There’s no shortage of things that can go wrong when you’re travelling: You might lose your debit or credit card; your purse could get swiped; your phone could fall down a grate in front of your hostel (yes, this happened to me).
To recover the phone, you’re going to need to get creative: My rescue involved a 3.05m pole with masking tape on the end of it. Taking care of a missing credit card is slightly less physically taxing.
First, before you leave for your trip, take pictures of the front and back of your card, and write down your credit card info in a safe place. You likely know that you should make copies of your passport and ID before you go abroad, and a credit card is no different. If you lose or misplace it, having the photos and information handy will help expedite the recovery process.
Next, make sure you’re not travelling with just one card option. Either have enough cash to get you through the trip, or load up a pre-paid Visa or MasterCard, suggests NerdWallet, as an emergency cash reserve. Using a payment system like Apple Pay might also help in a pinch at some vendors.
You’ll want the international numbers for your card companies handy (here are Visa’s and MasterCard’s). Call the card issuer and either freeze your card, or cancel and ask for a replacement. The spare card or cash you have will tide you over until your new card reaches you.
Remember, you’ll want to do this as quickly as possible, because “lost or stolen debit cards need to be reported within two business days, during which you are only legally liable for up to $US50 ($69) for any fraudulent charges,” writes CreditCards.com. “From two to 60 days, your liability could be up to $US500 ($693).”