Tagged With "Credit alert"

Blog Post

Card Fraud: U.S. is the Target, but Banks Resist Change

PHeymont ·
In the news this week: over 40 million credit card users possibly affected by theft of data from magnetic stripes on credit cards used at Target stores—only one of many such incidents. As many travelers know, in the rest of the world, more...
Blog Post

A visit to Saudi Arabia: Part I

Lestertheinvestor ·
It is nearly impossible to visit Saudi Arabia. If you have a business there, you can travel on a business visa. If you are going to visit Mecca on a hajj (pilgrimage), you can get a visa. Otherwise, you have to be an invited guest of the government....
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Re: When Debit and Credit Cards aren't your best traveling choices

PortMoresby ·
I've been places where it was not possible to use a credit card much of the time, even when I was told that I could, by the very people who then returned and said, sorry, not working, cash please. But Burma was the only place I can recall that was, when I was there a year+ ago, 100% cash. It's changing now, even there, I've heard. So this has been very interesting, reading about Argentina. Who'da thought?
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Re: When Debit and Credit Cards aren't your best traveling choices

DrFumblefinger ·
When you go to Sri Lanka, take cash along as well. The larger establishments will definitely take credit cards, but smaller business and restaurants won't. And ATM cards have been slow to find their way into the country, especially in remote locations. The currency there is more stable, but still you won't get the kind of spread we did in Argentina. Best to exchange it at a bank, or ask your hotel people how many US $$ things are.
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Re: Chip Credit Cards to Change the Way US Tips at Restaurants

PHeymont ·
Actually, that's only one way of looking at it...another is that it may push many people (I included) to resume cash tips. The "convenient" suggested amounts, which even now appear on many slips can be very deceptive, both because they usually place the normal or usual amount as if it were the lowest "acceptable" amount, but also because often—not always—they calculate percent not on the restaurant bill but on the total of the bill plus tax. The difference can be significant. Interestingly,...
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Re: Chip Credit Cards to Change the Way US Tips at Restaurants

GarryRF ·
In the UK where we've had chip and pin cards for years we never include the tip with the total. Always cash to the waiter. We know how unscrupulous Restaurant owners can be.
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Re: Chip Credit Cards to Change the Way US Tips at Restaurants

Travel Rob ·
It is safer that the card doesn't leave our sight with the chip cards and cash tips seem to be the answer. I don't know the statistics on the percent of people not carrying cash, but I know several young people that almost never carry cash.
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Re: Chip Credit Cards to Change the Way US Tips at Restaurants

JohnT ·
We've had suggested amounts for years on the machines. I was just in Ireland where tips weren't usually included as an option on the bill I never had the right amount of cash. Frankly maybe I'm lazy but I don't mind having the option on the machine. It's been a while. Nice to see you all (metaphorically that is).
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Re: Chip Credit Cards to Change the Way US Tips at Restaurants

PHeymont ·
Note that the tip suggestions on the machines have a habit of creeping up. New York cab tips were about 15% for years, as a standard, and as recently as 2 years ago, a Times survey found that was about the norm. But...when you pay by credit card, the machine offers a choice of 20%, 25% or 30%. To use 15%, you have to go back one step in the process, make a manual entry, and then back to the close-out screen...all while you're trying to get out of the cab and stop holding up traffic. I'll bet...
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Re: Chip Credit Cards to Change the Way US Tips at Restaurants

Travel Rob ·
According to that link I posted above, tipping is up for NY Taxis 10% with those default setting tips and they are expecting an increase at restaurants too now.
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Re: Chip Credit Cards to Change the Way US Tips at Restaurants

Travel Rob ·
Good seeing you JohnT!
Blog Post

When Debit and Credit Cards aren't your best traveling choices

DrFumblefinger ·
Recently PHeymont wrote a nice article on how to pay for things while traveling abroad which I'd recommend you familiarize yourself with (click  here ) before reading the rest of this blog post.  I largely agree with what he posted, but...
Blog Post

Chip Credit Cards to Change the Way US Tips at Restaurants

Travel Rob ·
While the US has been very slow implementing the chip and pin credit card that Europe uses, US banks are finally starting to roll out the chip and signature cards on a bigger scale.   Under the new system, American chip card users...
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Re: Check Your Statement! A Big Hotel Credit Card Breach...

DrFumblefinger ·
You would think the cost of all this fraud would be more than enough to validate new chip and PIN rollout in the USA. Can't quite understand why the US banks are so resistent to this PHeymont. Have you an understanding of what their reasons are?
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Re: Check Your Statement! A Big Hotel Credit Card Breach...

PHeymont ·
It's been a long path. For a long time, observers thought it was because they were committed to contactless (RFID) technology as the next step...but that hasn't advances as fast as some predicted, and it has big security issues, too. Now that MC and Visa have set down a "you must comply or you will be responsible for fraudulent charges" rule for next year, we're seeing motion. BUT...so far most issuers have been sticking to chip-and-signature, not and-PIN, which guts the whole process.
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Re: Check Your Statement! A Big Hotel Credit Card Breach...

PortMoresby ·
I don't quite see why using a pin would prevent fraud of the type we're seeing on a large scale. Presumably, if the hackers continue to target terminals, the pin would be compromised too. Yes, we could change the pin but it would need to be done immediately, before the damage is done. What am I missing?
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Re: Check Your Statement! A Big Hotel Credit Card Breach...

