A few days ago, I noticed a $14.95 U.S. charge on my American Express card. It was from the Experian website (a credit monitoring website). Well, I thought that was odd, since Canadians don’t even have access to Experian – we only use TransUnion and Equifax.
So I called tried to calling Experian first, because that’s what Amex said to do the last time I noticed a fraudulent charge on my card. But their phone numbers don’t work when calling from Canada. Awesome. (As a side note, I did tweet them, and they replied promptly – but by that time, my issue was already resolved.)
Then I called Amex. The customer service rep told me that it was set up as a recurring charge made from my supplementary card. The supplementary card that was canceled back in April. What!? I asked how that was possible, and if it had been charged to my account before. She then put me on hold to investigate.
After a few minutes, she came back and said that she wasn’t sure how that had happened. The supplementary card was definitely canceled back in April. So she transferred me to a different department to lodge a dispute on the charge. The woman I spoke to there listened to my story, saw that my supplementary card had been canceled months ago (so how did a charge go through on a canceled card?!), and immediately refunded me my money.
If you act promptly and take reasonable care to protect yourself and your billing information, you will likely get the benefit of the doubt from the credit card company. Don’t forget to make sure to keep a record of each person you talk with, along with the date and time of each call.
I’m a little wary of American Express now. I mean, I’ve had two fraudulent charges on my account so far this year – and they couldn’t even explain how this one happened. If it happens again, I might have to take drastic measures. Maybe even cancel my card and leave Amex altogether. Which is too bad, because I am in love with my Amex Blue Sky travel card.
Credit card fraud has always been something that has happened to “a friend of a friend,” and never to anyone I’ve actually known. Yet, it’s happened to me twice this year already. With the same card. So even though I know I always take the appropriate steps to protect myself – like shredding all of my receipts and statements, and only shopping online through secure websites – it really makes me more cautious. Check your statements all of the time, and don’t forget to order your free credit reports through TransUnion and Equifax, because it really can happen to anyone.
Earlier this week I noticed a strange $75 charge on my American Express card. I keep all of my receipts and track my spending through Quicken, so I was positive I had never made that purchase. I Googled the name of the company, and found out that they were selling dedicated server hosting. Clearly I did not make a purchase through them.
So I called them up.
They were very helpful and were able to tell me that someone used my credit card to make the purchase online – using a different e-mail address than mine, and a different billing address located in California (but the same street address name and number). I told them that someone else must have somehow gotten a hold of my Canadian credit card number, because I did not make the purchase. They quickly closed the account associated with my credit card number and sent in a request to issue a refund to my card. I got the name of the customer service rep, a transaction number, and e-mail receipt.
Then I called up Amex and told them what happened. They told me to monitor my account to make sure the refund goes through, and if it doesn’t, then I am to call Amex back up so they can start a transaction dispute for me. In the meantime, they have canceled my credit card and will be issuing me a new one.
This is the first time I have ever had to dispute a purchase on my credit card. The process was quick and painless, but it leaves me wondering how someone in California could have gotten a hold of my card number. I haven’t been to California in a long time, and I shred all of my credit card statements and receipts. Also what’s weird is, if they had my card number, why did they only put through a $75 purchase instead of racking up the card?
Have you ever had to dispute a charge on your credit card before?
I currently have a CIBC Dividends Visa card, and am looking to replace it with another Visa. Preferrably a travel rewards card, but am happy with cash back too.
I am happy with my Amex and my Mastercard, and feel like they are on-par with the top no-fee rewards cards (Amex gets 1.25% back on travel and Mastercard gets 1% back on groceries, both with no annual fee). And I could just get rid of the Visa altogether, but I like having 1 of each card.
But the CIBC Dividends Visa card is lacking because it’s on a tiered system of up to 1% cash back.
- Tier one – 0.25% rebate for net annual purchases up to $1,500
- Tier two – 0.50% rebate for net annual purchases from $1,500.01 to $3,000
- Tier three – 1% rebate for net annual purchases over $3,000
Boo-urns to that.
So I’ve been searching the internet, using www.rewardscanada.ca and www.creditcardsearch.ca (although it hasn’t been updated since 2008) as resources, and trying to pick the best card for my needs. Red Flag Deals is also a good resource. I’m taking the search very seriously, maybe too seriously. But a good rewards credit card is important! I’d even consider paying an annual fee if the rewards were good enough – since I use my credit cards for 99% of my purchases anyway, I might as well get as much as I can for it. But I would definitely prefer not paying an annual fee, even if it means the rewards are less. I’m looking for a Visa that will give me at least 1% back in either cash or travel rewards.
Paying everything by credit card takes a lot of discipline, especially for someone like me who used to be in credit card debt and lived maxed out for a few years. I wouldn’t recommend paying everything by CC unless you’re confident in your ability to pay the card off without fail, every month. I pay mine off at the end of every week.
How many credit cards do you have?
Also, any Visa card recommendations?