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    • gordon k
    • By gordon k 6th Aug 18, 12:30 PM
    • 36Posts
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    gordon k
    Best card for not getting blocked
    • #1
    • 6th Aug 18, 12:30 PM
    Best card for not getting blocked 6th Aug 18 at 12:30 PM
    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?
Page 1
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 6th Aug 18, 12:52 PM
    • 1,723 Posts
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    Gary_Dexter
    • #2
    • 6th Aug 18, 12:52 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Aug 18, 12:52 PM
    Phone your existing providers before you go and tell them???
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 6th Aug 18, 1:09 PM
    • 7,832 Posts
    • 8,649 Thanks
    eskbanker
    • #3
    • 6th Aug 18, 1:09 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Aug 18, 1:09 PM
    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."
    Originally posted by gordon k
    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.
    • etienneg
    • By etienneg 6th Aug 18, 1:10 PM
    • 65 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    etienneg
    • #4
    • 6th Aug 18, 1:10 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Aug 18, 1:10 PM
    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!
    • Westminster
    • By Westminster 6th Aug 18, 1:38 PM
    • 864 Posts
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    Westminster
    • #5
    • 6th Aug 18, 1:38 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Aug 18, 1:38 PM
    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.
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    • Vortigern
    • By Vortigern 6th Aug 18, 2:43 PM
    • 2,533 Posts
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    Vortigern
    • #6
    • 6th Aug 18, 2:43 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Aug 18, 2:43 PM
    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?
    Originally posted by gordon k
    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.
    • virgo17
    • By virgo17 6th Aug 18, 4:58 PM
    • 702 Posts
    • 252 Thanks
    virgo17
    • #7
    • 6th Aug 18, 4:58 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Aug 18, 4:58 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by etienneg
    Indeed. I've just done this on my Nationwide CC account for a forthcoming overseas holiday.
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 6th Aug 18, 5:02 PM
    • 1,229 Posts
    • 2,314 Thanks
    happyandcontented
    • #8
    • 6th Aug 18, 5:02 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Aug 18, 5:02 PM
    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!
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 6th Aug 18, 5:58 PM
    • 12,273 Posts
    • 8,374 Thanks
    Voyager2002
    • #9
    • 6th Aug 18, 5:58 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Aug 18, 5:58 PM
    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.
    • 20aday
    • By 20aday 6th Aug 18, 8:26 PM
    • 2,252 Posts
    • 936 Thanks
    20aday
    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.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 7th Aug 18, 8:43 AM
    • 20,692 Posts
    • 16,506 Thanks
    agrinnall
    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.
    • chattychappy
    • By chattychappy 7th Aug 18, 9:20 AM
    • 6,858 Posts
    • 3,722 Thanks
    chattychappy
    Until recently, I spent more time abroad (mostly SE Asia and Europe) than in the UK.

    First of all, in my experience it never made any difference whether you notify your provider in advance as to whether you got block/decline - and indeed some now say don't bother. BUT, I did sometimes notice that cards would magically unblock after a few days. Perhaps notifying in advance means some kind of manual review afterwards.

    I find that sometimes particular locations or even particular shops would trigger blocks with particular cards, but not others. For example, for a period of time, the ATMs at Saigon's airport would always cause my Santander Zero to block. You could tell them that transaction was legit, the card would be unblocked, but the very next day it would block again if you used the the same card in the same ATM again.

    A particular restaurant in Taipei would always decline my Clarity mastercard, but not my PO Office mastercard. But no block, just a decline.

    Anyway, enough waffle. The only solution is to have multiple cards. When away from the UK, I would generally have 4 "travel" cards and a couple of others. I would typically have two in my wallet. I would also carry/keep more local currency than I would in the UK. I wouldn't "keep them for emergencies", but actively use them from time-to-time. Perhaps this will reduce the chances of a block when you really need them.
    • Warmq
    • By Warmq 7th Aug 18, 9:23 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Warmq
    there is the facility to advise of travel plans separately for current accounts and credit cards.
    • gordon k
    • By gordon k 7th Aug 18, 11:40 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 72 Thanks
    gordon k
    Thanks everyone for your helpful responses.

    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.
    Originally posted by etienneg
    Yes, it says on their website you no longer need to inform us of travel plans, but when I messaged them I was directed to this form. Question is, does that tell their auto system to expect unusual transactions - e.g. from country X, taxis, travel bookings etc - or does it simply flag up a notice for staff, who will not enter into the process when I have no means of comms...

    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.
    Originally posted by eskbanker
    That's heartening - but it would be really good if they made that explicit - the whole thing seems quite opaque.