DrFumblefinger ·
As I see it, PM, mostly they are just stealing the data off the magnetic strip. Or the PIN in the card has data that can also be copied, but that's a little hard than just scamming the read off the strip. With a PIN, that data, validated by your unique PIN (which you pick) are encrypted and sent off to the bank for approval. Not just the strip data, but the two together are the key. I have a credit card with a Canadian bank (chip and pin) which I prefer to use over the swipe and sign USA...
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Re: Check Your Statement! A Big Hotel Credit Card Breach...

PHeymont ·
In the most secure system, the PIN is known to you, the user, but is not in your records at the issuer. That's why if you forget your PIN, a new one can be generated, but no one can send you your "lost" PIN the way that passwords can be. In the PIN system, the first communication takes place at the terminal. The terminal reads the PIN from the chip on your card, and asks you to enter it on the pad. If it matches, the terminal does NOT send the PIN to the clearing house or merchant...it only...
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Re: Check Your Statement! A Big Hotel Credit Card Breach...

PortMoresby ·
So, if I understand it then, even if the hackers can read the entered pin keystrokes from the terminal keypad which we enter, it cannot be used without the card with the unique chip, which cannot be duplicated as a magnetic strip can be duplicated?
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Re: Check Your Statement! A Big Hotel Credit Card Breach...

PHeymont ·
That's correct. It is, of course, not totally impossible to create a duplicate chip, but it takes major equipment, not $5 worth of RadioShack parts...and it would also require much more information than can be harvested easily. The relative security (and it is relative) has driven over 80% of the world's credit card fraud toward the U.S. as other areas become more difficult. And once everyone is on board, the Trojan Horse mag stripe can come off the card as well.
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Re: A visit to Saudi Arabia: Part I

DrFumblefinger ·
Wow! Thanks for this fascinating contribution, Lestertheinvestor. I was exhausted just from reading the directions for applying for the visa. It is quite obvious that Saudi Arabia doesn't want infidels visiting them. A few questions you might know the answer to: 1) Is the process stream-lined for a Muslim wanting to go to Mecca, and what kind of proof do they need to have that they're a Muslim? 2) Do you have any rough idea how many hours you spent on this process? Ball-park guess would do.
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Re: A visit to Saudi Arabia: Part I

Lestertheinvestor ·
1) The process is easier for a Muslim who is going on a hajj. However, unless you are native born, you must present a document from the Imam of your mosque documenting your status as a Muslim in good standing. For a Caucasian woman who is a converted Muslim, you must still get permission from your husband or a male relative, along with the letter from the mosque to allow you to make the hajj. 2) Between my wife and I (she actually presented our documents each time to the consulate in Los...
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Re: A visit to Saudi Arabia: Part I

Travel Luver ·
What a bureaucratic nightmare! I wonder if there are countries that make it harder to visit than this one?
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Re: A visit to Saudi Arabia: Part I

Lestertheinvestor ·
Originally Posted by Travel Luver: What a bureaucratic nightmare! I wonder if there are countries that make it harder to visit than this one? My wife and I have visited 119 countries, with China, Bhutan and Saudi Arabia the most challenging to enter.
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Re: A visit to Saudi Arabia: Part I

HistoryDigger ·
My husband and I were invited to live there for two years while he did a medical fellowship in genetics. The challenge for me was that I am a very independent traveler, and I could not imagine how I would deal with the restrictions on women. In the end, those restrictions influenced our decision to go to Germany for two years instead. However, after having seen your photos, I am curious to see more. I regret that I do not know this part of the world.
Blog Post

Check Your Statement! A Big Hotel Credit Card Breach...

PHeymont ·
White Lodging, which operates hotels under a number of major brands including Westin, Marriott, Sheraton and Holiday Inn, has acknowledged a major theft of customer credit card information including names, numbers, security codes and more. The breach...
Blog Post

Chase's new card: Big bonus, big benefits - Right for you?

PHeymont ·
Chase is offering a big bonus and big benefits...but check carefully to see if it's the card for you because it also has a big fee!
Blog Post

11 days, all inclusive: $120,000. Includes John Legend

PHeymont ·
And mind you, that price is for sharing a room. There's an $11,000 single supplement!   So, what do you get for a vacation that costs more than double the median household income in the U.S.? You get John Legend as your host (and entertainer), a...
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Re: Up, Up and Away: Airline miles cards with big bonuses

PortMoresby ·
I LOVE my airline credit card, but it's great to have all this information in one place to see if I could do better. Probably not without some whopping fees, but whopping bonuses, too. Thank you sir, for showing us all these choices!
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Re: Up, Up and Away: Airline miles cards with big bonuses

rbciao ·
I have a Delta American Express Platinum card that has served us well. The fee is higher than the gold card, but we can check two bags free, priority boarding, and a free companion pass yearly. We fly two or three times a year and the value of the waived baggage fee and the companion pass far exceed the $150 annual fee. The card also accrues one mile for each dollar spent and lately has offered cash back incentives. For example: spend $15 at Panera's using the card and receive $5 credit on...
Blog Post

Up, Up and Away: Airline miles cards with big bonuses

PHeymont ·
Up, up and away—quickly! That’s the goal for many frequent fliers, and a current round of cards for various airlines is offering some big bonuses to meet that goal…some of them enough for a round-trip to Europe in one shot. Right...
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Re: Managing Your Money on the Road

Travel Rob ·
This is a great compehensive post. Time to try and cash the money order that you've been holding! LOL
Blog Post

Managing Your Money on the Road

PHeymont ·
 If you’ve never seen a travelers’ check and maybe don’t even know what it is, you’re like most overseas travelers these days. Going abroad no longer means planning to carry wads of cash, or trekking off to American...
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