I’ve traveled for more than 10 years internationally and during my past trip to Malaysia I ran into multiple issues with credit cards that I had not experienced before. My first issue was at a rather large shopping mall in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. While I would expect to have issues in small outlets, this was a major retail center. With my purchase they refused my Chase Visa debit card as it did not have the proper pin chip. Fortunately I had another credit card that did have the chip and was able to make my purchase. Slowly most US Banks are now upgrading to this new technology and is finally catching up with the rest of the world.
My second issue occurred when I tried to use the card a second time at my hotel. This time the card was denied all together as Chase blocked its usage. When I called Chase I was informed that if I wanted to use my debit card internationally I had to first inform the bank of my travels. While I can understand their request, I have a real problem asking to gain access to my money! I travel internationally several times a year, it’s a real pain to have to call and inform them every time I want to use my card. During the entire trip Chase continued to block the card and eventually I gave up on it’s use.
My issues continued after I returned to the States! Upon my return I checked into a hotel during my travels home – again DENIED! After 20 minutes on the phone I was finally able to get approval to use the credit card and pay for my hotel room.
While I understand that international bank fraud is a major issue for our financial industry costing billions of dollars each year – there HAS to be a better way! It’s MY money!! As an event planner it’s a good lesson to remind attendees of the potential issues they may face when attending your international event.