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Credit Card Fraud (maybe not from my trip but...)

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18 hours ago, slidergirl said:

Sometimes, it may not be that you have traveled a bunch, but it may be that a specific country may be flagged as one that has a lot of CC fraud.   That your card is used rapid-fire from one continent to another could be an "if then" flag in the software's algorithm of automatically attempting to find/limit fraudulent use when card numbers are passed among unsavory groups around the world.  Just a thought.  

 

Well, in 19 years of doing this, this was the ONLY time my card got shut off.

 

Oh, and the person who used their credit card in Nigeria (STUPID), and they hit the credit limit with charges all over the world in about 15 minutes, never triggered ANYTHING. 😄

 

 

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Just now, SRF said:

 

No, this is a work card.

Gotcha.  I thought you meant it was a personal card that you use for work.  Too bad 😞

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22 hours ago, mommio said:

About 20 yrs ago I got a call regarding suspicious cc usage.  "Did you travel out of the country, like Hawaii?"  It took all I had not to laugh and explained to the caller that Hawaii was part of the US, and had been for quite a while 🙄

 

It is amazing the number of people who do not know that.

 

Funniest one that I saw personally was waiting in line at the Hertz counter in HNL.  Guy in front of me was getting very angry with the young lady behind the desk.  So I started listening.  And she told him, "But sir, you cannot drive to Maui."  Being grammatically correct in the use of CAN.  And responds that he was told he could go anywhere, etc, etc.  I caught her eye, grinned and shrugged my shoulders.  She smiled and turned to him and told him, "Sir you may drive to Maui."  Again, properly using MAY.  He huffed his thanks and stomped off.  The agent I an exchanged a laugh.

 

I still wonder if he felt like an idiot when he found out that Maui is two islands away, and there are no bridges. 😄

 

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4 minutes ago, clo said:

Gotcha.  I thought you meant it was a personal card that you use for work.  Too bad 😞

 

Yeah, the points would be AMAZING. 😄

 

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12 hours ago, ldubs said:

 

"If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium"  Haha

 

I'll never whine again about flight schedules.  

 

It gets tiresome at times.

 

But overall, I still enjoy it.

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On 10/20/2019 at 12:46 PM, mommio said:

About 20 yrs ago I got a call regarding suspicious cc usage.  "Did you travel out of the country, like Hawaii?"  It took all I had not to laugh and explained to the caller that Hawaii was part of the US, and had been for quite a while 🙄

I know a man that lived in south Georgia and his ex told him he couldn't take their son to Mexico Beach (Fl) because he didn't have a passport. She also said he couldn't go to Atlanta without her permission because it was out of state. 🤯

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On 10/21/2019 at 7:53 AM, SRF said:

 

Yeah, the points would be AMAZING. 😄

 

Ain't that the truth?!?!?

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On 10/21/2019 at 7:54 AM, SRF said:

 

It gets tiresome at times.

 

But overall, I still enjoy it.

Bob used to travel probably 30 to 85% on business.  A lot international.  One thing it isn't is "glamorous." 'Course when he got laid off and offered early retirement at 53, we divorced.  "I married you for better or for worse but not for lunch every day."  Took a couple of years to work that out 🙂

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On 10/24/2019 at 1:52 PM, clo said:

B'Course when he got laid off and offered early retirement at 53, we divorced.  "I married you for better or for worse but not for lunch every day."  Took a couple of years to work that out 🙂

 

Yeah, same thing happened to my parents when my Dad retired.

 

He kept wanting to "help."

 

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Years ago, when you needed to inform Credit Card companies of your travel plans, we informed them we would be in Seattle and then doing an Alaskan cruise, followed by a road trip to Denver.

 

Few days into the cruise we had a call from Guest Services informing us of an issue with Credit card, as they tried to charge our gratuities every few days.

 

Leaning over the balcony, with a mobile phone, we were able to establish that because we had informed the Credit Card company that we would be in USA, they were not happy to find a British company trying to charge our account ! Once we explained, the card was unlocked and we had no further problems on that cruise.

 

Nowadays they tend to tell us we do not need to inform them, but we still do and repeat the saga that cruise company might be making charges.

They note it on the account, just in case.

 

 

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On 10/17/2019 at 11:31 AM, chipmaster said:

Fraud is everywhere and big business for simple opportunistic theft to organized big corporate like operations.    

 

In the end my response is to NEVER use Debit, always use credit card ( your loss is limited while debit you got no protection ).    I generally don't do anything special  just use it ( doesn't mean I flaunt my number/security code/PIN ).

 

My only case of fraud was multiple times with my Discover Card, all big CC have active AI monitoring of activity.  Actually the more you use it the more they are able to detect fraud, called machine learning.  IMHO the best things is pick one card use it fore everything and don't change your habits.  Of course when you go on vacation your habits change a bit, but actually if you say use it for meals, tickets, transportation, and leave a trail, it builds data detect fraud.   

 

Debit cards used as point of sale transactions with your pin only have whatever protection your bank offers, but debit cards used as credit cards (with a Visa logo, likely the same with MC) have full Visa protection.

