Sunday, April 8th: The Panic & Frustration

I’ve mentioned several times on this blog that I want to gain more travel experience. Saturday (yesterday) I was given a huge dose of experience. My card was declined, not once, but twice. Then I couldn’t get into my online banking. I called the telephone teller and sure enough, my account is locked. Also, when I saw I called the teller, I mean that I entered my account number for the robot on the other end to tell me my account is locked. Thanks for nothing, by the way.

Anyway, my bank is closed on Sundays (of course), so I have to wait until Monday. That’s a whole day  – I know, so terrible first world problems – of me refusing to let myself panic, wondering if my bank account is compromised or something. I know that is was probably tripped by me buying my plane tickets and my AirBnB rooms. However, I am  terrified.

Monday, April 9th: The Resolution

They didn’t tell me why my account was frozen. However, they gave me a new card and gave me access to my online banking. Phew – nightmare over. I’m kind of glad I was issued a new card, because now I don’t have to worry about any previous attempted purchases going through.

The Lesson 

What has this taught me, you ask? First , I need a credit card. Using my bank card for everything could leave me without a means of purchase when I go on vacation. It’ll be nice to have a backup. I know that it’s important to call your company before you leave for a vacation so they don’t automatically freeze your card. However, that’s kind of difficult to do when you don’t have a credit card.

The problem with smaller banks is they don’t always have the infrastructure to help you. I couldn’t get in contact with a real person until i went into the bank. If I was in a different country, I’d have to wait for opening hours to call the branch and who knows if they’d be able to help me over the phone. Not to mention, what if I have an issue Satuday after they close and can’t do anything until Monday? That’s a long time to be cut off when you’re in another country. Pending these concerns, I’m going to have to contact my bank (ha!) and make sure that my trip to Costa Rica will not be a problem. ESPECIALLY because at my bank, they don’t unfreeze cards they only issue new ones. Can you imagine me being stuck in another country for two weeks, unable to access my bank account, having to rely on only a credit card? It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

If you have any tips or suggestions, please let me know! Have you ever been cut off from your money in a foreign country? How did you manage? 

-Knurly