Travel Safe and Sound!

With summer in full bloom, many members are planning vacations. Whether you’re headed on a week long vacation to a tropical location or getting away for the weekend in a different state, you want to make sure your cards are safe and ready to use.

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

Call Educators before you travel!

Be sure to add “Call Educators” to your to-do list before you travel. When you call, chat or visit a branch, tell the representative you want to add a travel note 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 of 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. Our fraud monitoring system checks purchases before they even get to your Ctrl settings, so travel notes are still needed.

Be prepared: Know the numbers

It’s important to understand the fraud monitoring process of your debit and credit card issuer.

The Steps:

  • When fraud is suspected, you will receive an automatic email from Educators, and you can reply via email with “fraud” or “no fraud.”
  • One minute after the email, you will receive a text message from shortcode 32874, which also has the “fraud” or “no fraud” option.
  • If there is no response to the email or text message, you’ll receive an automated phone call to deny or confirm fraud.

It’s a good idea to enter the text code and phone number into your cell phone contacts so know it is a legitimate fraud prevention text message or call should it pop up on your phone while 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/messaging our Member Response Center at 262.886.5900.

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 an Educators Member Response Agent. The Member Response Center is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. 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 there are several settings that may be causing the denial.

  1. Is the card turned off? If you usually 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.

Happy travels!

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8 thoughts on “Travel Safe and Sound!

  1. I travel 25-30 weeks a year. It is not unusual for me to enter 35 to 40 states in a year. I also go to Canada fairly often. If you are going to send all these messages to me when you think I may be out of “the zone”, first of all, I am not super likely to be able to respond to those messages quickly. It would be best if you would consider North America as my usual pattern and not suspect fraud anywhere within it. I’ll let you know if we are going to leave the continent. That only happens a few times per decade. Thanks.

    1. Hi John, if you’d like to give us a call at 262-886-5900, we can work to lift the fraud protections on your account to help match your travel schedule.

  2. There should be an after hours number to call. I am travelling on a Sunday and the phone lines close at 3pm Saturday.

    1. Hi Paula! Depending on the type of question you have about your cards, we do have several options for after hours requests.

      Declined Credit & Debit Cards: (888) 526-0404

      Lost/Stolen (Voice Recognition Unit): (800) 682-6075

      Outside the U.S. & Canada: (206) 352-3482 collect

      Please let us know if there is something that you are in need of that cannot be completed through these lines.

      Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your question, our cards will work globally but it is important to let us know before you travel so we can add travel notes to your cards.

  3. Trying to call in for a travel notification and the system takes you through a series of bizarre steps. Now, all of the sudden, it’s asking me to change an access code. Calling for travel or alerting you to travel should not be this difficult.

    1. Good morning Michelle, were you able to add travel notes to your account? If not, please let us know.

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