Financial Travel Tip #54: Avoiding Credit Card Cancellation

by Nora on November 10, 2012


Did you know that your credit card company can cancel your card for any number of reasons, and if they don’t have a reason they have a clause for that too?


Don’t get caught on the road needing to use your credit card and finding out – the hard way – that it has been cancelled out from under you. Trust me – it happened to me.

Now, I’m all for using credit cards; they’re a safe easy way to cover expenses on the road, and they can also be instrumental in racking up valuable frequent flyer miles: a secret to my ability to fly in business class for less than the price of economy tickets.


But credit cards need to be managed actively, from calling in and providing travel alerts so your card isn’t frozen on the fly when you use it in a foreign country, to watching transactions closely to fend off fraudulent activity, to using it regularly to avoid cancellation for non-use.


Here’s an article that explores all the reasons why your credit card might be cancelled, why credit card cancellation is a problem, and some preventative measures to reduce the risk of it happening to you.


How to Avoid Getting Your Credit Card Canceled





{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eric November 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm

If you’re actually worried about your credit card being cancelled for lack of activity and hundreds of dollars in long-distance calls to the bank (seriously?) to get it reinstated, might I suggest a Skype subscription. It’s $2.99mo and you can make unlimited calls to the US. Boom, (non)problem solved!


2 theprofessionalhobo November 11, 2012 at 5:59 am

Hi Eric – Yes! That is, however, assuming you have an internet connection. With Wifi and Skype (without a subscription no less), you can usually find a toll-free number and make free calls to your bank. (Toll free numbers don’t usually work when calling from other countries on a “normal” phone line).

When I was in Australia and my own credit card was cancelled, I was in a bizarre situation where I didn’t have access to the net to sort it out with Skype.

But you know what? I think the very best plan of all is to just not have your card cancelled in the first place! That’s my strategy. 🙂


3 Eric November 11, 2012 at 7:01 am

The monthly Skype subscription keeps an otherwise unused credit card active while you’re traveling. The article you linked to said non-use was the most prevalent reason for credit card cancellation.


4 theprofessionalhobo November 11, 2012 at 7:37 am

@Eric – Oh now I understand! You’re absolutely right….a small monthly subscription will solve potential inactivity problems. And when you subscribe to Skype, it’s a double-benefit!
I’ll admit, I haven’t yet gone with the subscription to Skype. I find that I spend less money per year paying for calls to land-line on an as-you-go basis than I would with the subscription.


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