. Its worth it.
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:22 PM   #5
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I had no problems with any of my cards. I've brought credit cards only for emergencies or larger purchases/online or other bookings, but as for ATM cards I called my bank well before I left to let them know and they said that it wasn't a problem and that they didn't need to be informed and put no info in my bank account. While I appreciated that this made it a bit easier for me, not having to detail where I would be going (especially with my latest, longer, less planned out trip), but it was also a bit shocking. They said they wouldn't freeze my account if they saw large withdrawals or purchases overseas. What if someone stole my card?
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Old 11-03-2005, 11:04 PM   #6
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mark-O - time to change banks!

Seriously, half of the operators I've talked to whenever doing this say, "I wish more customers would do that." Had I not done it once, they wouldn't have caught on to a bunch of charges in Germany when my card got cloned in London - and they knew damn well I hadn't gone to Germany! As soon as I disputed it, they saw the notation and agreed that I didn't go to Deutschland. haha
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Old 11-03-2005, 11:08 PM   #7
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You really should get your arse over to Deutschland though. It's lovely.
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Old 11-04-2005, 12:52 PM   #8
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At the time I really didn't have the time to go out and get another bank account. I went out of my way to get a new account with this bank, thinking that because they were bigger than my current bank they would be better able to help me out if I lost my card. I didn't think all that much of it at the time and I didn't end up using the card much anyway. Just a few times at bank machines and never used interac or whatever the European equivalent is, but I'm home now and back to using my regular account. I'm getting rid of this card as soon as the minimum time on the contract is up. The next time I push off I'll be sure to try another financial institution.

CHEERS

P.S. Deutschland was tops in my book (aside from seeing a special someone in Italy). I'll definitely be heading back there the next time I hit the Big E.
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Old 12-08-2005, 09:21 AM   #9
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okay, i'm a first timer as well ill be packing for 8 weeks in 18 countries in europe, and you guys lost me at the first reply. i'm going to bring my atm card and now i'm just wondering what kind of credit card should i bring? whatever you say goes, im getting a headache reading all of these posts? helpppppp


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Old 12-08-2005, 10:47 AM   #10
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What kind of credit card? Any Visa or Mastercard will do. American Express is OK, but it's not as widely accepted, and Diners Club, Discover, and others can be practically non-existent in some places.
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Old 12-08-2005, 11:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by travelvirgin33@Dec 8 2005, 11:21 AM
okay, i'm a first timer as well ill be packing for 8 weeks in 18 countries in europe, and you guys lost me at the first reply. i'm going to bring my atm card and now i'm just wondering what kind of credit card should i bring? whatever you say goes, im getting a headache reading all of these posts? helpppppp

[snapback]91697[/snapback]

I second the Visa and Master card but to find a good deal and compare different cards easily, you might want to check out LowerMyBills.com since they have it all layed out for you there.

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Old 01-07-2006, 10:28 AM   #12
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Do you guys think that using a credit card is smarter than converting all cash to Euros or the other countries currency?
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:33 PM   #13
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Take out cash using your ATM card... cash machines rock!

Credit card companies will often ding you 1%-3% for foreign transactions.

Changing your money at a bank or change bureau will get you a horrible exchange rate, plus commission!
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by omisan@Jan 8 2006, 06:33 AM
Take out cash using your ATM card... cash machines rock!

Credit card companies will often ding you 1%-3% for foreign transactions.

Changing your money at a bank or change bureau will get you a horrible exchange rate, plus commission!
[snapback]97246[/snapback]

So technically I should just load my moola into my ATM card and take an emergency credit card and that should be enough?

I'm really confused about what is the best way to carry money in Europe. ATM so far seems to be the one with the best rate and lowest withdrawal fees...but why does most travel sites suggest that you take the cash, credit card and traveller's cheque combo???

Please let me know...have no clue...
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:47 PM   #15
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Dont bother with traveller's checks, just take a debit card and a credit card for emergencies. Keep them in different places on your body, like the debit card in your wallet and credit card hidden away in a money belt.
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Old 04-01-2006, 09:48 AM   #16
 
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jus take ur atm and always have a wad of cash in one of your front pockets with other important small things like asy mp3 player and phone and whatever else,that way its jam packed and if someone pinches your stuff out of that pocket,your more than likely to know. also on thinkgeek.com they got some clothing with hidden compartments,like loads of them,check it out,there expensive but worth it,hope i heled ya mate,just take a debit and make sure you have alot of cash and you'll be safe,
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:54 AM   #17
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on the subject of cards,
how do you normally operate at home? travellers cheques are for old fogies on bus tours, backpackers and other independent minded travellers just need a debit card and/or credit card. this can be tricky interms of security i know, but either carry a dummy wallet for that one in a million chance you get mugged or pickpocketed (put it in your cargo pants pocket-see how long it lasts).
I have been a tour guide for backpackers in europe and the pickpockets are phenomenally skilled, if theyre gonna get it they will, unless you are alert to the possibility. when you go out take enough cash that you think you are going to need, not so much that if you do lose it it doesnt ruin your day, and leave all the important stuff in the safety deposit box where you are staying. you wont need more than say €40 on you during the day anyway unless you plan on spending a wad. same thing at night. keep a copy of your card details with your family, or if you have a secure email account on that. the only other thing to carry on you would be a drivers license. leave all the other cards, ids, passports, video clubcard in your wallet in the safety box.
another point on pickpockets, they do it for a living.feel free to kick them.
ciao for now
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:10 AM   #18
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For UK people, according to the Nationwide website, with their current account, to withdraw cash and use your debit card abroad caries no extra charges.

I might look into changing my account at some stage.
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