A couple of months ago I met a Head for Points reader who worked for a major mobile phone company who told me about an exciting new security product he was working on for the credit card industry. MBNA has now launched this in the UK, in conjunction with 02.
Most of us, at one point or another, will have had problems using a credit card abroad due to suspected fraud. A couple of years ago, MBNA suspended my card for the following series of ‘suspicious’ transactions – bought stuff in London, bought stuff at Heathrow, bought a subway ticket at JFK airport in New York. Yup, looks suspicious to me ….
However, there is one utility which knows you are abroad the second you arrive – your mobile phone network. As soon as you turn on your phone, your home network is notified and you are sent the statutory message about foreign pricing.
The new Bon Voyage service from 02 takes advantage of this data. Once you have given 02 your consent, they will tell MBNA every time your mobile phone is activated abroad. Card transactions in that country should then be processed without any trouble.
This service is currently being rolled out to selected invitees. If you have not been invited, make sure that your o2 mobile number is registered in your MBNA profile to improve your chances of being invited into the next wave.
(Don’t forget the small print though! “Bon Voyage is not available in the following countries: Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Libya, Sierra Leone, Angola, Syria, Sudan and Burma.” Not a concern for most of us, luckily.)
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – February 2024 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.