Travelling card problems
I have been on so many different holidays over the years, and never had a “card” problem, so I guess in hindsight, I was about due. Any ways, this is what happened!
Unbeknown to us, our Bank decided to change the credit card promotion we were on, as the reward program Visa we had was no longer a current offer, and they were obviously trying to wind up a cost centre.
So, they sent us in the mail new cards, on the banks current frequent flyer Visa card. As this was a new program, our credit card numbers changed.
The bank did a redirect on our old card, for a month after they issued the new ones.
Of course, we are overseas at the time, on a 3 month holiday, so we don’t receive this mail.
On our last day in Kathmandu, about an hour before we need to leave for the airport to catch our flight to New Delhi, we try to pay our hotel bill, and, alas, the card is declined.
In a panic, we rush off and fire up the laptop thinking we need to transfer money, but balance is all OK?
No credit card taken here!
These guys don’t take credit card anyway!
So we ring our bank, from our hotel room. $100 later, we finally get to speak to a customer service representative, who advises us that , yes, our card has been changed to a new, better one.
Great, we said sarcastically, but we still need to use the old one. Sorry, nothing we can do about that, call Visa international on blah blah number if you want an emergency card, have a nice day.
Thanks for nothing National Australia Bank!
So we called Visa International, and were very relieved to find we didn’t have to wait in a queue.
Fantastic when you are calling from a payphone in Kathmandu!
They were keen to help, and offered us both an emergency card, as well as emergency cash!
Fantastic, how long will that take? -we asked. and how do we pay for our room bill, due in 10 minutes?
Fortunately, they were able to advise us the new visa card number, and we were able to pay the Kathmandu hotel with them inputting the number manually.
Next problem was were to send emergency cash and card to, as we were flying out within hours.
Unfortunately we were unable to advise where to send it all to, so they gave us a reference number, and a toll free phone number to call back on, once we got to a destination we were going to stay at for a couple of days.
We then flew to New Delhi, only overnighted there, and then on to Goa. This caused us to not be able to reach Visa again for two days, just because of flight times (early, late etc).
When we reached a hotel in Goa, we called them again, quickly got through, quoted our reference number, and got immediate offer of help.
This was 4pm so it would be too late to get cash that day, they would organise for the next day (that turned out was election day in Southern India, so banks were not open).
The nearest affiliated bank to Visa international, was at Margao, approx 1 hour from where we were in Calangute, but, what do you do, we were running out of cash!