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Old 10-18-2008, 07:08 AM   #15
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2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
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while my mug isn't that wonderful, i like the cards that put your photo on it like citibank and my costco amex :-)

2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
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Old 10-18-2008, 07:16 AM   #16
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We have had the "suspicious activity" problem several times with our MC and VISA. We solved this problem by giving them our cell numbers as our primary phone numbers. Now we get these calls on the road, and the problem is solved.

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Old 10-18-2008, 08:15 AM   #17
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1968 28' Ambassador
Cedaredge , Colorado
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Originally Posted by Ike T View Post
We use a Discover for our primary purchase card, and Discover has an itchy finger when it comes to "suspicious activity".

We had our card number stolen at food place by the server. 3 hours after we ate, we got a call about several attempted cash withdrawls against the account at Wal-Mart, Target, or someplace like that. Obviously, a well-organized outfit.

We don't mind the inconvenience since we have alternatives to Discover. If it *really* bothered us, we'd simply carry cash... and firearms.

Me too....

I call them And tell them where I am going... Got tired of it getting cut off... We travel to washington state as we have family there.. That they have as a permanent trip....

May you have at least one sunny day, and a soft chair to sit in..

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Old 10-18-2008, 09:52 AM   #18
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Jourdanton , Texas
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Twice we've had "suspicious activity" which resulted in shutting down our card. Both times it was en route to Alaska and the suspicious activity was elsewhere in the world. The last one was for a 97 CENT charge in Australia! It was most inconvenient to cancel all our automatic charges (utilities back home mostly) and restore them with the new account number. We're assuming that tiny charge was a test of the validity of the number and that larger charges would follow. Anyway, it is important to have a second credit card available should something happen to the first. Also keep in mind that replacing a card is problematic if you are moving around a lot.

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Old 10-18-2008, 10:52 AM   #19
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Portland , Oregon
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I have to travel internationally from time to time... and by week two I can be on my third credit card (I now carry four). I have noticed that AmEx is much better about applying a little be of reason to my charge pattern.

When if fly out of PDX, I usually just buy coffee and snack at the airport with the card and usually buy water at most the hubs I hit along the way. That has seemed to help and I have not been shut off in quite a while.

I also use the cell phone as my primary phone contact for all credit cards... but that has it drawbacks as well. When you are sleeping in Shanghai, jet lagged out your mind after having a beverage or two... the call at 3AM local time by a "perky" customer service reps can be a bit annoying for you and confusing for them.
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:33 AM   #20
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We haven't had cards shut down in a long time. It did happen about 15 years ago when they were increasing the credit limit (it was cheaper to charge a car purchase than a car loan because this credit card was actually a 2nd mortgage line of credit) and they screwed up and cancelled the card. We tried to use it the day I was told the credit limit was increased. The restaurant told us the card bounced. We had only a few dollars with us and no other cards. They finally took a check and were not nice about it. We didn't go back to that restaurant until about a year ago. The bank we had the card through was very apologetic and we got a second card right away. Now we have two cards for general use and that's always been enough.

We have gotten calls. When I bought this laptop, they called to check it if was a real charge. Another time we got a call and our machine recorded it. We couldn't understand half of what the guy was saying including the phone number to call. We called the number on the back of the card and they said they had no record of a call. So, it seems best to check on whether someone is actually calling from the credit card company by thanking the caller and then calling the company yourself.

We did have the number stolen once when in Canada. We were at a place where the phone system wasn't working and they did it the old fashioned way. We found some strange charges when we got our bill—a search on US Search (that seemed very traceable) and a gift basket from an outfit in Toronto. It must have been an amateur. There were only 2 charges and if the card company cared, they could have easily found them. So we started using the second card and did for several weeks and they never asked why all the new activity. Getting a replacement took time. The first time I called, nothing happened except the card was cancelled. They asked if I wanted it send fast and I said "sure". The next bill had a $20 charge they never told me about for expressing it. I got that removed. Maybe I was naive, but I thought they didn't want me to get used to using the other card and would send it to me fast. We try not to have payments made automatically because it's pain when we have to change numbers or the expiration date is wrong.

I almost never remember to tell them we'll be taking a trip. Barb did once. I think it was the last time we went to Canada and Alaska. Remember to check with credit card companies about extra charges for converting money when leaving the US. It used to be the cheapest way to do it—just charge everything in other countries. But some have added hidden charges and you have to ask about it. Depending on the card, it could be cheaper to change money in banks once you get to where you are going if you feel ok carrying a lot of cash. I always figure since I look like a slob no one would think I had a lot of money with me. Now that I have an Airstream, though, they will assume I am a millionaire.

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Old 10-18-2008, 12:06 PM   #21
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One of my debit cards ( I only do debit-no credit cards) got cut off on a trip west several years back. It was on a weekend and I couldn't get service from the 800 # on the back of the card until Monday rolled around. Lucky for me, the while the card was no good for purchases, I was able to get money out of the associated checking account and move on down the road that way.

So, like many of you I learned to call the card company before moving out on a trip. Last summer I decided to have coverage in depth so I went to the credit union and got travelers checks as backup. Apparently, nobody uses travelers checks anymore. I had to explain the concept of travelers checks to more than one clerk. I suspect the day that travelers checks cease to be an option is not all that far around the corner. I'm not sure what I will do next summer.


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