One of the things I pack for a trip is always 2 bank cards: one visa (visa and not visa electron) and one master card. Nowadays is quite rare, but there are places where they accept only one of them, this is the main reason why I have 2 different.
The other reason I have 2 bank cards is for the case I may lose/they may still me one.
And in addition to this, I have cash. The cash has to be enough for a week. It may sound a lot of cash, but after loosing 3 bank cards in the Americas, I learnt to keep well my money valuables.
Let’s think you are in the unhappy scenario that you remain without your bank card.
And now what? If you are at home you call your bank, to lock your card; you pay them a visit and on a blink of an eye you have another card. Or it may take some days depending where you are in the world.
But what do you do when you are abroad?
The same! You call your bank, if you don’t have their number saved from home, you find it on internet.
I recommend you use skype for the call because is far cheaper to call, especially when you call a call center and you have to hold on line more than 10 minutes to get to talk to somebody. Details on The best way to make calls on the way – skype.
You call the bank, the bank blocks your bank account and they ask you for an address to send you the new card. So before you call make sure you know the address where they can send you the card.
Usually it takes between 5-10 working days for the bank to send you the card, you ensure you give an address where you’ll be in 1-2 weeks. After you drop the call inform the people from the address you gave to the bank that in 1-2 weeks you’ll receive an envelop from your bank, so they are aware and welcome the mail officer.
The process undertaken by the bank to get your card to you is the following:
- They cancel your bank card (this is with you on the phone)
If you are not sure you lost your card somewhere or it may be between your things, you have the option to block your bank card temporary or to set the transations limits for it to 0(zero).
- The bank order a new card for you – this may take some days, depending on their own processes and how busy are they
- When they have the bank card, they call the mail company (usually DHL)
- DHL or the mail company gives them a tracking number
- The bank sends you by email the tracking code and you can see where exactly is your new card.
Good to know:
- Till you card comes, most of the banks allow you to create a virtual bank card which you can use to make online payments – eg: buy skype credit to call for reporting your lost card.
- You can block your card / temporary block your card/ set the transaction limits of your card to 0 by yourself on internet banking.
- The service to get a new card anywhere in the world is charged between 40-100 EUR depending on your bank and country
Now let’s sum up what we need to pack to can minimize the impact of loosing the bank card:
- 2 bank cards, always kept separately so in case you lose one you have the other
- Some cash so you survive for some days in case you have no card left for card payments. The cash must be kept separately as backup, never in your daily pack and never in your wallet.
- The bank emergency number to can call fast in case it is stolen from you
- Teach your parents or friends how to send you money with Money Gram or Western Union so they are prepared for such situations.
Safe traveling around the world!