If you are a customer who doesn`t own a car and hence rarely buy gas with your credit card, you will get fraud alert report when you use your card at a gas station to fill gas in your rental car. This is the current level of credit card industry where there is a continuous battle between the criminals and the credit card issuers with the former stealing account numbers from consumers who are caught in the fray. It is not confirmed that it is travelers who are vulnerable to credit card fraud. However, it is certain that you are likely to get tripped up by the efforts to combat fraud when you are overseas. There are some things you have to watch out for if you are planning to use your plastic for payments, especially if it is not widely accepted although the credit card ads would have your believe otherwise.
It is a good idea to call up the credit card company before you are planning a trip to a foreign country so that your purchases in the foreign place wouldn`t trigger a freeze on your credit card account putting you in deep trouble. Many of the banks rely heavily on the antifraud software which monitors the customers` credit card spending all the time. The moment the spending strays out of habit, which could include buying groceries in a grocery outside your normal zip code your bank might start getting concerns. It is surprising but true that a cheap gas purchase too could end up freezing your account. According to Dave Leiker, who is a senior vice president with a US Bank it is not an overkill to inform the credit card company before going for a vacation or any other place where you might use your credit cards.
Interestingly banks also monitor places where stolen cards could be used by the criminals like automated payment kiosks in the metropolitan areas. You may not get a fraud call if you use your credit card at a rural area. There is another important point that is evident here. It is that you should probably carry a second card just in case your primary card has been frozen. It could be quite a hassle to unfreeze a card when you are overseas. The problem becomes bigger if you don`t have a cell phone subscribed to an international calling service.