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Debit/ credit cards

Las Vegas, Nevada
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191 posts
10 reviews
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Debit/ credit cards

Many post state the importance of letting your bank know of your travel plans. I work for a major bank and get calls daily with people upset that they are on vacation and their card gets blocked. The reason is, in recent years, identity theft is on the rise and when your card IS used fraudulently, both the bank and possibly the merchant are out the money. Which they pass on to us.

Also, by letting your bank know of your travels,they can let you know which atms you can use to avoid fees and what the international conversion fee is. Some travel credit cards the fee is waived.

Even if you don't plan on using your card, you are taking it for a reason,, emergencies so its a good idea to let your bank know of your plans including any layovers.

Cornwall, Canada
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1. Re: Debit/ credit cards

Yes Linda - good advice. When I called Scotia to alert them of our travel last year, the agent was glad we'd called and that while transactions would go through, she said that any large charges to our credit card (I have a daily limit on my debit) may have to be verified through a phone call from me with security questions to verify identity, so not to worry if it didn't go through right away. I appreciated that. Thankfully, we didn't have to use it, but nice to know we were protected.

I was the victim of an attempted theft, just two week after I had sent an e-transfer of money ($100) to my daughter when she was visiting friends out of town last year - first time I had ever done this. Thank goodness Scotia caught it and this $900.00 didn't get very far - they called me to verify the "transfer" because it had been attempted from an IP address that I have never used. I was very grateful! I had to change all of my cards, etc. but that bother was nothing compared to if the fraudulent e-transfer had gone through!! I was impressed how "on the ball" the bank's system is, and appreciate how they monitor these things.

Nebraska
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296 posts
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2. Re: Debit/ credit cards

So good to know! Thanks for the heads up on this!

Montreal, Canada
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368 posts
1 review
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3. Re: Debit/ credit cards

I never use debit cards. Always credit cards. Much much safer! With credit cards you have protection againt theft.

Punta Cana...
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24,104 posts
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4. Re: Debit/ credit cards

very good advise on this Topic.

as i accept credit cards from my customers on daily bases, i know by own experience how important it is to inform your bank/card provider about your travel including the travel dates(arrival/departure).

a little additional info:

even that all banks/card providers do have toll-free numbers to call them in case something fails, where you can pass the security questions to identify yourself and then get low set limit changed, as Fact such phonenumbers are NOT toll-free from the DR, so you would need in such moment a phone to make a international call, which will take some minutes til the verification process is done(including often several minutes waiting in line before the next operator is available).

many sellers/operators/shops/restaurants etc would not provide you with a free phone to do such international call, it specially gets very expensive if you are from Europe and call your european bank from a DR cellphone which has no intl calling Plan for Europe.

so the recommendation is to inform bank/card provider ALWAYS about your travels to the DR, so in case you want to use your card for any kind of purchase/emergency/tours etc etc, at that moment it will be available without any hassles and without extra costs(for example calls to europe without a intl european call plan can cost over 3 Euros/US$4.-+ per minute, solviong stuff with the bank on the phone takes on average 5-10 mnutes, specially when due the different timezone it is already after working hours/night back home).

happy travels

Mike

Warwick, Rhode...
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5. Re: Debit/ credit cards

My debit card has the same theft protection as my credit card. Most do.

Punta Cana...
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24,104 posts
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6. Re: Debit/ credit cards

right barb,

i have on my DR Debit Cards the same theft protections as i have on my foreign Credit Cards.

and when ever the card is used i receive within seconds a SMS on my cellphone about the use of my card, including location where it is in use and amount of money transfered/taken from ATM etc. at that moment i could call the toll-free number of the bank and get the transaction stopped/canceled right away.

looks funny when at the cashier of a supermarket, the Lady slides the card thru the machine and my phone rings without me taking a call, haha.

Mike

Warwick, Rhode...
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84 reviews
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7. Re: Debit/ credit cards

Mike, mine does the same thing!, lol! First time it happened, I was confused. Now I get nervous if there is a few minutes lag!

Pennsylvania
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62 reviews
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8. Re: Debit/ credit cards

Another thing to keep in mind is that some federal institutions, while knowing you are out of the country, may also insist that you enter your 4 digit pin (use as debit, not credit) I always let the bank know that I am going and the dates, my Visa card through them works nicely. However, the problem was with my Mastercard at the Federal Credit Union. While I also informed them the same travel info, my baggage fee for US Air was declined when leaving Punta Cana. Later at home I learned that b/c I tried it twice, the card was deactivated (even though they were aware of my plans). They advised that if I had used it as debt and entered my pin I would have been fine, the credit option however is not allowed. Now this can be an issue as many places do not have the hardware to run my purchase as debit rather than credit. So for future international travel I only use my bank card or credit card, my credit union is pretty much useless out of the country. Go figure.

Edited: 05 October 2013, 15:28
Punta Cana...
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9. Re: Debit/ credit cards

o.k., that option i don't know about.

my debit cards can not be used as a credit option, taken as debit from the amount on the account only. credit i can only use from the credit cards.

an other point:

i do never ever(since the stoneage method changed) use any card at businesses who use the ole fashioned carbon papers with the manual machines, only where they use the internet connected Veriphones where i see by written print the transaction to be approved/went thru or denied. and the veriphones are typical in punta cana everywhere, only a few dinosaurs still use the carbon paper method, and that system i don't trust.

an other hint for the use of ATM's:

do not use stand alone machines, always use ATM machines attached to a store/bank, as at those places 24/7 a guard is near, so manipulations of such machines would be much harder to proceed than at stand alone machines where thugs could manipulate their stuff all night long in the dark.

Mike

Warwick, Rhode...
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4,054 posts
84 reviews
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10. Re: Debit/ credit cards

Mike, our debit cards act as a credit card meaning you have the option not to use a pin code. The money automatically gets taken out of our acct. just like a debit. So, we use it in restaurants, etc.