Travel Advice: when cards stop working abroad

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Travel Advice: when cards stop  working  abroad insurance

We are all so used to flashing credit or debit cards to pay for things that when it does not work, it is a shock. There is nothing worse than being abroad and your card stops working or is stolen. How do you get money as quickly as possible?

One of the reasons cards can stop working is if a hotel, car rental company or other tourism product provider has put a block on an amount to pay the bill or hold as a deposit and it may push you over your limit.

If a hotel asks for your credit card on check-in be sure to ask them how much are they blocking on your card and when will it be released. It should be on departure, but that is not always the case. I have heard of cases of people’s cards being blocked for weeks. Watch the deposits that car rental companies are taking: they can be substantial, up to €1,000.

There are a number of money-transfer services, where a family member or friend can transfer cash to you to be collected where you are. The best-known and longest standing service is Western Union. You can transfer money online using a credit or debit card and it will arrive in minutes. There is a cost: sending €500 will cost €24.90.

There are many Western Union outlets in over 200 countries. An Post is a Western Union partner and you can send and receive cash from most post offices around Ireland. The service is efficient and fast.

If you are in dire straits the Irish Embassy or consul may be able to assist. They will contact a family member or friend and can ask them to forward money to you or pay for your travel home. Download the Travelwise app to your phone. It has travel safety advice and contact information for Irish embassies.