    Clearly there is an issue here, in that the bank or bs probably has good reason not to make their precise security strategy public, but it does make it rather hard to plan with any confidence.

    The only solution is to have multiple cards ... I wouldn't "keep them for emergencies", but actively use them from time-to-time. Perhaps this will reduce the chances of a block when you really need them.
    Originally posted by chattychappy
    This seems a good strategy. If I'm now gonna be abroad more often I think I might do that.

    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.
    Originally posted by Vortigern
    Cheers. If more foreign travel is going to be a thing, it does make sense to have a card(s) that's tailored to it.
    • eDicky
    • By eDicky 7th Aug 18, 5:01 PM
    • 3,693 Posts
    • 1,852 Thanks
    eDicky
    Cheers. If more foreign travel is going to be a thing, it does make sense to have a card(s) that's tailored to it.
    Originally posted by gordon k
    I think that's the right idea - travel with several cards that are intended for free overseas use, perhaps less chance of them being blocked and if one is then just use another one. Any card can fail, be declined or lost, especially during travel.

    Apart from the 'travel' credit cards there are the fintech app-based accounts, Starling Bank, Monzo, Revolut, Loot, and the Tandem cashback CC. I carry them all and have never had one blocked. The sophisticated apps give instant notifications but the cards still function without phone connection.

    I'm curious where you will be that has had no mobile phone access these days...
    • chattychappy
    • By chattychappy 8th Aug 18, 9:19 AM
    • 6,858 Posts
    • 3,722 Thanks
    chattychappy
    This seems a good strategy. If I'm now gonna be abroad more often I think I might do that.
    Originally posted by gordon k
    It is worth having someone you trust in the UK opening your post. You may also run into problems of cards expiring when overseas. Generally I was sufficiently covered with other cards and could wait until my next trip back home to pick up a new card. On a couple of occasions I had my trusted friend post a new card onto me, though I would only do this if they were of the type that needed activation.

    On occasion I tried to get providers to issue new cards earlier, but they would never do this. When I've reported cards lost/damaged, the newly issued card typically has the same expiry as the old one, though I think this isn't necessarily the case.

    My "bottleneck" in all this was my debit card. At the time my bank account required the card+card reader for all debits. This expired and I didn't want to risk getting a new one sent over. I survived by paying off cards with another card that happened to have a balance transfer promo running. I paid the promo card off by doing a BT from another card. DD lovers will laugh at this arrangement, but it only cost me a few quid and kept me going for a couple of months.

    You mention no mobile coverage. You must have regular internet access so you can pay off cash advances and check for fraud. If you have good internet, you can use skype to make calls.

    Keep a list of all your card numbers and the phone numbers. I had this as an encrypted word file on my laptop which I had also emailed to myself. (So I could re-download from webmail if necessary.)

    Finally, bear in mind that if you are actually living overseas, there comes a point where you might be in breach of T+Cs and/or under an obligation to tell the CC whereupon they might close the account.
    Last edited by chattychappy; 08-08-2018 at 9:22 AM.
    • Anthorn
    • By Anthorn 8th Aug 18, 9:31 AM
    • 3,814 Posts
    • 984 Thanks
    Anthorn
    In my own personal experience automatic anti-fraud measures are more readily applied to foreign currency transactions including Euro transactions. This reached such proportions for me that I was phoning the card issuer to advise them that I was about to spend with my card. That problem was the reason why I started using USD and Euro denominated prepaid cards and also the reason why I got a French bank account.

    In my experience no card denominated in GBP is any better nor any worse than any other.
    • Penelopa.Pitstop
    • By Penelopa.Pitstop 8th Aug 18, 4:51 PM
    • 327 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    Penelopa.Pitstop
    I can recommend Nationwide Select Credit card. I only had a problem once in South Korea but it might have been something with terminal or Visa in general. I used Mastercard and it worked in the same place. Nationwide refunded exchange fee charged on other card.

    • Vortigern
    • By Vortigern 8th Aug 18, 7:54 PM
    • 2,533 Posts
    • 1,712 Thanks
    Vortigern
    I can recommend Nationwide Select Credit card.
    Originally posted by Penelopa.Pitstop
    For anybody who has a second cardholder on their account it's worth using one of the cards that has different numbers for the main and the secondary user. I had a Nationwide card stolen,reported it immediately but both cards had the same number and both were blocked until replacements arrived.

    Halifax Clarity and Barclaycard would have different numbers on each card and would not suffer the same problem.
    • 18cc
    • By 18cc 9th Aug 18, 12:14 PM
    • 667 Posts
    • 445 Thanks
    18cc
    I recommend 1. Tandem credit card for travel. 2 Starling debit card for travel (but you need a smartphone as app only)
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