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2 minutes ago, pacruise804 said:

but debit cards used as credit cards

How does one use a debit card as a credit card.  Color me confused.

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Visa (and I assume Mastercard) have both debit cards and credit cards.  A debit card draws from actual funds linked to the cardholder's account, generally a checking account but could be savings or money market.  A debit card draws from the card holder's line of credit, which is either repaid each billing cycle or paid over time with interest charges.

 

A debit card with the Visa logo can be used two ways: as a debit card/point of sale transaction which only involves the issuing bank or credit union; or a "credit" transaction which is processed as a Visa transaction.  Both methods take funds from the cardholder's account, but liability protections are different depending on the type of transaction.

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If it gives you a choice when you swipe or insert, pick credit.

 

A grocery store we used to use a lot, charged a fee for debit, no fee for credit.  DUH, credit please.  No difference in how it comes out of your account.

 

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2 hours ago, pacruise804 said:

 

Debit cards used as point of sale transactions with your pin only have whatever protection your bank offers, but debit cards used as credit cards (with a Visa logo, likely the same with MC) have full Visa protection.

FWIW I always do CC, why would anyone do debit, cash goes out and little protection.

Use CC and you get a free loan for almost 30 days, and then if you are smart with your CC between 2-7 cents/dollar spent either in airline miles, hotel points or travel credit, crazy to use cash these days.   

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58 minutes ago, chipmaster said:

FWIW I always do CC, why would anyone do debit, cash goes out and little protection.

Use CC and you get a free loan for almost 30 days, and then if you are smart with your CC between 2-7 cents/dollar spent either in airline miles, hotel points or travel credit, crazy to use cash these days.   

Yep.  We've even started using our Chase Sapphire Reserve card for drive-thru fast food.  3X points.

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16 hours ago, chipmaster said:

FWIW I always do CC, why would anyone do debit, cash goes out and little protection.

Use CC and you get a free loan for almost 30 days, and then if you are smart with your CC between 2-7 cents/dollar spent either in airline miles, hotel points or travel credit, crazy to use cash these days.   

 

We didn't like the opportunity cost of using credit.  That "free" loan carries risk of interest if something comes up that you can't pay in full.  Even if you don't incur any finance charges, most people spend more with credit than cash - especially if they are chasing reward points.  Using credit the purchaser is generally using current month income to cover past expenses; using cash/debit I can only spend what I have and use current income for future expenses. 

 

Cash goes out either way (assuming you pay the card off each month) and the minimal return on the money for 30 days isn't worth the risk of interest payments.  I have the same protection as long as I choose credit vs. debit at a register, and where I live many places don't accept credit or charge a fee to use credit.  On a cruise it is easier to bargain with cash and while cash has some risks, I'm not aware of cash skimmers/fraud like there is with cards.

 

Many debit cards offer rewards/cash back.  I don't turn away the rewards, but I also don't jump through hoops to get them.  I don't stick to one grocery store either to maximize their reward points but rather look for the best overall value for my time and money.

 

Using cash keeps me more aware of my finances and question if a purchase actually makes sense rather than just swiping a card and later having buyers remorse.  You may find it crazy to use cash, but it the world I live in I find it crazy not to.  I do appreciate the convenience of a card, but a Visa Debit accomplishes that the same as a Visa Credit with out the credit risks.

 

Like so many things about cruising, the decisions are personal.  It's great that there are options that work for all of us.

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1 hour ago, pacruise804 said:

We didn't like the opportunity cost of using credit. 

Well, one does have to be disciplined.  That's a given.  The cards with the best benefits do tend to have really high interest rates.  But I'm guessing half or more of the intl. flights we've taken over the years have been paid for with "points."  And we would NEVER buy something that we couldn't pay off the following month.  That would mean that we were buying something that we honestly couldn't afford.  I am, of course, talking about discretionary purchases.

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I run my accounts on Quicken.  It is not linked to the accounts, but I use the mobile app to enter all credit card purchases.  So I have a running look at what I owe.  And I know what I make.  So I use the credit card to pay for the points, and pay off every month.

 

Could I run into an issue?  Yes.  But I also keep my primary checking account with a several thousand dollar pad, plus have a couple of savings accounts with money to cover issues like that.

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3 hours ago, pacruise804 said:

 

We didn't like the opportunity cost of using credit... 

That opportunity cost is only a risk if you lack the discipline to manage your expenses.  If you feel you lack this discipline then that is the correct choice for you.  For those with the discipline, credit card rewards are an excellent benefit.  I charge absolutely everything I can to my credit cards and always pay the balance in full the following month.  I think the only things I can't charge at this point are my property taxes and hair cuts/pet grooming done by my nieces.  I keep just a small amount of cash on me for extremely small purchases.  Everything else earns me vacation spending money I get from my rewards points.  I have one credit card I use that gives me 3% on restaurant purchases and no international fees.  I have another I use that gives me 2% on everything.  I use it for internet purchases, paypal, utilities, travel, tuition, etc.  I have one to our local supermarket that gives me great gas and supermarket discounts and rewards.  I have one at a department store I like that gives me 30% off and other discounts at least once every 2 months.  I just have to wait for the sales to purchase what I need.  All of these purchases would have been made whether I was using your method using cash/debit only or credit.  The only difference is I got many additional bonuses that you did not because I have the discipline to only purchase what I had intended to purchase and could afford to pay it off the following month.  I have not spent the time to add up how much I get in rewards and discounts over the years but I would bet it amounts to thousands of dollars every year.....It really added up quickly when I got rewards for paying my kids tuition's with the credit card.  But I am happy those days are now done 😁.

