Visa. MasterCard. America Express. Discover. We all have them.
They are just tiny, little pieces of plastic but when we lose them, man, can it ever turn your life upside down.
In about 72 hrs, I leave for what is going to be the biggest trip of my life. 45 days across 4 planned countries with the possibility of visiting a couple more, if I find the time.
With just a few days until my trip starts, I’m already getting anxious about everything.
Do I have my passport and tickets? Did I pack enough clothes? Am I forgetting about anything?
I’m in the process of going through all of the stuff I plan to bring and then it dawns on me. Where did I put my Visa card?
I checked my wallet. Nope. My pants. Nope. The car? Nope. I retraced my steps as much as I could. Called all of the places I’d been the night before. Checked my pants again..
It was gone…
I officially managed to lose my Visa just 3 days before the biggest trip of my life. While I wasn’t planning on using it through the entirety of my trip, I was hoping to have it for the occasional purchase or emergencies. Not that it’s a good thing but it’s funny how one little plastic card can provide us with so much comfort when we’re out in the world.
I was already worried about what would happen if I lost my credit while overseas and then somehow, I managed to lose it before my bags even got packed!
What To Do
The first thing I recommend to do if you ever find yourself in the same situation is call your credit card company. They will block your old cards, so that even if someone were to find it and try to use it, they wouldn’t be able to.
When I called Visa, I found out that they provide two services for people like me who tend to lose things everywhere.
- Emergency card replacement
I’m not sure about all credit card companies, but Visa offers an emergency card replacement service. Depending on the company, this can sometimes get you a new emergency card shipped out over night to almost anywhere in the world.
There are of course drawbacks to the emergency card. For one, it can only be used as a swipe card and most businesses these days don’t even accept swiping a card as an option anymore. Second, they have limits to the amount a credit on them and also they only have a limited period of time that they can be used.
Another thing to note is that some credit card companies will not be able to get you an emergency card, depending on the country you are it. Therefore always call and find out what your best options are.
- Emergency cash advance option
Visa, also, offers another convenient emergency cash option for travelers facing the perils of being abroad without any cash.
If you lose your card, some of the bigger companies will offer you this option. They will provide you with a wire cash transfer directly into your account so that you’re still able to access funds and not be totally stranded and cash-less in a foreign land.
Regardless, if you lost your card, while traveling in another country, being able to get an emergency card or cash should come as a huge relief to any cash problems one might face.
Well, after spending what seemed like forever on hold, I finally spoke to a Visa representative. She advised me of the emergency options and blocked my lost card from being used. After answering all of her questions, she told me that she had put in a request for an emergency replacement card and that I’d have to wait for a follow up phone call from them.
About an hour later, my phone rang and Visa explained to me that the request had been denied and they would have to transfer me to my bank so that they could tell me why. Then, after being transferred back and forth a few, I finally spoke to someone who explained that you can’t get an emergency card unless you’re already out of the country. Instead, she recommended getting a new card.
But less than 2 business days until I leave, I didn’t have the time to sit around and wait for the new card here in Canada. So, the nice lady was able to look up the address of the hostel that I will be staying at and had the new card shipped there.
She was also able to give me a time frame of how long it would take to get there. She assured me that within 2-5 business days, I would be able to pick up my new Visa card at the front desk of my hostel.
The moral of the story is that even if a disaster strikes, there’s always a solution of some sort…
It’s either that or just simply DON’T LOSE YOUR CREDIT CARD 3 DAYS BEFORE YOU’RE VACATION!