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12-16-2009 11:05 AM
It has been a while since I've seen this as an issue (or maybe I haven't looked for it to be one), but there was a point in time that CCCs, like Amex, would block charges to a CC if you travel so as to curtail fraudulent charges.
I'm heading up to NYC for the weekend and do you think it would be necessary to contact Amex to let them know I'll be using the CC while away? Or in this fluid society of ours with business travel and whatnot, would it even be necessary? I'll be spending about $1500 on the Green.
12-16-2009 11:07 AM
12-16-2009 11:19 AM
12-16-2009 11:34 AM
My Amex is normally only used for the same 4 bills every month. So if I am planning anything weird, I always tell them in advance.
Having said that, DW used it out of state for various reasons with no warning, and there was no problem
12-16-2009 12:16 PM
I always call CCC when I'm going to travel. Two weeks ago I traveled to Moscow, Russia, and as always when I contact Amex I was it doesn't require customers to contact them prior to their trips but I still do it just to avoid any possible problems. I didn't have any problems, however it wasn't as accepted as my MasterCards or Visas but still I could use it many times.
12-16-2009 12:59 PM
12-16-2009 01:41 PM
I don't call my CCCs when I travel domestically, but on those rare occasions when I go overseas, I do call to let them know about my plans. I had one situation many years back when my card was denied, and it was a minor hassle (mostly due to language barrier issues) to get it straightened out. Since then, I've always called to let them know about upcoming charges that don't fit my regular pattern (e.g. LV purchases on Grand Cayman ).
I also take that opportunity to ask about their fees for foreign exchange transactions.
12-16-2009 06:12 PM
12-16-2009 06:42 PM
I've been with AMEX for over 15 years and have never called them about my travel plans, either domestically or abroad. No problems. Of course, I always have a backup VISA in my wallet because AMEX is not universally accepted.
12-16-2009 07:20 PM - edited 12-16-2009 07:23 PM
I have used my AMEX card in many countries since 1982, never called them before a trip, and never had a problem with any charges while travelling. From time to time Chase or Citi has called me about some transaction that triggered an alert because it was unlike my usual pattern, but the triggers seemed to be types of purchase I don't usually make rather than about geography. In any case if some card does cut me off I'll just use other cards, that's one reason I have several of them.
I suspect many of the stories on the net about how "buying X is a red flag" really are about the reaction to a purchase that was atypical for a particular customer. For instance I've read that buying basics like food with credit cards can be a red flag because it might mean the person is short of cash. Well, my wife and I have been using credit cards at supermarkets and pharmacies for many years without any problems. And for a number of years the wine used for Communion at our Church (a couple of bottles per month) was bought from a liquor store here in Connecticut on our cards, again without incident. But when somebody tried to put 500 bucks worth of booze from a liquor store in Florida on the Chase account my wife and I share, their Security department called us very shortly thereafter. When I drop a few hundred bucks on electronics at Amazon that does not trigger an alert, because I've made lots of such purchases over the years. For a customer who throws lots of parties 500 bucks worth of booze might not be a trigger but 300 bucks worth of computer accessories might be if those gizmos were out of that customer's pattern.
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