My daughter Snapchatted me this weekend during her vacation to Portugal with a question. Here is the conversation:
Daughter: Hey Mama! My eDCU credit card was declined at the restaurant here in Portugal. Do you know why?
Me (Mama aka eDCU Marketing Director): Did you let the credit union know you were traveling abroad?
Daughter: Oops! No! I forgot.
She forgot? How could she forget? Since she is the offspring of an eDCU employee, I have to say I was surprised. I have educated her on the importance of notifying the credit union when traveling abroad (even within the states). This isn’t her first trip abroad. The fact is, we all get excited about upcoming adventures abroad or stateside and forget to take care of this very important task prior to leaving.
Why are some countries blocked? Because of the increasing number of international credit card/debit card fraud cases, eDCU has limited (or blocked) use of our issued cards in certain countries. This is done to protect you from becoming a fraud victim and prevent your member-owned credit union from losses.
How do I know if the country I am visiting is a blocked country? This is not an all-inclusive list as the list changes frequently. Here are some of the countries blocked from using either your credit or debit card: Spain, France, Portugal, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Peru, Turkey, Singapore, Ukraine, Romania, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, North Korea, Libya, and Cuba.
Always contact the credit union prior to traveling abroad to see if your destination is on the list. In some cases, we can unblock your card for a set period.
How do I notify the credit union I am traveling out of the area/state/country?
- Call 360-943-7676/800-327-4286
- Visit either of our offices
- Send a Secure Message via Online Banking. Secure Messaging can be found by clicking the Menu button and then Secure Messaging under Services.
When notifying the credit union about your travel plans, be sure to include any places where you have a stopover planned, even if you are just changing planes. If you miss your flight and need to spend the night somewhere that isn’t on your itinerary, the last thing you want is for your card to stop working.
Take it from me (Mama aka eDCU Marketing Director), it is scary when your 25-year-old baby calls to tell you she has no access to money and she is across the world. Don’t scare your Mama! Remember to let the credit union know where you are traveling so you don’t get stuck in Portugal without Euro or wherever your adventures take you.
P.S. My daughter wasn’t stranded and starving. Luckily, she was traveling with her bestie who had Euro.