Check your travel card account before a new trip

In September 2023 Hinewai used a travel card while travelling in Europe. She returned home in October 2023 and did not use the card again until January 2024 when she headed to Vietnam. Hinewai loaded Vietnamese dong onto her card but when she arrived in Vietnam, she could not use her card. Hinewai contacted the travel card provider and discovered there were unauthorised transactions dating from November 2023 totalling $404.36. The dong Hinewai had purchased was used to repay the unauthorised transactions on Hinewai’s account, leaving her with no money available to spend in Vietnam.

Hinewai complained to the travel card provider, asking them to reimburse the $404.36 stolen from her account. The travel card provider declined saying that, under their terms and conditions, Hinewai should have told them about the unauthorised transactions within 30 days of the transactions. Hinewai complained to FSCL.

Dispute

Hinewai said that she did not check her travel card between October 2023 and January 2024, and it was not reasonable for her travel card provider to expect her to check her account every 30 days for fraudulent transactions.

The travel card provider said that they were only obliged to reimburse fraudulent transactions within 30 days of the date of the transactions. Hinewai was out of time, and they were entitled to decline to compensate her for her loss.

Review

When we checked the terms and conditions, we discovered that Hinewai only needed to tell the travel card provider about any unauthorised transactions within 30 days of becoming aware of the transactions. As Hinewai told the travel card provider about the unauthorised transactions as soon as she discovered them, in January 2024, we considered the travel card provider was liable for her loss.

Resolution

We asked the travel card provider to reconsider, and they agreed to reimburse Hinewai for her loss.

Insights for consumers

If you have used a travel card in the past and intend using it for an upcoming trip, we encourage you to check all the account balances on the card. If you discover any unauthorised transactions tell your travel card provider immediately so that you are not caught short at the beginning of a new trip.