Best card for not getting blocked

in Credit Cards
21 replies 3K views
I'm going to be abroad later this year, somewhere I won't have access to a mobile phone.

In general I'll be using currency, but I also want a card with me for emergencies.

Wondering what is the best credit or debit card to have for not getting blocked? I.e. a provider whose security systems aren't on a hair trigger and/or who'll let me warn them in advance I'm gonna be in country X, don't block my card.

At the moment I have a Nationwide VISA Debit and a Lloyds Mastercard Credit - but both of them have taken the route of "Good news - you don't have to tell us any more when you're going abroad." Which I'm reading as "No point in trying to tell us, because our systems will ignore your information and block you anyway."

Any suggestions?
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    Phone your existing providers before you go and tell them???
  • eskbankereskbanker Forumite
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    gordon_k wrote: »
    At the moment I have a Nationwide VISA Debit and a Lloyds Mastercard Credit - but both of them have taken the route of "Good news - you don't have to tell us any more when you're going abroad." Which I'm reading as "No point in trying to tell us, because our systems will ignore your information and block you anyway."
    The way you should be reading those statements is: "We'll treat every attempted transaction on its merits, regardless of whereabouts in the world you are", i.e. they won't block transactions simply by virtue of being made abroad but conversely they won't guarantee that all transactions made would be authorised, whether here or abroad.
  • etiennegetienneg Forumite
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    I'm surprised you say that Nationwide don't want travel details. I've just checked in their internet banking. Under the Manage my details & settings tab, there is the facility to advise of travel plans separately for current accounts (debit cards) and credit cards.
    Of course, I've no idea if this actually helps in preventing card blocking!
  • As a pilot I can be on 3 different continents in the same day so it is impractical to give a breakdown of my location to my card providers.

    Presumably their systems are more intelligent these days as I have never had problems with MBNA, Halifax, Tandem or Amex and have never advised them that I travel regularly.

    That said - I do recall a colleague having trouble with his Lloyds CC a couple of years back.
  • VortigernVortigern Forumite
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    gordon_k wrote: »
    I'm going to be abroad later this year, somewhere I won't have access to a mobile phone.

    At the moment I have a Nationwide VISA Debit and a Lloyds Mastercard Credit.

    Any suggestions?
    Those two are not the best cards for travel. To avoid getting blocked you should take several cards, then if one is rejected you can try another.

    I'd suggest a Nationwide Select credit card for purchases, since you are already known to Nationwide.

    As a backup, and for emergency cash, I'd suggest Halifax Clarity or the Barclaycard Travel card.
  • virgo17virgo17 Forumite
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    etienneg wrote: »
    I'm surprised you say that Nationwide don't want travel details. I've just checked in their internet banking. Under the Manage my details & settings tab, there is the facility to advise of travel plans separately for current accounts (debit cards) and credit cards.

    Indeed. I've just done this on my Nationwide CC account for a forthcoming overseas holiday.
  • We travel extensively and have never had an issue with either Lloyds or Nationwide as we always used to notify them. However, they have recently changed their requirements and now don't want to know your travel plans so we will see if that affects what happens to us when we are next abroad!
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    I have used Nationwide a lot over the last fifteen years; have never notified them of travel plans; and have never been blocked.


    I recently relied on a Cumberland card for cash abroad, and for the first time found it blocked as soon as I arrived. However: (i) they ask you to notify them of foreign travel; (ii) when I contacted them online via secure messaging they responded very quickly. Then, when I had further problems and could not use this method, I emailed them with a local phone number, and again they called me very quickly and resolved the problem.
  • 20aday20aday Forumite
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    I recently went to Ibiza and it!!!8217;s the first time I!!!8217;d used my Lloyds Bank VISA Debit Card abroad-worked fine and didn!!!8217;t encounter any problems.

    Appreciate it isn!!!8217;t money saving advice to use a !!!8216;card from Hell!!!8217; but until I was able to find a cash machine that worked with my Lyk money card it came in handy.
    It's not your credit score that counts, it's your credit history. Any replies are my own personal opinion and not a representation of my employer.
  • agrinnallagrinnall
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    I've been using a Nationwide Select CC for many years. I used to notify them when I went abroad, but stopped a few years ago when they advised it wasn't necessary. Whether notified or not I've never had a transaction blocked when abroad.
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