How & Why to Notify Credit Cards When You Travel Abroad

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How & Why to Notify Credit Cards When You Travel Abroad

Million Mile SecretsHow & Why to Notify Credit Cards When You Travel AbroadMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Have an overseas trip coming up?  Make sure to tell your credit card issuers you’ll be traveling!

How Why To Notify Credit Cards When You Travel Abroad
To Avoid Problems, Notify Your Credit Card Issuer Before You Travel. Certain Cards Will Even Let You Set Travel Alerts Online!

I’ll explain why this is important.  And show you the different ways to set travel alerts!

Set Travel Alerts for Your Credit Cards When Traveling Abroad

Setting travel notifications is important because credit card issuers will often block a card if they think there’s suspicious activity.  And you don’t want the headache of having a charge declined while on vacation!

Also, don’t forget to use a card that does not charge foreign transaction fees when traveling outside the US.  Because fees usually negate the value of miles & points you’re earning!

My favorite no foreign transaction fee card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred which earns 2X points for travel (airfare, hotel, car rental, etc) and dining.  Because that’s what vacation is for, right?  To explore and eat good food! 🙂

How Why To Notify Credit Cards When You Travel Abroad
Use Your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Pay No Foreign Transaction Fees AND Earn Double Points on Travel & Dining Purchases!

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard and Citi Prestige cards do not charge foreign transaction fees either.

How to Set Travel Notifications

Of course, you can always call the number on the back of your card to notify your credit card company about a trip.

And with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll even get a real person on the other end of the line right away!  But with other cards you might have to go through an automated program, which can be a pain.

The good news is some cards let you set travel alerts online, in case you can’t or don’t want to talk.

Chase has a “Travel Notification Form” online.  Just login and go to the “Customer Center” tab.  Then click the “Travel Notification Form.”

How Why To Notify Credit Cards When You Travel Abroad
It’s Easy to Fill Out Chase’s Travel Notification Form Online

With the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card, it’s also easy to set up travel alerts online.

When you log-in to your account, click the “Services” drop-down tab.  Then select “My travel.”

How Why To Notify Credit Cards When You Travel Abroad
Look for “My Travel” Under the “Services” Tab to Set-Up a Travel Notification on Your Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card

Then enter your trip information, like where you’re traveling and the dates you’ll be gone.

How Why To Notify Credit Cards When You Travel Abroad
You’ll Be Able to Add Your Trip Destinations and Dates to the Online Form

You’ll be able to review the details of your travel alert, and then submit the form!

How Why To Notify Credit Cards When You Travel Abroad
Don’t Forget to Review Your Travel Information Before Submitting the Travel Notification Form

Once you’ve submitted the travel notification, you shouldn’t have any issues using your card.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus card is also particularly useful overseas because you can use it with a PIN at automated vending machines.  Like those that sell train tickets or gas station kiosks.

My Arrival Plus card definitely came in handy during my trip in Iceland!

For cards issued by Citi, like the Citi Prestige, you also have the option to set-up trip alerts online.  Although Citi claims it isn’t actually necessary when traveling.

Citi’s travel notification form can be found under the “Account Management” tab after logging-in to your account.

How Why To Notify Credit Cards When You Travel Abroad
Like Many Other Banks, Citibank Allows Customers to Set-Up Travel Alerts Online

Bottom Line

If you’re traveling abroad, don’t forget to set-up a travel alert with your credit card issuer.  Because often times they’ll disable your card if they suspect fraudulent activity.

You can always call the number on the back of the card to set up a trip notification, but some cards will let you submit an alert online!

And remember to use a card with no foreign transaction fees, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Barclaycard Arrival Plus!

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Just did this tonight for a trip starting tomorrow to Germany. FYI, the screenshots for Chase’s site are out-of-date; they’ve updated their site a lot lately. Now it’s found under the “Things you can do” menu, by first selecting “Update settings…” and then from the expanded list that appears after clicking that by selecting “Travel Notification”. The form that comes up next can be picky about characters you type in, so just name the country and leave it at that. If it doesn’t like what you’ve typed, it might error out saying “It looks like that part of our site isn’t working right now”, but that’s not exactly true…it just choked on parsing your input. A list of country names with just commas should work. I only needed one this time. Hope this update is helpful!

@Doug, @DerekSF, and @Anthony – Thanks for sharing your experience!

@Travel Reward Credit Card Fan – It’s always nice to save time. 😉 And happy to hear you didn’t have any issues during your last trip!

In the past I’ve always done this by calling the card company, but this will be much faster! Thanks.

Incidentally, during a recent trip to Mexico, I used some cards without informing the card companies at all and everything worked fine (and I’d not been to Mexico prior to that for several years, so it wasn’t a case of them knowing my travel habits).

Agreed. I was told it wasn’t necessary the last time I called. That said, I do try to do it online if possible.

Last time I called Chase before a trip to Asia, they said this was no longer necessary with their advanced fraud detection.

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