Count those blessings if you have Wells Fargo. Now about the other banks.
Despite common advice, it could be a good idea not to cancel a lost debit card right immediately (fraud is the exception, of course). Replacing debit cards overseas isn’t a straightforward process, and an active card can still be useful in obtaining cash and accessing funds. It really all depends: Some banks, like Wells Fargo, will bend over backwards to help a traveler in need, but Discover, despite their friendliness on foreign transaction fees, isn’t able to provide assistance of any kind.
Take it first-hand, no access to funds and running out of money is pretty much one of the worst things that can happen on a trip. (I’d put it right below getting robbed and kidnapped, but above missing a flight and losing a passport.)
To see if it was possible to get a replacement debit card abroad, we contacted all the major consumer banks for their policies (and asked how long it’d take to deliver to Ho Chi Minh City as a consistent example).
Please note that these timings are all estimates, since there’s often many different external factors at play, like customs. For instance, one Schwab user reported it took a week to deliver a non-expedited debit card to London, despite the time frame given by the company.
Only HSBC provided no response after repeated requests for more information.
Here’s a quick chart:
||General Delivery Time
||Expedited Fees, Delivery
||To Ho Chi Minh City
|Bank of America
||10 business days
||$15 for five days through UPS
||4 business days expedited
||Yes. Free for branch accounts, $25 for 360 accounts
||7-10 business days
||$0, 2-4 business days; no expedited delivery option for 360 accounts
|| No estimate
||No delivery estimate available since it can vary drastically by country
||$5, no estimate delivery time available
|| Not provided
||$0, 2-4 business days
||2-4 business days
||2 to 3 business days
||$15. Possible to issue a temporary card from VISA in 1-2 business days or a permanent card from Schwab in 2-3 business days.
||2 to 3 business days
||3 business days to Mexico, 4 to 6 business days to major cities in other countries
||$0. Debit can be rush shipped internationally via overnight courier if we have a location where the customer will be at the time of delivery, which can vary by location and customs requirements. If the customer is not staying in the same location for several days, a customer can obtain a temporary card from an international Visa office within 48 hours. This temporary card can only be used for purchases and cash advances. A permanent card would be shipped to their permanent address on file.
||4 to 6 business days
In an ideal world, wed all love to travel in business class. Business offers leg space, delicious food, the ability to sleep in an appropriate horizontal position and, most importantly, Champagne on tap – which all culminate in a very civilised flight experience. Sadly, money doesn’t grow on trees. But fear not: it is possible to swindle business class seats, minus the business price tag. Here’s how:
1. Join a frequent flyer program
Airlines offer upgrades to their most loyal flyers. To join a frequent flyer program, simply sign up online. If you don’t actually fly that often, get an airline credit card that gives you reward points for purchases- most credit cards will reward you a certain amount of points for money spent. The advantage of accruing miles via your credit card is that it generally gives results quicker than using a loyalty program; not everyone flies constantly but you’re probably going to be using your card every day. However, it is worth considering that these credit cards may charge an annual fee and of course, the benefits are maximized only if you pay off your balance on time.
2. Use your air miles for upgrades
If you’ve racked up air miles but not enough to earn elite status on your loyalty program, or you don’t have quite enough for a free flight, spend those points on an upgrade instead.
3. Check for last minute updates
Depending on availability, you can sometimes upgrade your ticket at a discounted rate roughly six hours before your flight time. Call your airline to see if any seats are available last minute in business class; the cost involved can be as little as $150.
4. Keep your finger on the airline pulse
Business class seats frequently go on sale, so keep your eye out for them by signing up to newsletter updates with your favorite airlines.
5. Consider your flight dates carefully
The prices of business class seats are dictated by supply and demand, so you’re more likely to secure a better price if you fly at a time other business class customers are not looking to travel. Beware of flying at weekends and school holidays!
6. Use a travel company to get the best deal
Booking flights and securing the best deals are second nature to travel experts so they’re in a fantastic position to get the best deal for you. Booking with a tour operator also means your flights will be protected with ATOL legal bonding, so that if you’re delayed etc. you don’t have to worry about making other arrangements; your travel expert is obliged to organize travel logistics for you.
7. Fly from another European city that offers better rates
For example, flying from Norway, the Netherlands and Italy to a long haul destination can be a lot cheaper in business class. This is because they don’t tend to fill the seats so easily from these points and also taxes are a lot cheaper.
8. Offer to be ‘bumped’
If you’ve got no pressing time constraints to reach your destination, offer to be bumped on an overbooked flight. You’ll usually be re-scheduled on another flight with business class seats and get a great experience.
9. Look fabulous!
Wear your Sunday best and smile. Dressing up smartly is an unofficial but often successful way to get upgraded to that business class seat. Compliment the attendants and put on the charm, but be sure to make it authentic!
I know that choosing what to pack for your trip to Europe can be stressful, so we’ve put together a European packing list that will help take the stress out of travel. This packing guide for Europe will cover everything from clothes and luggage to electronics and toiletries. This Europe packing guide will also have specific sections for summer travel and winter travel.