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22 Credit Card Alerts You Should Use

Most credit card providers offer credit card alerts and notifications to inform consumers about their credit card accounts in real time via email, text message or push notifications from a mobile app or website. You can use these 22 credit card alerts to:

  • Detect fraud
  • Manage credit
  • Protect your identity

Unfortunately, these alerts aren’t all available for any credit card.  But the Credit Card Alerts by Major Credit Card Providers comparison shows alerts available from the major credit card providers.

Detect Fraud

Retailers and credit card providers have been successful in reducing fraud through chips, digital wallets, and artificial intelligence. But thieves have also benefited from improvements in skimmers. These notifications help detect fraudulent transactions on your credit card:

  • Transaction over amount
    • Set this to $.01 if you want to receive alerts on all transactions
  • Irregular account activity
    • This can vary by provider, but it’s usually worth your immediate attention. One example is shipping an online order somewhere other than the billing address.
  • Card not present (online, phone, or mail)
    • When a thief skims your card, he’ll usually test it with a small transaction somewhere that doesn’t the physical card, require identification or have cameras to capture his identify.  Online, phone and mail purchases fit the bill.
  • Gas station charge
    • Gas stations also don’t require identification, though they do require the physical card to be present.
  • International / foreign charge
    • Thieves use stolen cards outside the US, where protections and verification differ.
  • Cash advance / ATM withdrawal
    • Some credit cards offer cash advances, even through ATM withdrawals.  If you can’t turn off this “feature,” you should at least get a notification.
  • Transaction declined
    • It happens to everyone, but especially to thieves who don’t know the available balance.

Manage Credit

You can use these alerts to manage your credit card accounts and, indirectly, your credit score:

  • Balance above set amount
  • Current balance
  • Approaching / Over Credit Limit
  • Balance transfer posted
  • Credit pending / posted
  • Spend tracking (e.g. spent higher than set amount in a specified period)
  • Statement ready
  • Payment reminder
  • Payment received / posted
  • No payment received / past due
  • Payment failed

Protect Your Identity

These credit card alerts are especially important because they protect your identity:

  • Account login
  • Account locked due to failed authentication (password, security questions, etc.)
  • User ID, password changed
  • Contact info changed

Credit Card Alerts by Major Credit Card Providers

AlertAmerican ExpressBank of AmericaBarclay'sCapital OneChaseCitiDiscoverWells FargoUSAA
Detect Fraud
  Transaction over amountYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
  Irregular account activityYesYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
  Card not present (online, phone, mail)YesYesNoNoYesYesYesYesNo
  Cash advance / ATM withdrawalYesYesNoNoNoNoYesYesNo
  Gas station chargeNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNo
  International / foreign chargeYesYesNoNoYesYesYesYesNo
  Transaction declinedNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYes
Manage Credit
  Balance above set amountYesYesNoNoYesYesYesNoYes
  Current balance (e.g. daily)YesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYes
  Approaching / Over Credit LimitNoYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYes
  Balance transfer postedNoYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
  Credit pending / postedYesYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
  Spending in period (day, week)YesNoYesNoNoNoNoYesNo
  Statement readyYesNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNo
  Payment reminder before due dateYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYes
  Payment was posted / receivedYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYes
  No payment received / past dueYesNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNo
  Payment failedNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Protect Your Identity
  Account loginNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
  Account locked / failed authenticationNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
  User id / password changedNoYesNoNoYesNoYesYesNo
  Contact info updatedNoYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNo

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Credit card alerts can be useful, but some may find them annoying or, even worse, ignore them.  Being aware of your options can help you decide how to set the credit card alerts that are right for you. You may have a higher tolerance for fraud if your card has a low limit and doesn’t allow cash advances. You may not need to manage your credit through alerts if you automatically pay your statement balance on or before the due date. Everyone should use all available alerts to protect your identity.

Which alerts do you use?  Does your provider offer a useful alert not included here?  Please let us know!

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