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What to do when you lose your bank card abroad?

First off, don’t be too upset

lose your bank card abroad

What to do when you lose your bank card abroad? Source: shutterstock.com

You’ve decided to make your dream holiday but in the midst of the trip, you suddenly realize you’ve lost your bank card?  This unfortunate incident should not spoil your vacation, because we’ve prepared some useful tips to help ensure your financial safety.

Since tourists greatly appreciate the convenience, they mostly prefer to carry a bank card as opposed to cash.

1. What to do if you lose your bank card overseas. If you notice your debit card is missing, immediately transfer your money to a supplementary card/account using your online banking account. If you haven’t enabled online banking or you can’t access it go straight to step 2. In the case you are not sure whether the card has been stolen or is just lost, (maybe you might just have left it in a hotel room) you can temporarily suspend the card. You’ll have some time to ensure your card hasn’t been lost somewhere in your clothes.

2. Cancel your missing card ASAP. Telephone your bank or access via the mobile app and cancel your card. Calling your bank will be much easier if you have Google Voice/Hangouts on your phone, Skype or similar Internet-based calling services.

3. Contact your relatives or friends and ask them to send you some cash. If you’ve got a supplementary card you can ask them to transfer money to that card. If you don’t have one, you can ask them to use one of the transfer money services (for example Western Union or MoneyGram).

4. Contact the local police and make a report. Especially if somebody has stolen not just a bank card but also cash and ID. This can help to stop the unauthorized use of your card (using it online, making clones of your card etc) and should help with any future insurance or compensation claims.

5. Request a new card as soon as you arrive back in your home country.

How to prevent having trouble

There are some basic steps that each cardholder should take before going abroad, in order to prevent trouble related to losing your card.

  1. You should enable online banking if you haven’t already done so. You’ll be able to monitor your transaction history as well as transfer money between your accounts. You may even block your card in the event it is stolen/lost with the help of your personal internet banking. 

    You can manage your account from practically anywhere in the world. Source: shutterstock.com

  2. Set cash withdrawal and card transaction limits.
  3. Carry multiple bank cards tied to multiple bank accounts with specific spending limits. Having multiple cards is the right way to avoid an unpleasant situation. Keep your primary card safe and use it only in the event of large purchases. As for a supplementary card, keep it with you at all times. It will help you to prevent unplanned costs as well as keep you away from major troubles in case the card is lost/stolen/swallowed by an ATM. Thieves, for example, will not be able to exceed the spending or cash withdrawal limits while you’ll have some time to cancel your card.
  4. Keep your cards in different places (pockets, wallets, purses, bags, etc). Never keep your cards with cash or ID.
  5. Notify your issuing bank of your upcoming trip. Call customer support service and tell them which countries you are going to visit and the dates for a visit (or how long you plan to stay there). Some banks may freeze your account if they see your cards being used in shops and restaurants and at ATMs outside of your home country if you haven’t notified them beforehand.

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