Always Carry Two Credit Cards

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Credit cards

Credit cards

This happened to me. It may not have happened to anyone else in the world but I mention it so that no-one else may wind up in a similar situation. A second valid (and able to be used credit card) is needed when you travel or go on holiday.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

About a month ago I was flying to New York and I had ordered dollars on my company HSBC Mastercard. Initially the airport bureau de change was hesitant to give me the money but received authorization to give it to me since I obviously had a passport and various other forms of identification. But I had to ring Mastercard asap. I was told that my card had been stopped because of unusual activity and that a string of cards including mine were in a sequence that had been cloned. A new card would be sent to me.

That arrived and I tried to use it with no joy. I went to the bank thinking I might need to activate it which I duly did receiving the thumbs up from the impersonal money machine. Having qualms I luckily took some cash with me as well so that on my next hotel stay in North Wales I could pay for the room in cash rather than on a card since my only other card is an American Express card which tends not to be widely used in pub accommodation. Well the card didn’t work despite me trying the old pin as well as the new. Into the bank I trotted where I was told that on the day my card was sent out, a computer glitch meant that none of the passwords matched the cards so a new card would be sent out. When it arrived, I was to use the second pin with it, not the first.

I was due to go to Copenhagen and thought I could use my Amex card to get some Danish krone at the airport But no. Travelex and International Money Corp don’t accept Amex cards and there was no Amex bureau de change either at Gatwick South or in Copenhagen. But there was a cash dispenser and it took Amex cards. But it didn’t give me money because – I think – I have a subsidiary card. My wife responded to a special credit card offer 30 years ago for women executives. I am listed as another card holder off the main card so I need her authorisation to do some things. So in Copenhagen I found in my wallet the equivalent of £28 in UAE dirhams left over from a trip to Abu Dhabi nearly 2 years ago. Was I lucky I still had it. It was enough to pay for train fares whilst I was there.

So now the second new card has come but I can’t use it. Another trip to the money machine to authorise it!

The answer for the future? Two cards both in my name

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