Some surprises are nice to have, like receiving a call from someone you haven't heard from in a long time, or a stranger tapping you on the shoulder to inform you that you just dropped something on the floor. However, the surprise of having your credit card rejected? Not so nice.
Making A Credit Card Purchase In The Department Store
Imagine this...you're at the register buying a holiday gift. You hand over your credit card, the clerk swipes it, hands it back to you and says the charge has been denied. Why? You have a $30,000 limit and your balance isn't even in the four figures. There's a long line behind you; you've just experienced a bad credit card moment.
Next thing, your phone rings and it's the credit card company. Someone is trying to make a $500 purchase with your card...it's YOU! You explain that the charge is the purchase you're currently attempting to make and it is indeed legitimate. The line behind you is not only growing, but also growing impatient.
Suspicious Charges On Your Credit Card
The reason the credit card company is denying the purchase is because there are suspicious charges on your card so they're shutting your card down. They just discovered these charges; they occurred about a week ago in another state. The reason they just discovered them is because they were relatively small AND your current charge is relatively large; your $500 purchase triggered their radar, and then they saw the out-of-state charges, so they're shutting you down and leaving you helpless.
Apparently without your knowledge, someone got your credit card information and is making charges to your card. You're now a victim of identity theft.
Checking Your Credit Card Charges Online
The best way to avoid a disturbing situation such as this one is to take a proactive approach. Go online and check out your credit card charges. It only takes a minute and you can verify that all the charges are indeed yours. You don't have to do it every day, but a couple of times a week should be sufficient. That way, if there is anything you didn't charge, you can call the credit card company immediately and close your card yourself. Usually a new card will be in the mail to you the next day.
This way you don't have to react when the credit card company calls you and your standing in line.
Do you wait until your statement comes to verify all your credit card charges?