What do you do once you lost and blocked your credit card?

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If you lose and block your only credit card, what are your other options than going home?
Do you have a specific bank that can send you a new card? Aside from that do you have some tips?

Hi! I have a couple of them. Plus a couple of accounts. Plus cash. Waiting for new card to arrive is no fun if that was your only card : ) I’m from Ukraine though, banking system here sucks. So I’m sure countries with more developed banking do have better options.

All banks can courier you a new credit card overnight. It’s part of the Visa/Mastercard deal (it’s Visa/Mastercard that actually issues emergency cards).

If your from a country with uncooperative banks, get an Amex card. They are very good at sending emergency cards and emergency cash.

Also, it goes without saying that you should have at least two cards. The more the better really.

I did have 2 cards, lost one (shit happens).
I might get in personal troubles with my second card, just wondering how to think out of the box.

I lost my card recently, was in Thailand about to go to Cambodia. Because the Cambodian mail system is almost non-existent, I arranged to get my card sent to the consulate there. I’d not realised before that you could do that.

I have a second card but was a bit worried about depending on that. It takes over a week for my bank to send out the new card then the postage time. Some of the back-up options I looked into were wiring cash (I think they charge a heap but, in an emergency, better than nothing) and also getting a family member to send me a travel card with no money on it then loading it up once I received it. That way, if it went missing in the mail. I wasn’t losing anything.

Tbh, I actually had one of those travel cards but hadn’t realised I’d packed it. I never use it but had thrown it into my bag. They are quite handy for emergencies because you can keep them empty then, if you need to, transfer cash over.
I think consulates have some options for receiving money in an emergency too.

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Did you asked your bank to courier the card to you? I had one sent to me a few years ago when I was in Siem Reap and it arrived two days later via Fedex (directly to my hotel).

My card was with a credit union and they weren’t very helpful, no courier option and I could only get it sent to family in Australia.

Neither did I, thanks.
Can you buy a travelling card while you are travelling or only on a domestic territory?

I carry a variety of cards and when I’ve had to have them replaced in the past I either get the bank to send it directly or if they won’t (for whatever reason) I have them send it to my mom/a friend and have them send it.

I have:

1 private debit card
1 private credit card
1 business debit card
1 business credit card

It’s useful for my bookkeeping but also since it means I have many backups.

I usually pack cards separately or leave a few at home if I’m in an unsafe country.

It’s also useful cause many times one of my credit cards get blocked automatically as I travel a lot. So I just switch to the next card.

If worst comes to worst and I’m without cards, I’d literally have to go to the Embassy and borrow some money from them.

TL;DR make sure you have many backups!


I always have 1 backup.
Having said that, i have seen someone lose their card, order a new one to be delivered overseas, which got pulled by the fraud team and the bank called the number on the account to check, which wasn’t working due to being overseas (and the individual staff were toid that at the time), so my friend waited 10days for a card that the bank didn’t actually send.
I had my card skimmed in bali recently, am operating on back-up now.

Surprised that this thread does not exist

Me too!

If you lose and block your only credit card, what are your other options than going home


  • I travel with at least 2 bank cards. Ideally, VISA and MasterCard as these are the widest bank card networks in the world, along with American Express. I’m not a US resident so AMEX is not an option for me.
  • I always carry “emergency cash” in a hidden place, at least 200 USD.

On the moment:

  • I can use my emergency cash (mentioned above)
  • I can still use Revolut for online payment - as long as I have a smartphone.
  • I can get money sent via WesternUnion - as long as I have my passport
  • Transfer emergency money to someone you trust who can give you this in cash (trust is the key here)

On the mid-term:

  • Your bank can make & send a new card within a week usually. I got sent a new credit card to Vietnam in 6 days & I got sent a new debit card to Malaysia in 5 days. This was via TNT, this company is incredibly fast, I also used it to send legal papers from Thailand.

On the long term:

  • Make sure you signed up with banks who have good “remote services”, reasonnable fees & that are reactive. You can sometimes only find out by trying, so I’d recommend having at least 2 different banks.
  • I shared some tips on banking solutions for digital nomads on my blog, disruption in the fintech industry is only getting bigger. Number26, Revolut, CurrencyFair, Transferwise, and other services are helping the change. Educate yourself & try things out :wink: http://www.grownupplayground.com/banking-solutions-for-travelers-digital-nomads/

I like Adrienbe’s answer. The only thing I’d add is to look into prepaid travel cards before your next trip. Some of the airlines have them built-in to their Frequent Flyer cards now (eg Qantas). A number of banks offer them, and there’s also the Travelex cards. I think the prepaid cards usually cost $15. The banks & Travelex will usually issue you two cards (with different numbers), so in the event of one card being stolen you can still transact using the other card.

You could also consider Bitcoin. CoinJar has a story of a woman who used a Bitcoin account to withdraw money via a Bitcoin ATM after her cards were frozen while travelling in Japan:


Adrienbe is also right to recommend 2 different banks - I have multiple cards with one bank, but discovered that when one card was compromised, their policy is to cancel & reissue all cards associated with that account, so I was stuck using cash for a while.

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Amex issues cards in most countries. If your country doesn’t participate, you could also get an international dollar or euro Amex card.

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