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Capital One chip card- No need to preauthorize for trip?

I just called Capital One to inform them I would be using my Capital One MasterCard in Europe this month. I was told that since my card had a chip I did not need to notify them and I could use it freely there. This seems to be a new policy since last fall. Last August, in Scandinavia, I swiped the card more than using the chip ( I was always told to swipe it ) and I wonder how that could affect using it. The Capital One rep just repeated I didn't need to tell them I would be using it abroad. I would appreciate feedback from other cardholders
Thank you,

Posted by
70 posts

I called Capital One about two weeks ago to ask about this. They advised me to report my dates and locations at my online account so I did. I have a chip card.

Guess it depends on who you talk to.

Posted by
2353 posts

You can travel notifications on the Cap 1 website - sign in to your account - it is under services. Doesn't hurt to do it and might save the hassle of your card being denied because of location.

Posted by
4498 posts

A lot of cards have stopped requiring travel notifications. I'd still continue to either call or do it online, but if you cannot find the notice online, that pretty much means they don't need you to do it. Banks have gotten extremely good at having computer systems monitor your accounts and detecting fraud (almost too good, I get email notifications about once a month or two).

Always have your card's phone number available and if possible, be signed up for email notifications. That way you can easily deal with any holds, which can happen even if you do notify them.

The chips prevent duplication of the card, which is the largest form of credit card fraud by wide margins. Banks used to worry if a card was being used in a foreign country as it was likely that card was a fake. But now with chip cards, that scenario is unlikely.

Card processing machines are not supposed to process a chip card with the magnetic strip. Last August the US hadn't yet transitioned to chip cards, but now it should be rare to be able to swipe a card's magnetic strip in a machine that processes the chip.

Posted by
2089 posts

I just went on the websites for Capital One, Chase and Citi to set my travel notifications--can't hurt, might help. All my cards have chips.

Posted by
1705 posts

I still call in and report my international travel. It's just easier than trying to fix it if something goes wrong while I travel. I don't report my US travel.

Posted by
504 posts

About a month ago I entered the dates (not really travel out of the country) online at CapOne when I bought my DB train tickets. I wasn't sure if that would be a foreign transaction or not.

Posted by
504 posts

About a month ago I entered the dates (not really travel out of the country) online at CapOne when I bought my DB train tickets. I wasn't sure if that would be a foreign transaction or not.

Posted by
3229 posts

Until the card issuers for my credit cards remove the Travel Notification option from their online account portals, I will continue to report my international travel plans. I have had better luck with the cards working after I get to where I'm going going using the web forms than when I call or visit a branch to make the report.

Whether or not the card has a chip should not change the need for you to report travel or not. Someone can still steal your card and start charging things. I have not seen any official documentation from any card issuer, except American Express, that stated I no longer have to report travel plans.

Edit: By stealing your card, I meant the numbers on it, not the physical card. This happened to me with my brand new chip card and someone was ordering online items to be delivered to an address in London. Having a chip does not matter when it comes to online purchases -- all it takes is the card number, expiry date, and the magic 3 character code on the back.

Posted by
589 posts

I have a Cap 1 chip card, and it often misfires when I have not advised the fraud alert people that I would be traveling; last time was 5-6 weeks ago. So I call and talk to a human just to be sure, or anyway as sure as possible.

[Edit] This was domestic travel.

Posted by
4498 posts

Whether or not the card has a chip should not change the need for you to report travel or not. Someone can still steal your card and start charging things.

Actually it does. With magnetic stripe cards, criminal organizations would duplicate it and sell it to someone anywhere in the world who would then use it to buy things until it was locked. So if charges started appearing in Europe, banks would lock the card thinking it was fraudulent unless you told them beforehand. Some banks even locked cards for domestic travel if not notified.

With EMV cards, they can't really be duplicated and used in that way. So some banks are now figuring if it is suddenly used in Europe, you must be there. No petty thief is going to fly to Europe before trying to use the card. If you are already in Europe and it is stolen, you would need to report that no matter whether you had notified the bank of your travels or not.

Posted by
4964 posts

Douglas, but they all still have a magnetic strip, right? So isn't that still vulnerable?

Posted by
1406 posts

the call is free, make it.

Also take all your credit cards before your trip, line them up on a photocopier, copy BOTH SIDES and then put the info in the cloud for your use and abuse. And be sure you have the actual phone numbers with area codes, not 800 numbers.