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I do consider myself disciplined, but recognize that it is easier to spend with credit than cash.  My methods work for me: we can be a single income family, put two children through private school, send the first to college debt free (and likely the second), take vacations, drive paid for cars, live in a paid for house, give generously, and save aggressively.

 

I do get gas and grocery discounts with loyalty cards, but I often chuckle when a sales person tells me how much I "saved" because I know I recognize the savings are inflated since I wouldn't have paid the full price (like others, I wait for sales).

 

If a credit card works for you - great!  If cash works for someone else - great!  I was initially correcting misinformation that debit cards don't offer protections, then explaining to someone who asked why anyone would use debit.  

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47 minutes ago, pacruise804 said:

I do consider myself disciplined, but recognize that it is easier to spend with credit than cash.  My methods work for me: we can be a single income family, put two children through private school, send the first to college debt free (and likely the second), take vacations, drive paid for cars, live in a paid for house, give generously, and save aggressively.

 

I do get gas and grocery discounts with loyalty cards, but I often chuckle when a sales person tells me how much I "saved" because I know I recognize the savings are inflated since I wouldn't have paid the full price (like others, I wait for sales).

 

If a credit card works for you - great!  If cash works for someone else - great!  I was initially correcting misinformation that debit cards don't offer protections, then explaining to someone who asked why anyone would use debit.  

 

Discipline is always good, see it applied many different ways, but money is money, terrible whether it be cash or debit, or credit that it changes peoples habits.  The one thing to learn and to share to children is that when you buy and spend  1) Do you have money for it ( don't matter how you pay for it ), 2) at the end of the month, end of the year will you regret it because you wanted something else?  Everything we choose to do/spend is a choice and a tradeoff, once you understand that  be it spending on a versus b or save, play or study, exercise or relax, work or procrastinate than you have the most important habit for life.

 

I guess I'm totally in the other camp everything is charge if it can, then I have it recorded and know where every penny went if I have to, get a monthly bill that tabulates all my choices and indiscretions from Starbucks to Boba, LOL.   Also relish that my family doesn't pay for a single hotel room ( all points ).

 

Glad paying up front cash works for you but if you were to change to CC and say get 3 poiints, 10K points can get you a free night somewhere, just saying 

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Good points @chipmaster Understanding true cost of choices (how we spend our time or our money) is unfortunately not a common trait by many.

 

We do get points from hotel loyalty rewards, but thanks for the thought 🙂 

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4 hours ago, pacruise804 said:

I do consider myself disciplined, but recognize that it is easier to spend with credit than cash.  My methods work for me: we can be a single income family, put two children through private school, send the first to college debt free (and likely the second), take vacations, drive paid for cars, live in a paid for house, give generously, and save aggressively.

 

I do get gas and grocery discounts with loyalty cards, but I often chuckle when a sales person tells me how much I "saved" because I know I recognize the savings are inflated since I wouldn't have paid the full price (like others, I wait for sales).

 

If a credit card works for you - great!  If cash works for someone else - great!  I was initially correcting misinformation that debit cards don't offer protections, then explaining to someone who asked why anyone would use debit.  

We do all of the above as well.  We are debt free. Drive our cars for 10+ years.  Shop sales and use all the discounts I can find.  I put both kids through college debt free as well...however, I also earned 2% back for every dollar I paid for their tuition buy charging it on my credit card and paying my credit card the following month.  That alone was enough to pay for a couple of nice cruise for all 4 of us after each of them finished their senior year. 

 

It sounds like you have discipline.  I am confused as to why you don't allow that discipline to earn you money?  To each his own but it sounds to me as if you may be cheating yourself out of thousands of dollars.

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This has been an interesting discussion and has made me think about why I do what I do (it can be easy to get on autopilot after a while).  I do view my discipline as earning me money by having more to save and invest - which I control - versus a perks program that can change at any time and ties me to a certain vendor.  I still get perks from my bank, grocery store, hotel, etc - and enjoy them - but I don't want to risk running into the trap of doing something extra just to get the points. 

 

I don't feel I am cheating myself out of thousands of dollars.  We invest more since being debt free and compound interest from the additional investing likely gives me a higher return than perks would with our spending habits.  Several things we pay offer a discount for paying cash or ACH (or charge extra to use a CC), including having a 3% discount on our anniversary cruise next year by paying with ACH.  I'll take paying less now and keeping my money rather than paying extra to get some back later.

 

Ultimately, personal finance is personal.  Each person needs to do what works for them.  Some cruisers think it is a waste to book a balcony cabin or purchase a drink package, while others wouldn't enjoy their vacation without it.  Neither is wrong, but that doesn't make it an absolute choice for everyone.

 

Happy cruising!

 

 

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