You don’t need to let your credit card company know you’re traveling, but it’s always a good idea. To protect you from fraud, credit card issuers look for charges that seem to be out of the ordinary, or “suspicious activity.” So, if they suddenly start seeing charges pop up on your card in a different state or country, they may decline the charge, assuming it’s fraudulent. In order to keep your credit card from being declined while you’re traveling abroad, you should submit a travel notice to your issuer.
Issuers like Capital One and Barclaycard have stopped recommending travel notices, thanks to the increased security of EMV chip cards. They still offer the ability to set a travel notification, but state that it’s not necessary. American Express has actually stopped letting cardholders set travel notices altogether, saying their confidence in their fraud protection makes it unnecessary.
Submitting a travel notice to your credit card company can be done quickly and simply. Most credit card issuers let you submit a travel notice online or through their app. If you’re not sure how to submit a travel notice, you can always call the number on the back of your card and submit a travel notice over the phone. When you submit a travel notice, you should tell your issuer where exactly you’ll be traveling and the dates of your trips. If you’re going to multiple destinations, be sure to make that clear.