Here’s what happened when I lost my credit card abroad
Lost your credit card abroad? Here’s a look at what you can do.
It’s always scary to find out that your credit card is missing. You rummage around every nook and cranny wondering what happened to him. You check your account to make sure no one is using it. And finally, you resign yourself to the fact that your card has disappeared.
It’s embarrassing enough to begin with, but it’s even more frustrating when you’re abroad. Obtaining a replacement card internationally can be difficult. If that’s not an option, you’ll need to find another form of payment for the rest of your trip.
I recently found myself in this situation so my experience might be helpful if you lost your credit card abroad – or if you just want to be prepared for this possibility. Here are the steps I took from the moment I realized the card was gone until I had my replacement card in hand.
1. Lock the card
The very first thing I did when I couldn’t find my credit card was to log into my account and lock it. Most major credit card companies now offer this feature, sometimes also referred to as freezing your card, and is different from full card cancellation.
When your card is locked, it cannot be used to purchase anything. AT avoid fraudulent transactions, you should lock your card as soon as you realize it is missing, until you find it, or until you confirm that you need a replacement.
After I locked my card, I searched all over my apartment and went to the last store I remembered using it to see if I had left it there. While this hasn’t worked for me, it’s still good to do some thorough research. You don’t want your card back later after you’ve already canceled it and shipped a replacement.
2. Order a replacement credit card abroad
Since I had confirmed that the card was lost, I called Chase to replace it. Fortunately, Chase will send replacement cards to international addresses free of charge. The policies of card issuers vary on this, but most can send replacements overseas if necessary.
You will need to call to do this, as card issuers typically do not offer the option of requesting a replacement card from an international address through their websites. Even if yours does, calling is always a good idea to see how long the replacement will take to arrive.
In my case, I had several weeks left in the apartment I was renting, so I didn’t risk the card showing up after I left. If you don’t stay in one location for more than a few days, you should either have a replacement card sent to your home address or ask if urgent international delivery is available.
3. Use backup cards and payment apps
An advantage of having several credit card is that I had other cards that I could use in the meantime. However, I still had one problem: I had a travel purchase to make, and the card I lost was earning bonus points on travel costs. While I could have made this purchase with another card, I was hoping to use the card I lost to earn more travel rewards.
The good news is that I had previously connected this credit card to Google Pay. Most credit card companies now automatically update your card information on payment apps as soon as a replacement card is sent. This allows you to use the new replacement card through the app even before it arrives.
Many merchants do not accept payment apps, so this is not a substitute for a backup card. But at least you’ll be able to continue using your credit card for some transactions if you’ve already loaded it into a payment app.
How to prepare for a lost credit card abroad
It’s a good idea to prepare for losing your credit card before it happens, especially when you are traveling abroad and out of your comfort zone. Here is what you can do before your trip to be prepared for this situation:
- Connect your favorite credit cards to a payment app.
- Familiarize yourself with how to lock your cards using both the card issuer’s website and the mobile app.
- Carry multiple credit cards with no overseas transaction fees on your trip to have a backup. Keep your backup card in a safe place where you are staying instead of taking it with you.
- Think of someone you can contact to wire you money in case you find yourself in the worst-case scenario where you don’t have an alternate payment method or way to withdraw money. .
And if you can’t find your card abroad, you must:
- Lock it until you confirm that it is indeed lost.
- See if you can get a replacement shipped internationally.
- Use your backup payment methods (other credit cards or cash) until you get the replacement card, or for the remainder of your trip.