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.
If you’re traveling abroad, you should let your credit card company know of your travel plans, including the destination and how long you will be there. Otherwise, they may see your transactions abroad as suspected frauds and put your account on hold for security reasons. Without access to your credit card, you may be left stranded in a foreign country.
You can set a Discover card travel notice by logging into your account or calling Discover customer service at 1-800-347-2683. A travel notice ensures that when Discover sees purchases made in unusual locations using your credit or debit card, they won’t get suspicious and suspend your account for fraud. It’s not something you have to do by any means, but Discover recommends it when traveling out of state or country to help make your trip as smooth as possible.… read full answer
Here’s how to set a Discover card travel notice:
Log in to your Discover account.
Click on the “Manage” tab.
Click on “Travel Notification.”
Enter the dates you’ll be away and where you’ll be traveling.
Submit your notification.
You can also complete your Discover card travel notice by calling Discover customer service at 1-800-347-2683. From there, you’ll have to enter your account number to speak with a representative. Then you can tell them where you plan to travel and for how long, and the representative will set up the alert for you.
You actually can’t set an American Express travel notification. Amex is one of the few credit card companies that doesn’t allow it. Most issuers want you to tell them ahead of time when you plan on traveling, so they won’t flag your purchases as fraud if they see you spending money in another country or state. Amex, on the other hand, is confident in their ability to recognize fraud without travel notifications. … read full answer
This is what American Express has to say about travel notifications on their website: “We use industry-leading fraud detection capabilities that help us recognize when our Card Members are traveling, so you don't need to notify us before you travel.” While the exact nature of how they do this is an Amex secret, some Amex customers have been able to provide insight into the process. For example, some report that Amex sent them an email saying their recent purchases indicated they’d be traveling in the near future. So if you buy plane tickets, for example, Amex will reasonably assume you’ll be going somewhere.
So in the end, you don’t need to set an American Express travel notification, and there’s no way to do it even if you wanted to. You should just expect Amex to figure out when you’re traveling. But if your card ever is flagged for fraud, a call to the number on the back of your card should quickly sort things out. It’s also a good idea to make sure Amex has the right phone number on file for you, so they can let you know if there’s an issue.
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