credit cards

Top 9 reasons your credit card was declined

You are making an international purchase
You are making an international purchase © sixninepixels/Shutterstock.com

If you decide to book a last-minute deal to Europe, you need to make sure your credit company is in on the plans, too. If not, any international purchases could suspend your card.

"We recommend that customers alert us of their plans to travel internationally, and we will take that into account when monitoring for potential fraud," says Betty Riess, a spokeswoman for Bank of America.

Even an online purchase to a foreign country could raise an alert and stall your credit card, says Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at Consumer Action. Let's say you're sitting in your own home office, surfing the Internet for a gift.

You find the perfect item -- a designer scarf. But if that online merchant is based in a foreign country, your activity will be registered as a purchase abroad, and once again, your credit card may not work.

Credit card companies track their customers' card activity. A quick call to your issuer, alerting it to international purchases or travel, can clear the air.

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