Tips for successful vacationing

Traveling? We can offer you some tips on how to make sure your Educators credit and debit cards work when and where you want them to work.

Here are some tips to help you ensure your vacation spending goes smoothly.

Call Educators before you fly (or drive)

We all know all the stuff we’re supposed to do before vacation — get the mail and newspaper delivery put on hold, put lights on a timer, etc. Be sure to add “Call Educators” to your list. When you call (or visit a branch), tell the representative you want to add travel notes to your account.

Be sure to share where you’re going, if you’re driving or flying, how long you’re staying, and when you’ll return. That way when charges come through that are outside your regular spending pattern and area, it is less likely to be flagged as fraud. You live and work in southeastern Wisconsin, and you’re driving to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore. When you add travel notes, Educators’ credit card processor knows that charges at restaurants, gas stations and a hotel along the way are not fraud, just you seeing the sights!

This is important, even if you use Ctrl, Educators card-control app. Those fraud monitoring blocks kick in before the process gets to your Ctrl settings, so travel notes are still needed.

Be prepared: Know the numbers

It’s important to know the fraud monitoring process of your debit and credit card issuer. We recently shared the updates to our fraud monitoring process. The details can be found in this blog post.

It’s a good idea to enter the text code and phone number in that post into your cell phone contacts so you will feel confident that it is a legitimate fraud prevention text message or call should it pop up on your phone while you’re traveling.

As a side note, it’s always important that you keep your contact information up to date with us. If you’re traveling, it’s even more important, especially your cell phone number or email address. That information can be updated in Online Banking or by calling or messaging our Member Response Center at (262) 886-5900 or (800) 236-5898.

If your card is declined and you don’t receive a fraud notice, you can call us to find out the cause of the denial. Use the numbers in the paragraph above to call and speak to Educators Card Services from 8:30 am to 6:15 pm Monday through Friday and 8:30 am to 1:00 pm Saturday. If it’s outside of those hours, you can call (888) 526-0404 for assistance with declined transactions on Educators credit or debit cards.

If your card is declined

It happened. Your card got declined. Here are some things to check that might resolve the issue quickly, and before you have to call Educators.

If you use Ctrl, Educators card-control app, there are several settings that may be causing the denial of a charge. Check these things:

  1. Is the card turned off? If you normally keep your credit card turned off, it may have slipped your mind to turn it back on before using it on vacation or for a specific purchase.
  2. Is there a location setting on? If you have “My Location” on for that card, and your phone is unable to detect or find your location. Turn the “My Location” setting off and try the card again.
  3. Are you overseas? Another location setting in Ctrl is “Block International.” If it’s on and you’re trying to use your card in Canada, Mexico or another country that is not the US, it will be declined.

It is also important (so important, we’re repeating it for you skimmers) to let us know you’ll be traveling. Notes can be added to your account so purchases that are outside your normal spending habits and locations (e.g., shopping and a hotel stay in another state) aren’t flagged as fraud. As we said above, fraud monitoring blocks kick in before the charge gets to your Ctrl setting, so travel notes are still very important.

Here for you

Hopefully, all of that will keep your Educators cards working smoothly. If not, you can call us to help solve the problem. Call our Member Response Center at (262) 886-5900 or (800) 236-5898. After hours information is in the “Be prepared” section above.

Happy travels!