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Mastecard – Visa: why telling the provider?

Blog | Credit card

Most of Visa and mastercard providers offer customers the possibility to notify vacation. What is this procedure for and should you use it to announce holidays? Explanation.

Automatic credit card blocking

Credit card institutions are usually equipped with an anti-fraud alert system. This automatic system analyses the places where the Visa or Mastercard is used, the involved amounts, and the kind of expenses (restaurant, shop, money withdrawal, …). If the use seems “suspect”, the card provider can block the card as a security measure.

Why telling the provider?

Telling the financial institution who delivers the credit cards is a safety to avoid improper blocking of the card. Indeed, if the alert system detects something “strange” in a country abroad, the provider can verify if you notified a departure in that specific country. In order to notify vacation, all depends of the provider. It is generally possible to do so by phone, with a dedicated form, or online. You can notify:

  • The date of departure.
  • The date of return.
  • The visited country / countries.

Is the blocking automatic if holidays haven’t been announced?

Fortunately, no. Every Visa and Mastercard provider have their own alert system, with different parameters. It is entirely possible to use a credit card while abroad without blocking it. However, there are some behaviour that could rise the risk of blocking:

  • Visit of several countries in a short period of time.
  • Money withdrawal or uncommon use of the card.
  • Involved amount higher than usual.

Should you announce a departure?

It is good to know that the credit card providers won’t always tell the card holder if the card is blocked. If your Visa or Mastercard is your main way of payment while abroad, it could be very annoying if the card should be blocked. Generally, you should announce vacation if:

  • Your credit card is your predominant means of payment.
  • You plan on visiting several countries.
  • You plan higher expenses than usual.

All in all, the is no obligation to notify vacation. It is a possibility proposed by financial institutions, and the choice is left to the holder.

Article written by Multicredit – www.multicredit.ch