Question

Do most credit card companies have alerts in place or do you have to subscribe/enable these alerts?

Answer

Most banks and credit card companies will allow you to set up alerts on your accounts so you can be texted or emailed anytime a charge is placed on your account that goes over your desired threshold of spending. You can set that at any amount. For some folks it's not reasonable to be texted every time they spend more than $50 to confirm the charge. Each person needs to do what's best for them and fits in their lifestyle.

 

Additionally, most banks and credit cards companies know your spending patterns (all by an algorithm), so if they detect a suspicious charge or something that doesn't fit your normal spending they will send you an alert to confirm. This happened to me* one time when I was in New York City and my kids wanted a soft pretzel. I guess I don't normally buy this type of item, so I got an alert asking if I made the charge. I thought it was funny to be notified about a pretzel, but just shows you it works. 

 

If you are interested in this type of service, talk to your bank and/or credit card company to see how you can set it up.

 

 

*Part of the Ask the Expert series with Amy Nofziger on Identity Theft and Cybersecurity Scams, October 2019. Learn more tips and/or share your stories in our Scams & Fraud forum.

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