Every once in awhile, I’ll see a meme on Facebook or Twitter and it just hits me so hard. You know the feeling, when it seems you’re 100% in sync with whoever took the time to create an image depicting an event that happened in your life.
That’s how I felt when I saw this.
Sure, there are ways to let the banks you know you’ll be traveling and hopefully, they’ll approve the charges that are different than your regular routine. That doesn’t mean you won’t end up at a Buc-ee’s in Texas with you and your wife’s Chase cards getting denied and having to use your Discover card to buy t-shirts and Beaver Nuggets.
There’s also the flip side to that coin. What if you get an alert asking if it’s really you who’s buying gas at the Shell station 5 minutes from your house. You visit that station often but right now, you’re home in your pajamas. Before you can reply, you get another alert asking if you’re now at the 7-11 station across the street. A part of your brain wants to get in your car and see if you can catch whoever has your stolen card number but what would you do? Better just to cancel the card and get a new number.
Finally, what if a bank questions a charge that shouldn’t be questioned? I have a Sapphire Reserve card for several years with a healthy credit limit. When we needed to get a new computer from Apple, I used this card because of the purchase protections included. If there’s any cardholder demographic likely to buy an iMac online, it’s someone who has a Sapphire Reserve.
That wasn’t good enough for Chase. Charge DENIED!! WTH!!!
Sure they texted me and emailed me asking if I was the one who made the charge. But I still needed to log in to my account to confirm the charge was from me and then go to Apple and try to complete the purchase again.
As it turned out, I was able to fix the computer problem and canceled the purchase. Apologizes to Apple and Chase about the lost sale.
The major banks’ ability to use AI to prevent fraudulent charges has progressed in leaps and bounds from where it used to be. I remember when you couldn’t travel out of the country without calling the bank to let them know exactly where you would be and when. Now a bank can tell if someone is trying to buy a $2 stick of gum at a gas station or $1000 worth of tech at a Best Buy if it’s not a usual purchase.
I guess the smarter computers get about our tendencies, the less we’ll have to worry about them denying charges that aren’t from us. But do I really want a computer to know what I’m likely to purchase and what I’m not? I guess they already do. Right Alexa?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary