Can I use my cards while traveling?
Absolutely. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Our fraud-prevention systems may automatically decline any transactions (or series of transactions) which seem questionable. When you travel, you'll probably be making purchases outside your normal routine. So if you're traveling out of your home state/area please give us a call first at 319-339-1000 or 800-397-3790, stop into a branch, or submit a Travel Notificaiton Form.
- If you’re traveling internationally, let us know before you leave. Please give us a call first at 319-339-1000 or 800-397-3790 or stop into a branch.
Using your card internationally
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind if you're planning to use your card outside the US:
- If you need to reach us in a hurry, give us a call with our international number: +1 (515) 457-2095.
- Card transactions with international merchants will incur MasterCard's International Service Assessment (ISA) fee, which is 1% of the transaction amount. You can calculate MasterCard's current exchange rates here.
- We send secure access codes via SMS and phone calls, and many phones will be unable to receive SMS notifications or calls sent from the US while you are abroad. We recommend setting up a free Google Voice account and arranging to have SMS sent to you via email. If you are unable to setup a free Google Voice number give us a call and we may be able to set your account to get the secure access codes by email.
- In some countries, chip cards (also known as EMV cards) are prevalent, and merchants are unfamiliar with magnetic stripe cards. Your card should work just fine at most merchants (whether or not it has a chip), but some merchants might not know how to run cards without a chip and you'll need to show them. Also, some automated terminals (like the ones used to purchase train tickets), are set up to run "off-line" transactions, and our cards may not support these. So, it's always a good idea to carry some cash just in case.
Countries where card use is banned
There are a few places where we're not able to process card transactions (generally due to increased fraud risks or government regulations). Your card will not work in the following countries:
- South Africa
All Countries with current OFAC Sanctions are blocked (no exceptions). Current lists of these countries are listed below and can be found at www.treas.gov.
OFAC Blocked Countries
- Ivory Coast
- North Korea
- Syrian Arab Rep.
We encourage our cardholders to make prior arrangements for their airplane tickets and hotel charges if they are traveling in the above listed countries or take along back up Visa or MasterCard prepaid cards (can be purchased at local grocery and discount stores or on-line).