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Help! My Pricey Travel Credit Card Wouldn’t Work After I Traveled


I’m not going to begin feeling sorry for bank card issuers any time soon, given their profits, but they do have a difficult task to perform, determining inside milliseconds whether any considered one of a billion-plus transactions a day needs to be disallowed, especially considering the near-total protection they provide consumers against fraudulent use of their cards. Complicating matters further for American issuers, our bank cards can generally be used without four-digit PINs, unlike cards in lots of countries. The Belgian researchers couldn’t say needless to say, but they told me it was reasonable to assume that, all other things being equal, a transaction with a PIN code could be less more likely to be flagged for fraud than one without.

“We have a look at a mess of things when making a call to dam a transaction for potential fraud,” Mr. Lussier, the Chase spokesman, told me. And here’s the kicker: “There are not any concrete suggestions for consumers to make use of that will help them guarantee each bank card transaction they make isn’t denied for potential fraud.”

But there are just a few things you may still do, said Mr. Ewen, of The Points Guy: First, make certain your phone can receive texts and make calls from abroad, so you may each be alerted to potential fraud and call from wherever you’re as soon as your card is declined. (Grace, I do know you do receive text messages abroad and didn’t receive any from Chase, but Mr. Lussier told me that chip-reading issues wouldn’t trigger such a text.) Also, travel with multiple cards. I’d add you may even wish to bring three, if you have got them — two to hold, and one, perhaps an A.T.M./debit card, to go away within the hotel for emergencies. Insist on inserting cards into machines quite than tapping from the start of your trip, something which may (or may not!) have saved me from landing on the fraud detection radar.

Unfortunately, Grace, it looks like this time I couldn’t be of much help, and I would definitely understand in case you desired to cancel your Chase card. One consolation, though: In case you do cancel, you won’t lose your points — or, at the least, not their full value. For 30 days after you close up your account, you may redeem them for money; transfer them to considered one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners, including United, Southwest, Marriott Bonvoy and Hyatt; and even buy a recent iPhone.

In case you need advice a few best-laid travel plan that went awry, send an email to travel@nytimes.com.

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