Reaching Across the Waters: Tips for Using Your Credit Card Internationally

November 21, 2016 PJ SHEIL

As busy season approaches for many auditors and some personal travel during the holidays, our Chief Financial Officer, PJ Sheil, provided tips for using your credit card overseas.  

If you’re headed out internationally, you’ll benefit from the following:

Establish a PIN for your card.

Simply call customer services, the number on the back of your card, and ask them how to set up a pin. This usually takes less than 2 minutes to complete. Many merchants outside the US may require chip+PIN authorizations and having the PIN will enable you to do so seamlessly.

Do not swipe your card if the initial chip transaction fails.

It’s better not to try again (and again).  This goes for both U.S. and foreign transactions.  For fraud prevention reasons, if an attempted chip transaction fails and your card is then swiped right after, the Authorization Decision Strategy filter will most likely suspend your account immediately, especially if you’re international.

Call the Customer Service number on the back of your card if your card is declined. 

Typically, when a card is declined it’s for suspected fraud so subsequent transactions will most likely also be declined until customer service has been contacted and fraud concerns resolved.  The handful of international transactions that have been declined likely would have been prevented using the above preventive measures.

Safe travels!


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