Why I Hate Barclaycard

As I work for an American company I spend a fair amount of time travelling to the US. At the moment I’m in Glendale, CA. No matter what I do, no matter how many times I call or email Barclaycard, no matter how many notes they say they put in my file; every time I’m in the US this same chain of events happens:

  1. About the third or the fourth day, Barclaycard assume the US transactions on my card are fraudulent, despite the fact that I called to tell them I’d be travelling to the US and they had “put a note in my file”.
  2. They stop my card.
  3. They then check to see if the transactions are indeed fraudulent but calling me on my phone. Of course they do this during UK office hours and so I get a call between 3am and 4am local time, when I’m always at my best.
  4. An automated voice asks me to confirm my identity and then asks me to confirm the transactions.
  5. The call ends with the automated voice telling me that they’ll continue to monitor the transactions on my card for my own protection.

BS! The law in the UK makes Barclaycard liable for fraudulent activity not me, so they are not protecting me, they are protecting themselves, which is why they block first and ask questions (at 3am!) later and that is why I hate this stupid, incompetent company!

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7 Responses to Why I Hate Barclaycard

  1. Ian Nelson says:

    Hi Gary,

    With an American wife I also have my fair share of US travel, and we have to pay the occasional dollar-denominated bill.

    I found the best and most cost-efficient solution was to open a dollar-denominated current account with Citibank UK. I can transfer money to/from other UK bank accounts (getting a decent exchange rate), and it comes with a debit card and US dollar cheque book (cleared through Citibank New York).

    I’ve never had any problems with the card being blocked (even when going on spending sprees in discount clothing malls), as long as the retailer treats it as a “credit” card rather than putting it through as a US “debit” card.


    Hope this helps,

  2. Gary Short says:

    Thanks for the info Ian, I’ll look into that

    • Martin says:

      I recon HFC are worse. I’ve had the card stopped numerous times in the UK for some pretty trivial transactions. Once after doing the weekly shop in ASDA (apparently a lot of fraud happens there!), the fact I do it weekly was not taken into consideration. But then I can spend a couple of Ks on computer stuff over the internet without a problem. It’s not happened for a while… perhaps they took my advice and stuck their anti-fraud processes where I told them to. After saying that, it is almost certainly going to happen now… damn you Gary Short.

  3. James says:

    Ah well Gary – At least you have the satisfaction of knowing the one part of Barclays have been fined for criminal mis-selling of investment funds.

    In fact – if you do a search for “Barclays Fined” you may be surprised at the extensive misbehaviour of the Bank. Mind you I reckon that most are as bad as the others.

  4. Jamie Mutton says:

    I used to have this problem a lot with Mastercard. Got myself an Amex card and have never had the issue since.

  5. Wanda Whitman says:

    I got a Barclaycard from my local Barclays because I wanted to get tickets for the Olympics (which I couldn’t get) I have never used this Barclaycard and today got a rather suspicious email from Barclaycard, or some scam, about changes to my card conditions. I do not bank online and have never registered my card online and will never do. I looked in vain on their website to alert them of what could be a scam – no email address to contact Barclaycard on, only 0844 premium rate revenue sharing telephone numbers – and plenty of them. I do not ring 0844 premium rate revenue sharing numbers and have no respect for companies who only list them – Found an 0800 number for Barclaycard on SAYNOTO0870 and called a service in India, which I could hardly understand. I wanted to close the account and cut up the card but — I would have to give my card number to this stranger in India – NO WAY!!! I hope I can close it in my local Barclays. I never want anything more to do with Barclaycard ever again. By the way, Post Office offer a Mastercard which does not charge a fee when used in the UK or abroad to pay for something in a foreign currency. I used it to pay for my granddaughter’s US passport in dollars at the London Embassy and online for a Berlin bus company in Euros, as well as in both the US and Germany. No fee and the exchange rate on the Post Office card was better than the cash exchange at City Forex too.

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