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I travel quite a bit. I had a Chase card. About once a month they'd mark it for fraud because of my travel. Not once was it actually fraud. All charges were legit. On top of that I have flawless credit. I always pay the bill.

This was massively frustrating and inconvenient. I'm at a store in some country, talk to a sales person, spend an hour checking out something, finally decide on which model of whatever I want to purchase, then have my card denied. I'm in a foreign country, have a local data-only sim. I have to wait until I go back the hotel to call the credit card company then go back to the store the next day. MASSIVELY INCONVENIENT!

Other examples, I'm trying to book a hotel. I'm on some hotel site like booking.com or hotels.com. I find a hotel, it claims "only one room left". Type in my info, credit card company decides it's fraud. Charge denied. Call them up, 15-20 mins later I can try again but rooms are gone.

Same with airline tickets. Go through the 20 minute process of filling out the 5 or 6 pages of stuff on an airline site only to have the charge denied at the last moment. Again have to call the credit card company, 15-20 minutes on the phone with them, then back to having to fill out the 20 minutes of forms on the air ticket site.

I switched to a Capital One card. For 2 years I travelled all over Europe and Asia with no questions. Then, for no explicable reason I got the first invalid fraud charge denial in October. Then again in November. Another in December and yesterday in January.

What's makes it even more frustrating is they have records of me being in all these countries. They can see I am and have been travelling all over for the last 27 months. And yet I'm getting these frustrating fraud denials that are massively inconvenient and time consuming.

I find it extremely hard to believe that some executives that travel even more than me would put up with such inconveniences.

Is there a credit card out there that doesn't have these issues? That's specifically designed for extensive travellers?

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  • I'm guessing you're talking about the US, since that's where this is quite common.
    – littleadv
    Jan 12, 2016 at 9:30
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    Carrying more than one credit card when you travel is also a big help for this problem, even though you'll have to notify each company of your travels. Your odds are at least better that not every card will cut you off at once, so you can use another card to take care of the immediate problem and then call to get it straightened out. Jan 13, 2016 at 21:30

2 Answers 2

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In the US, most people don't ever travel outside of the country. A third of Americans don't even have a passport. Almost a quarter of Americans had never actually left their State! (source) So a credit card being charged all around the world - is an exception, not a rule. And exceptions raise flags.

In the US, banks ask (read: require) you to tell ahead your travel plans. You need to actively call/email them with your itinerary. Each time you travel. Ahead of time. Otherwise, what you describe will keep happening.

Also, consider a situation that while you use your card abroad, it may have been copied. While your legitimate charges got denied, also some illegitimate were. Don't know if that's the case here, but American credit cards are notorious for not being secure (they only started issuing chip cards last year, and even those are without a PIN).

So no, there are no US cards that would not end up doing this to you. Even the so-called "travel" or "airline" cards do that. Because that's how they're covering their a$$ets, and they don't really care about your convenience. You're not their target client, they don't earn money from you. They earn money from a person who is piling up debt and never actually goes anywhere. You know, the average American, you must have seen those. And for those clients - they will never ever have an out of country charge that would not be fraudulent.

As to executives... Those have corporate/business cards. Those are better in this regard, but to get a proper corporate card you need to be... in a proper corporate world.


More recent update since someone pinged this answer: As of now (2022) some banks no longer require providing travel notices. For example, neither Chase, nor Capital One require them anymore. Some others still do (Citi for example). Some issuers also start handling fraud cases on-line via an interactive SMS or email where you can confirm that you have indeed made the transaction. It would then supposedly go through on retry. That said, I still occasionally have issues (in my most recent trip I had both Chase and Citi cards randomly acting up).

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    Some card companies now let you enter travel information online to your account--so you don't have to call them.
    – mkennedy
    Jan 12, 2016 at 17:21
  • Wow, what a progress....
    – littleadv
    Jan 12, 2016 at 17:37
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    You can do it online for both Chase and Capital One. Capital One only requires it for international travel.
    – Sam
    Jan 13, 2016 at 0:47
  • You're saying things that are trivially true (travel is rare, anti-fraud exists, some customers pay massive interest) and then jumping to "there are no credit cards that won't act like this," and further are claiming these are the reasons why, expecting everyone to just believe you. This reads like pure speculation. Even one sentence like "I tried 20 cards and they all did this" would massively improve this answer. Apr 30, 2022 at 8:50
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    Can you back this up with evidence? I'm pretty sure that frequently-travelling people have a way of letting their banks know that foreign locations shouldn't trigger a fraud alert. While it may not be any of the commonly used cards, saying "there are no US cards that would not end up doing this to you" is far too strong unless you have evidence. May 4, 2022 at 16:21
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Virtually any non-US card.

I've travelled with Canadian and UK cards and had very few problems. I get fraud alerts occasionally, but I get them occasionally when I'm sitting behind my desk at home buying stuff online.

It may be tricky to get one of those cards, but it's certainly a solution.

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  • Things have probably changed since 2016. I called to put in a travel notice with both of my main cards (BoA and AmEx), and both told me they don't require that anymore either.
    – cHao
    May 4, 2022 at 17:42

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