If you are planning to visit another country, whether it is for a business trip or a fun vacation, you need to use your UAE Credit Card abroad,

it is always advisable to be ready and well aware of the circumstances and situations that might arise while using your credit card abroad to avoid any unpleasant surprises. This is exactly why we have covered the reasons that might get your card rejected abroad in this article. Continue reading…

No matter which bank or credit card company your card is issued by, you can always land in a situation where it gets declined. Therefore, you should be aware of the reasons in advance due to which your UAE credit card might get rejected abroad.

credit card abroad travel

Some of those reasons might be as basic as the credit limit of your card, the type of card or its international usability feature itself; but apart from these, there can be several other causes of your card getting rejected abroad, some of which are given below:



This might come as a surprise but there still exist a lot of technical differences between any two different countries, especially when it comes to credit cards. Credit cards in UAE are primarily of two types: the ones that use the chip and EMV (Europay Mastercard Visa) technology and the ones that still use the magnetic strip. The main difference in the way these cards work lies in their name. In an EMV enabled card, there is a chip embedded in the card, where all the necessary details of the cardholder are encoded, the chip looks similar to that of mobile SIM cards. So instead of swiping the card and providing the signature, the EMV enabled cards are inserted into the machine and a pin needs to be punched which is stored in the chip. Most of the countries, UAE included are adopting the EMV enabled credit cards such as CBD credit card, etc, so if your card is not EMV enabled but a mag-stripe card, then you might face restrictions at automated kiosks, such as at the gas pump, vending machines where cardholders pay on their own. The problem normally arises with the US-issued credit cards, as they still haven’t completely adopted the EMV.


Unusual purchase

Your credit card providers usually maintain your credit history and spending pattern with themselves. Thus, if you have always been only paying bills with your card or using it only for purchasing small amounts and then you suddenly use your card to purchase something really expensive in a foreign country, it might lead to the rejection of your card as a result of fraud prevention precaution. This is one of the most common reasons behind credit cards getting blocked abroad. Therefore, you should always avoid any impulsive purchases through your credit card.


Failing to notify your bank

We do not normally think of informing our bank when we go on a trip as it seems to be an imprudent reason when we think about it. However, it is wise to have your credit card provider informed in advance, before leaving the country. Banks, as a precautionary measure, step up their security during these times to prevent cases of fraud. Simultaneously, it comes as a responsibility of the owner of the card to accommodate these precautions. So, make it a point to always inform your bank or credit card provider before visiting a different country. Also, keep in mind that if you fly without prior informing your card or if you book a last-minute flight, then it may get flagged as a suspicious purchase as well and result in your card getting blocked all the while you’re abroad, or even permanently.


Travelling to fraud prevalent destinations

As we have already discussed, the prevention of fraud is one of the primary reasons behind cards getting rejected outside UAE. Therefore, in compliance with this, chances of your card getting declined and blocked are high in fraud prevalent areas as a precautionary step taken by the cardholder. Most credit card companies have strong fraud monitoring mechanisms set up to monitor fraud prevalent destinations, such as Mexico or Brazil. So, be careful whenever you plan on traveling to any such country, as you might as well expect to run into credit card problems in those places.


POS machine not responding

 Sometimes, it might happen that your card does not get processed in the POS machine, or gets rejected by the machine. This can normally take place if your card is an EMV enabled card and a machine is a mag-swipe machine. In such a scenario, your credit card shall be rejected by the POS machine. This event can also occur when you are abroad and as a result, you will be unable to use your credit card.


Card blocked in a particular country

It might also happen that you cannot use your credit in certain specific countries. This normally happens if the card provider has unauthorized credit cards from being used in a particular country, or if the government has barricaded any form of transactions with that particular country. For example, an American credit card cannot be used in Cuba. Something similar can be witnessed if you try using your UAE credit cards in Israel, but that could also be due to automatic measures to prevent fraud.


As discussed earlier, it is extremely important to keep constant contact with your card provider before leaving for your trip and also while you are on your trip. As a matter of fact, it is the only effective solution to prevent any unpredictable mishaps while you are in a different country. Therefore, make sure that you do not forget to communicate all the necessary information such as your contact number, alternate contact information, and your itinerary as well. Also, keep in mind that the reasons mentioned above are not the only ones. There might be a completely different scenario that arises and results in your card getting rejected. So, take the necessary precautions at all times and be safe!