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Gold-en rant of the week - When card security can cost you (your) money

Okay, so how many of us divert their home or office landlines to a mobile when we're out? And when we go abroad - very handy now the cellular networks are reducing their roaming rates?

I did this on my last foreign business trip. I shan't be doing it again, as the Nationwide Building Society, which issues one of my credit cards, decided I was using the card a lot, so it called me every time I used it.

And since the card offers favourable international exchange rates, I used it a lot - eleven times over the space of three days.

The cost of diverting the call centre calls to my mobile? £27.80, including the cost of the roamed-to calls whilst in France. Thankyou Nationwide.

Barclaycard, Egg and Nationwide now call their customers on their office or home phone numbers (as appropriate) if the customer's card usage is non-standard.

They rarely block the transactions, you see, as this loses them valuable card commission. Calling the customer is a better option, as it protects the card issuer and gets the revenue as well.

Except that the new card security regime can cost the cardholder money if they have their calls diverted.

Can you turn off the call verification facility? No, says Egg and Nationwide, as it's part of their anti-fraud regime.

Thanks a lot guys. That £27.80 could have bought me a few cups of coffee - even in Paris...