Don’t travel with Chase

Calling your bank to pre-authorize credit cards for spending in a foreign country is pretty standard practice.  Looks like Chase isn’t quite with the program.

I have been traveling internationally for several months. Prior to my trip, I provided my banker with a list of places and dates so that I could still use my cards abroad. He said that everything would be fine.

So why were my cards promptly cancelled after my first transaction abroad, I wonder. Without contacting me, Chase issued a new card to my address in the States, and claimed that my current card was compromised (it wasn’t).

I called and got the run-around, but after spending all day on the phone, I got my card reactivated. The next day I attempted to make a transaction, and my card was swallowed by the ATM, citing that the card had been marked lost or stolen.

In order to retrieve my card from the foreign bank, I needed Chase to send a fax saying it was OK. But of course, Chase doesn’t do that sort of thing because they don’t have the right form.

So here I am right now, stranded in a foreign country, with no access to my money to pay for food, accommodation, transit or a flight home. I have been reduced to relying on the kindness of strangers in order not to starve. All because this bank is staffed with people of baffling, incredible incompetence.

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