Let’s face it, a card lost abroad isn’t a position anyone wants to be in.
When you’re on vacation, you want to be basking in the sun, exploring new locations, and enjoying quality time with loved ones. But, suddenly, you realize your card isn’t in your wallet or your pants. What do you do?
If you’ve realized your credit card is gone, don’t panic! Unfortunately, this is a common situation, and there are some simple steps to resolve this situation. From an emergency credit card to filing a report, there are multiple steps to get your holiday back on track.
Keep reading to find out what to do if you lose your credit card on vacation.
I’ve Lost My Credit Card, Now What?
In a panic? Here are the steps to take if your credit card is suddenly missing
Take A Deep Breath
First of all, step back and take a deep breath. This may seem impossible right now, but this situation is fixable. If your heart rate is up, wait until your breathing has returned to normal and your heart rate has lowered before making any rash decisions. If you can, enjoy a sip of water and then continue with the next steps.
Lock Your Bank
Once you’re calm, it’s time to lock your credit card and bank account. Even if your card is lost abroad, you can still access your bank via a smartphone app. Most major banks offer an in-app feature that allows you to freeze your cards.
Make sure you log in and lock the lost card as soon as possible. The card can’t be used for fraudulent transactions, and your money is safe in your bank. Freezing your card also allows you to search for it a little longer – if you cancel your card straight away, you might kick yourself if you find it later on.
Order A Replacement
If you’ve searched high and low and your credit card is nowhere to be seen, it’s time to call your bank and order a replacement. Card issuer policies differ, but most banks will send an emergency credit card for free to international locations.
Remember to call the bank for an international replacement. Many companies don’t offer this service online, and even if your bank does, it’s best to opt for personable services so you can ask how long the card will take to arrive.
File A Report
If you suspect your card has been stolen, you may want to file a report with the local police. Though this can be a hassle, especially when in another country, it’s worth doing. Sometimes cards turn up! It’s also important to ask the hotel or any restaurants you’ve been in if a credit card was handed in. Retrace your steps!
Use Backup Cards If Possible
Not everyone travels with backup cards but simply switch to another form of payment if you do. The lost card might get you the most points and bonuses with travel payments, but if you can’t get a replacement in time, you’ll have to use an alternative. It’s also worth noting that Apple or Google Pay are good alternatives in this situation.
How To Prepare For The Worst
A card lost abroad is a stressful situation, but there are some tips and tricks to prepare for this situation.
Load Your Cards Onto Your Phone
Many smartphones allow users to add their credit cards to built-in payment apps. Apple Pay and Google Pay are two common examples of this, allowing users to pay without their card. This is a good backup measure to have in place. Smartwatches also allow these services too. For example, Fitbit now comes with Fitbit Pay, and Garmin wearables offer Garmin Pay.
Take Back Up Cards
Like the previous tip, taking backup cards is another way to be ready if you lose your main credit card. Pack an alternative credit card with no travel fees and keep this option in a different place. Don’t leave both cards together! It’s also recommended that you travel with a pre-loaded travel card, such as Revolut, as these come with no fees and can be replaced anywhere.
Know How To Lock The Cards
While no one wants to lose a card while traveling, it’s critical to know how to cope. If you’re familiar with the card freezing process, you’ll save time in a disaster, and you won’t have to scroll through lots of “what to do if you lose your credit card” articles! Preparation for the unlikely is always essential.
Travel With Others
Traveling with others isn’t always possible, but make sure you’re with loved ones you can rely on in an emergency. If your card is stolen, a family member can cover you until a replacement arrives. If you are alone, consider messaging back home to see if a close family member can wire money to your location. Discuss these options before traveling if you’re worried.
Take Extra Currency
Finally, this method may seem old school since the world has gone contactless, but carry some spare cash whenever you’re traveling. Getting extra money out before a vacation might seem like a hassle, especially if you need a foreign currency. However, having a secret stash will put your mind at ease. Just make sure your money is hidden in a hotel safe and avoid carrying large amounts at once when in a new city.
No one plans to lose their credit card, but if a card goes missing while traveling, it’s essential that you know how to react. Always try to stay calm, as there are many ways to get your card replaced without fuss. Happy travels!