Subscribe to our email alerts

Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

MasterCard Assistance Center Helps Family Fly Home


When many of us plan a trip, we think about what sites to see, where to eat, where to stay and how to travel there and back home. Despite our best efforts, anything can happen while travelling, as you’ll see in this latest installment of Behind the Cardholder Call. One of cardholders was at the Viru Viru Airport in Bolivia with his family buying tickets to go home, when his card was declined. He called the MasterCard Assistance Center, explaining that he was trying to get back to his home country, and hadn’t had any trouble with his card until that moment!

airport line
For background, when you make a purchase, the merchant’s bank talks to the cardholder’s bank and essentially ‘agrees’ to approve the transaction. It’s not uncommon for the bank – as part of the everyday protection of your account – to block a transaction that looks out of character. To help prevent this inconvenience, call the bank that issued your card and let them know when and where you’re traveling.Now back to our case. Our agent confirmed that the account was placed on hold.

So would he and his family be stranded? Of course not! While our customer service teams helped clarify the hold situation, our agent made the cardholder aware of his emergency cash advance benefit.But here comes the tricky part – communication was difficult inside the airport due to poor phone connectivity, but our team knew there was a family waiting to get home and wouldn’t give up.
Julio, our global service agent, recalled the events. “After receiving the emergency cash advance approval, we tried to calling the customer but couldn’t immediately get through. Instead of waiting, we proactively worked with airport staff to track him down. As it turns out, he had difficulties using the toll free number.”In the end, the funds were made available and the cardholder and his family made it home safe and secure.

MiniBannerCustomer service agents are stationed throughout the world, ready to help with whatever is called for when they pick up  the phone. From lost wallets to figuring out how to give back, our agents are ready 24/7 to offer help through our world class  network