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Amex and travelling

Moderator Emeritus

Amex and travelling

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.

Message 1 of 16
Established Contributor

Re: Amex and travelling

I dont have one so I cant say for sure but in this economic climate we will be traveling this summer and if things havent picked up by then I am going to call my card issuers and notify them so if anything pops up they dont block it or they just call and verify and dont get paranoid on me. Dont think it could hurt but thats just me.
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Message 2 of 16
Established Contributor

Re: Amex and travelling

I recently have been travelling a lot, and using my AMEX a lot. I called them before my first trip, and they said not to worry, they would only contact me if a charge looked extremely suspicious. They said not to worry about calling in advance, but thanks anyways.

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Message 3 of 16
Super Contributor

Re: Amex and travelling

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

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Message 4 of 16
Regular Contributor

Re: Amex and travelling

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.


Zar Smiley Happy

Message 5 of 16
Established Contributor

Re: Amex and travelling

AMEX does not want to hear from you everytime you travel, that is the whole idea of a worldwide credit system.  I've never told them when or where I am travelling (none of their business) and the card has never been refused.  On a large purchase you might be asked to verify your ID, but the card won't be denied because you are travelling.  I know some people call AMEX to let them know, and if that makes you feel better, fine.  But it isn't necessary.
Message 6 of 16
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Amex and travelling

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 Smiley Wink).


I also take that opportunity to ask about their fees for foreign exchange transactions. 

Message 7 of 16
Super Contributor

Re: Amex and travelling

Does not hurt to call. I called today and I told them I'll be going on vacation and what is exposure limit. She said not to worry and asked how much I might spend. I said between 5-10K. She looked and said 10K spending no problem at all.
Message 8 of 16
New Contributor

Re: Amex and travelling

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.



Good Luck,


EQ FICO...816
Message 9 of 16
Senior Contributor

Re: Amex and travelling

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.


Message Edited by MattH on 12-16-2009 10:23 PM
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Message 10 of 16