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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Banking on the road



Just before hitting the road I contacted the two different banks that I have debit cards from. Well, I learned some things at the last minute that I probably should have known earlier.

One bank had changed their security policies. Before you go traveling, most banks want to know where you expect to be going. I tell them all over the United States. If you don't you are likely to discover your debit card shut off when you try to buy gas at 2 a. m.. While I was aware that my bank did that I didn't know that the notifications are now only good for 60 days.

They need a separate notification if you going to leave the United States -unless you go to Canada. Apparently they don't think Canada is a foreign country.

The debit card from the second bank had never been used, but it's actually a better card to travel with as they reimburse debit fees. My problem is that I forgot the pin number. That's where it got interesting. While I could activate the card on the phone, pin numbers had to be changed in person. Don't worry they said, you can change it at any branch. Great, except they only have branches in New England. That does me little good in Florida.

On our way out of town I stopped in at the bank to get the pin changed. As part of the process I had to do an ATM withdrawal but only after 20 minutes and no later than 24 hours. Believe me, I used the card soon after to make sure the activation really happened.

Sounds complicated, but it's impractical to carry enough cash to for months of travel. Not only that, if for some reason police search your car and find big wads of cash they will confiscate it. Carrying large amounts of cash is considered a suspicious activity. Good luck on getting that money back. Even with that in mind, I do carry some cash as everyone takes cash.

-Sixbears

16 comments:

  1. When I travel I carry enough cash for fuel to get from point A to point B just in case the debit card chokes on me. It only took once being two tank fulls from home and that was enough.

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    1. Nothing like learning the hard way for a lesson to stick.

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    2. Learning the hard way is the typical modus operandi for me. I'm lucky the Good Lord isn't finished with me yet or I'd of been gone a long time ago. On the other hand, He could be keeping me around to serve as an example to others as how not to do it. ; >)

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  2. helped a lady on the road. her credit card wouldn't work.
    gave her gasoline to get home.
    she mailed me the money because she was honest.
    turns out her credit cards had been together with her cell phone. apparently the phone wipes the cards so they don't activate.
    i have been glad for that info several times when i could have made a big mistake.
    i suppose it is common knowledge but neither of us knew it! dangerous with no cash on hand when on the road far from home!
    keep some cash somewhere in the car and on your person always.

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    Replies
    1. Good tip about the cell phone. Thanks! My lovely wife helped someone with credit card problems and was reimbursed too. There are honest people out there.

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  3. The cops will confiscate your cash if you have a large amount of it!?! You have to notify your bank if you leave your state!?! It's lucky you live in the 'land of the free' otherwise you might have serious human rights problems.
    The world my friends just gets madder and madder...

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    1. Every year in the US the reality of what we are and who we say we are gets further and further apart. That's a definition of insanity in my book.

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  4. Hmmm. Never knew that about debit cards. Thanks for the tip!

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    1. You are welcome. Your bank may have different rules, so it's good to contact them and find out exactly what they are.

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  5. Not too long ago, somebody called my son up in the Northern city where he and my daughter live. They said they were from my bank, and that his credit card from that bank was being cut off because it had been used up there.

    That didn't make any sense. But he went ahead and gave them the information they asked for. Then he called me. I went high and right and called the bank, and really raised hell.

    They said "that wasn't us." We had been scammed. They deactivated all four cards on that account and sent us all new ones, but I felt like a real jerk for losing my temper with the people at the bank. My son won't make that mistake again.

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    1. Right now I only pay attention to things claiming to be from my bank if it comes in the snail mail. That's one reason I refuse to go to completely electronic statements.

      Those scams can be pretty convincing. Got my e-mail account scammed last year and it was a real pain to get it up and running again. Just try and fix that sort of problem while constantly on the move. Had a hard time to convince them I was who I said I was.

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  6. Also don't keep your hotel door card next to your credit cards as it will erase them. I found that out the hard way. I had paid for the room with my credit card and when they gave me the door card I just naturally put it next to my credit card. Of course when I got to the room it wouldn't work. I imagine the same thing would happen putting the key card next to your cell phone.

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