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I hold two credit cards in Canada- one from a large financial institution (TD Canada) and one with an online bank (PC Financial).

When using these cards for travel, for the TD Mastercard, I am okay to use the card anywhere I travel without notifying the bank. For the PC Mastercard, I am to fill out an online travel advisory form.

I think this is a great example of reverse psychology at play- I feel more "confident" using my PC Mastercard knowing that the bank has received and approved my travel request.

When first using my TD card on a trip, I always feel like the transaction may be rejected as it may be flagged as fraudulent. Funnily enough, this hasn't happened (so far).

Two questions:

  • Why does one bank ask for said advisory while the other doesn't?
  • In the case where the bank isn't asking for an advisory, how do they to differentiate a transaction that's authentic versus one that isn't?
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One bank is more willing to risk losses and customer hassle in exchange for lower processing costs than the other bank is. It's strictly a business decision.

Regarding how they detect suspicious transactions: Patten detection based on your past usage history. I've gotten calls asking me to confirm that I just placed a large order with a company I'd never bought from before, or in a country that I haven't previously visited, or...

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