Most of us don't like to think about this, but our banks are constantly watching our spending activity. And, for good reason. They're trying to put a halt to any fraudulent activity before it occurs.
Have you ever tried to buy something and your credit card declined even though you had funds? That's your bank trying to protect you from losing out on money. If you buy something that seems "unusual", they simply won't allow the transaction.
Unfortunately, there's a fine line bankers tread to discern what's "unusual" and what's normal. We're going to shed some light on an issue that affects thousands of people overseas each day. Here's how to buy from the U.S. and not get flagged.
Why Your Credit Card Declined
Let's first talk about why your card declined in the first place. As we mentioned, banks do not allow transactions that they deem to be fishy. But, what kind of perimeters are they looking at?
One of the biggest triggers for a declined credit card is where you're trying to spend your money. This is especially true if you're traveling and using your card is a new city or state.
What's alarming is that you don't even have to leave far from home for your card to not process. Credit card companies are getting smarter, as are fraudsters. They're more capable of pulling off a close attack.
Big Ticket Items
Let's say you usually use your card to buy frivolous items, such as food and gas. But, now that it's your mom's birthday, you plan to shell out on a nice new TV for her.
You plan to use your credit card. But, your bank will find this suspicious because it's out of your realm of usual spending.
Some online purchases, especially from international retailers, are worrisome to banks. It's a lot easier to commit fraud over a mobile device than it is in person. So, banks monitor this type of activity much more heavily.
How to Prevent Your Credit Card From Getting Declined
As inconvenient as it may seem, the only way to authorize a purchase is to contact your bank. By doing so, you're giving oral permission for them to allow the charge, so your card won't decline.
Always reach out when you plan to use your card while traveling. You don't want to be overseas and not have a means of payment. You also won't want to deal with paying for a long-distance call.
Also, you should clue your bank in when making an expensive or international purchase. If your card declines a certain amount of times, you can get locked out of paying for a while. It's best to authorize the charge upfront, so you're in the clear.
AssistUS Shopper - An Alternate Solution
If you have trouble ordering online, there are shopping services that can shop on your behalf to purchase these items for you.
Our AssistUS Shopper service does just that. We're also able to purchase many hard-to-get products from various online sites. We place the order(s) on your behalf and have it shipped to your US address where you can then have it consolidated and forwarded on to you.
All hassle free. No worrying about having your credit card declined. No worrying about if the retailer ships internationally. No worrying about the high cost of shpping multiple packages internationally even if they do.
Let's Wrap This Up
International purchases are under high scrutiny from credit card providers. Don't wait until your credit card declined to reach out. Get a hold of your bank prior to purchasing, so you don't have to deal with the back-and-forth later on.
If you tend to buy from overseas regularly, let your provider know. They'll be able to work with you so you don't have to call all the time.
Working with a parcel forwarding service, like HMH Ship, can also make your online retail purchases hassle-free.
Contact us today to learn about all our international shipping services and our AssistUS Shopper to help avoid the typical issues facing international shoppers online.