Posted by
127 posts

I've got cards where I am told this. I still make the effort of calling and notifying them. Usually I get told it is not necessary but they "make a note" in my record. I've not had any problems abroad but this is just one of those things that gives ME piece of mind. I suspect that it really isn't necessary anymore but I'm too old to learn new tricks. :0

Posted by
4498 posts

Douglas, but they all still have a magnetic strip, right? So isn't that still vulnerable?

It is vulnerable in the US where many retailers (and just about every gas pump) have yet to upgrade to EMV readers (or they are yet activated). So criminals can still duplicate cards and use them here. Now the liability has shifted to the merchant.

An EMV card is not supposed to work in a magnetic strip reader if that reader has the chip system enabled. If you try, you are supposed to get a prompt to insert the card into the chip reader slot.

In theory the same thing can happen in Europe with a fake US card since they are still processing old US magnetic strip cards there too. But within the next year or so, all US credit cards will be EMV and anyone trying to use a magnetic strip should raise suspicions amongst the merchant. Already there are fewer and fewer European merchants that even know what to do with them.

And it should be said that criminal organizations will always find some weak spot to exploit. The goal is to shrink those vulnerabilities to a minimum where it just becomes a minor hassle and cost of doing business in a global economy. Credit card fraud has not been eliminated 100% in Europe and Canada.

Posted by
2802 posts

As long as I can do the notification quickly and easily on line, I will probably do so no matter what a bank employee says, at least until I see something in writing from the bank saying they no longer require notification. That doesn't apply to Andrews FCU; I've never notified them before traveling to France, I've principally used their card there, and have never had a transaction refused.

Posted by
1406 posts

Saw over the weekend that some retailers are now regretting that they took their time changing over to pin terminals because now they are the ones on the hook for credit card fraud. One woman hit up a supermarket with a fake card, and when it worked she went to 5 more and lived it up!

Posted by
2347 posts

Phred, that's not what happens with a PIN terminal. Misinformation.

Posted by
52 posts

I called two days ago to put put a travel alert on my Capitol One Visa card also. Like the OP I was told that with the chip, this was no longer needed. I asked about using a pin while in Italy. The representative told me that all USA cards do not have a pin, I should not ever enter a pin as it might flag the transaction. "Just tell them you don't have a pin and they will figure out a way to take the charge" she said.

Posted by
9361 posts

phred, the merchants didn't have a choice to switch over or not - it is the law that they have to. If they did not switch over, they would be on the hook for fraud, not because they switched.

Posted by
16771 posts

I was told by two different card issuers that there is a limit to the length of their travel notification. For one the max is 30 days; for the other, it's 60. I am not happy about needing to go online to extend those notifications. My credit union (ATM card) has no such limit. Or maybe it does, because all my efforts to get money the first day failed. And that, folks, is why I don't think it's a good idea to land in Europe with no local currency.

Posted by
3229 posts

Nancy,

Not the law.

It is the policy of the credit card networks (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover) to now shift the responsibility to the merchants without chip reading terminals for any fraudulently approved transactions (excluding gas pumps and ATMs for a short while yet). Previously, as long as the merchant got the online approval for a transaction where the card was swiped through the terminal, they were off the hook for any claims of fraud. Now, if a card has a chip only a chip approval relieves the merchants from the fraud charges. Many merchants never apparently knew how much fraud was out there when they made to decision to not instal the new terminals that read chips, so they are now being charged for massive amounts.

Posted by
3229 posts

Terry,

EVERY credit card has a PIN. It is built into the card. It is just not active until you request it from your card issuer.

Request the PIN for your cards. You will be told that using a PIN makes the transaction a cash advance, but your card issuer is lying to you. Having the PIN means you can use all sorts of automated machines in Europe that you otherwise cannot. You probably will not be asked for a PIN when making a purchase from a person in a shop or at hotels and similar locations. I used my Capital One, Chase, and Bank of America chip cards with the cash advance PIN extensively in Europe last year and never once were any of those transactions charged to me as a cash advance. Of course I did not use any of those credit cards in an ATM to get cash, only to make purchases.

Posted by
628 posts

I used my Capital One, Chase, and Bank of America chip cards with the
cash advance PIN extensively in Europe last year and never once were
any of those transactions charged to me as a cash advance. Of course I
did not use any of those credit cards in an ATM to get cash, only to
make purchases.

Mark, thanks for this info. :)

Posted by
124 posts

I used my capital one visa for a deposit in france and they did not allow it until I called. They also said I should let them know before I traveled. I go with better safe than sorry. sue