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Here’s What To Expect If You’ve Lost a Debit Card Abroad

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:

BankPossible?General Delivery TimeExpedited Fees, DeliveryTo Ho Chi Minh City
Bank of AmericaYes10 business days$15 for five days through UPS4 business days expedited
Capital One Yes. Free for branch accounts, $25 for 360 accounts7-10 business days$0, 2-4 business days; no expedited delivery option for 360 accounts No estimate
Chase YesNo delivery estimate available since it can vary drastically by country1$5, no estimate delivery time availableNo estimate 
Citibank Yes  Not provided$0, 2-4 business days2-4 business days
DiscoverNo — — —
Schwab Yes2 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
Wells FargoYes3 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

 

1 footnote

  1. One actual quote to Georgia was 14 business days.
Here’s What To Expect If You’ve Lost a Debit Card Abroad via @maphappy
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