How to get around blocked credit card transactions?

it seems like Visa have gotten more tight recently and it’s touch and go whether each transaction will go through. Sometimes it does but often now I am getting declined. The bank knows my locations but in the background Visa seem to be blocking a lot regardless and they are harder to notify. I am using paypal where possible because it doesn’t get blocked, but that’s only good for a limited number of places.
Anyone else getting worn out by the payment approval games?

what card do you use? i never get blocked with my cap 1 cards.

ING, they know about my travels - it just seems to be a Visa card issue behind ING. It’ll be fine sometimes, and others it won’t. Not to worry, there’s always some obtuse work around :slight_smile:

YES!!! I have a Visa debit card from Charles Schwab and all of a sudden about one week ago, my card keeps getting declined right and left. I have to call my bank to get a “suppression” put on and try again. I am now looking for a different card/bank as my bank told me there is no way around this.

Interesting. I’ve had a few Visa issues and assumed it was doing online transactions with my VPN set to a country different to those I’d notified the bank but maybe it’s the same issue.

Yep, just got it again on my own site running a test order! I’ve done this multiple times in the past. Will probably work fine tomorrow.

Which country’s ING? NL?


Have you tried another card (for the same transactions)? Amex works pretty well for me, they do not block my transactions because of my location. Same for my Citibank visa card.

There are a variety of reasons why a transaction can be declined but some of the factors are:

  • location
  • category of transaction such as telecom or money transfer service
  • past spending pattern with merchant/new merchant high spend

To work around the issues requires both common sense and a bit of planning.

  • Notify the bank/financial institution of your travels.

  • Provide an ALTERNATIVE ADDRESS to them in the country you will be in. This helps immensely with local telcom, shopping services, food delivery, purchases and travel such as air, rail, hotel or restaurants. Some banks and bankcards permit this, AMERICAN EXPRESS being one of them.

  • Get a “travel card” from your bank. Some banks issue cards for global travelers that are evaluated differently by the threat detection software.

  • Use a card from TravelEx called Cash Passport. Here you preload money and convert into local currency. I’ve had mixed results with it. It works great where there’s a Chip n Pin tied to a register, but not so well at gas pumps and headless terminals at train stations and airports. It does work wonders though compared to being declined.

Hope these tips help.

Since your banking is in Australia: I’ve been happy with Westpac, as long as I notify them where I’m travelling (you can do that online now). Even when my card sometimes gets flagged at home doing online orders at 3am, the Westpac card fraud team are super friendly.

Card blocks could also be on the vendor or processor end. I know there’s a handful of countries that are essentially blocked from ordering on my own website, because their fraud level has been 100%. Some Asian countries are especially bad for online card fraud. You could try contacting the vendor directly - if they can establish that you’re legitimate they might have workarounds they can apply in your specific case.

I don’t think I’d recommend the Travelex cards anymore - both Qantas and Virgin have preload multi-currency cards built into their Frequent Flyer cards now that also earn FF points. Westpac has one too, but I’d probably opt to use one that gives FF points.

Thanks All. it’s all working good again now, I spoke to them once i got somewhere good enough to skype and they recently put a “soft block” on the card due to some transactions. I think I just get pinged as questionable transactions from time to time and i call them and it’s ok for a while, but recently was in Nepal and the internet was too bad to call them so it lingered.

I haven’t had much success with it yet*, but I’m using the international card from Revolut. It offers more aggressively priced FX rates and is feeless for the time being.

This might not be the best option for you specifically (as an Aussie)… Not sure how expensive it’d be to load it up with AUD, since you have to wire the funds to a European bank first, and they only hold funds in USD, EUR, or GBP. If you’re earning EUR and/or GBP but travel to other countries a lot, it might be worth it!

*my first card was wonky and worked in an Icelandic ATM but no POS locations. They mailed me a new card and I haven’t tried it out yet.

Try getting the mastercard from paypal. I have a paypal mastercard with paypal credit as a secondary / backup source attached to my account and have only had issues a couple of times over the years. The last time I had issue of blocked transactions / disabled card – I told them “Do not ever decline any transaction on this card, ever. If there is fraud, I will notify you” and haven’t had a problem since.

This might be unrealistic for some people, but to get around this I just have a lot of cards and back-up cards. It’s inevitable that cards will get blocked sometimes. I don’t think I’d be able to travel with just a single card.

I like to carry a Visa, MC and Amex card, plus various debit cards. I also have business and personal cards.

If you have at least 2-3 different card options (selection of credit/debit and visa/mc/amex) then this should never be an issue. American cards used to not work in EU because they didn’t have chips, but now most of them do. Make sure to set your pin before you go abroad if you have a US chip card!

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Hi WanderingDev, I’d love to get your advice. I have capital one as well, but I keep getting blocked. I tell them “Look, I’m traveling stop doing this I’ll be in x, y, z places” but they say they can’t force my card not to be blocked in those locations. How did you get this to work? I’m about to just get a different credit card.