Imagine, if you want, Lifehacker Editor Josh ocampo standing in front of a Tokyo 7-Eleven, hugging her stomach while waiting with her bank. Josh’s debit card chip had stopped working halfway through, which meant he couldn’t withdraw money from a AT M. And the local clinic that could treat “the worst case of food poisoning of my life”, like he remembers, didn’t take credit cards.
Josh was tricked into telling me this story after finding out this Reddit post about the debit card of a user who “flew out of the back of the boat and went into the water” while on a Semester trip at sea. The student would not be return to American soil before some time, with only short stays in port for the remainder of the trip.
What should an unhappy traveler do when your cash access goes missing?
Josh ended up using his credit card to withdraw money from ATMs as a cash advance. When he got home, he was able to repay these funds from his checking account so as not to incur outrageous cash advance interest charges. When his credit card started being used at ATMs on his last day in Japan, another Lifehacker staff member spotted him the money he needed until they returned to the United States.
But not everyone is as lucky as Josh. After all, he had his cards in his hand, rather than at the bottom of the ocean like this very sad Redditor.
I asked Brandon Neth, credit card and rewards specialist at FinanceBuzz, which he recommends to someone in this unfortunate situation. He said that while credit card issuers can usually ship a replacement card overnight if you’re in a traffic jam, that’s usually not the case with a debit card, especially when you’re in the business. foreign.
Your best solution for a missing debit card might be in your hands right now: your phone. But you better test this before hitting the road.
“Debit cards can be added to some digital wallets,” he said. “Be sure to check with your bank’s issuer or mobile operator before your trip. If it is compatible, configure this feature and test it to make sure it works so that you have a backup plan abroad. “
He also said that you can try using a money transfer service like Western Union to send you money. You may be able to log into your bank account to transfer to yourself, or ask your bank’s customer service department to help arrange a wire transfer with you. “While it’s not the most cost effective way and you have to carry cash around, it will definitely get you out of a pinch,” he said.
Other Reddit users recommended asking a friend to withdraw money from the ATM and transfer the amount to them through Venmo or another peer-to-peer service.
Whichever method you end up resorting to, make sure report your lost card to your bank as soon as possible, even if you think it is safe from scammers on the bottom of the sea.