I'm from the new EU so my country's banks are not that advanced that they can offer me this feature. So this will be a nonresident account for travel money.

The solution I am looking for is like AMEX's Global Assist feature that they can wire you money in case of loss or theft instantly wherever you are. Yes, you can have the AMEX international dollar and euro cards administered from the UK but they require you an income level competitive enough even for Western Europe not to mention Eastern Europe, right? So I'm looking for a more hassle-free option.

The second best option is SwissBankers' TravelCash card. It's second best because they fedex you the replacement card but in 2 days, so what will you do until then? And the card is very difficult to get for nonresidents.

Also there are banks where the emergency cash feature is tied to your bank account. Maybe that's my route to take.

Any ideas for me?

  • 1
    I know you want something connected to your account, but have you considered to get travellers cheques? You can cash them in at every major bank. Your maximum risk is to need them on a Friday night and you have to wait until Monday morning when the banks open.
    – uncovery
    Jan 22, 2013 at 13:24
  • 3
    Travellers Cheques are from another era. They used to be a very nice option. Nowadays, they proof to be a hassle, with high costs and it can turns out that most banks do not even accept them anymore, or at least charge you even more money.
    – Jacco
    Jan 22, 2013 at 21:45
  • @intrepid What country are you from? This may have a bearing on what card you can get. Jan 24, 2013 at 1:04

3 Answers 3


We haven't received a response on what country this is relevant to. In such a situation, I can't give a country-specific answer.

Both Visa as well as MasterCard maintain a database of prepaid / travel card providers. Most prepaid cards are explicitly targetted for people who may not be eligible for normal banking services. Try to choose a credit card from a multinational travel agency, rather than from a country-specific bank, and you'll have a greater chance of getting some form of financial assistance when travelling abroad.


For a true emergency, carrying cash, hidden somewhere on your body/inside your clothes is still the best option. If it is hidden well enough, nobody will likely ever find it. The problem with any bank card / bank account option is that you will need the card or some form of ID to access your money. If you can hang on to those, you could as well (even easier) have some cash instead.

When I travel, I carry around cash. Hidden at two or so 3 places. I've met quite some travelers who do the same. You only need enough cash to last you long enough for renewed access to your bank account; so 2 or 3 days worth of emergency money should be plenty.
Common locations seem to be inside your shoes, inside belts, inside bras and in special pockets on the inside the leg of your trousers.

I've talked to people who have been drugged and robbed in South America, everything was stolen, except for their trousers and her bra (yes, shirts, shoes, passports, etc. were all gone). Yet, they had enough money to get to a hostel and wait for their emergency passports be made and money to arrive by bank.

  • 1
    Downvoted because this doesn't answer the OP's question. Cash is always an alternative of course, but some people may just like the convenience of plastic. Jan 26, 2013 at 22:49
  • 2
    @AnkurBanerjee Sometimes, the best advice is given by offering an alternative to the direction of thought presented in the question. Wiring money requires and ID. An ID nor Plastic is conviently hidden on your body and you'll need an option to bridge the time needed to get access to your funds again.
    – Jacco
    Jan 26, 2013 at 23:28
  • Quite true, and a great suggestion, but possibly best as a comment, as it's not an answer that the OP was after (he may already know about storing extra cash).
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 27, 2013 at 0:19
  • @MarkMayo, Comments only provide limited space. Also, answers that provide an approach different from what was asked are commonly upvoted, see travel.stackexchange.com/a/1058/248 and travel.stackexchange.com/a/1059/248 to name just two examples, both even on the same question. So this downvoting is not consistent, not in line with the guidelines and will lead to a self-censoring community.
    – Jacco
    Jan 27, 2013 at 11:48
  • @Jacco I didn't downvote, and please keep discussions of policy/site on meta or in the Travel Chat.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 27, 2013 at 20:59

At your local bank is it possible to send money to other (International) bank accounts (using an IBAN, for example) completely online, without needing to go into the office and sign papers? This is a common feature in most European banks and I use it often.

If so, then in the worst case scenario you can login to your bank from abroad and transfer money to a close friend or relative's account and have it in your pocket within 1-2 days. You could also open a new account in the new country you are in, but sometimes this is a bit difficult with paperwork.

  • While I upvoted, surely this wouldn't work if you're in a country where you don't know anyone to have it transferred to. And it's often impossible to open a bank account in a country without a residential address, so if you're visiting, that would fail as well.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 24, 2013 at 10:13
  • 1
    Sometimes, it's not possible to initiate a transfer from abroad besides the problem of opening a bank account for a short period being a problem too. Hence downvoted. Jan 24, 2013 at 12:51
  • 1
    I regularly initiate transfers from abroad, both from US, Dutch and Bulgarian) accounts. No problems there. The point of the question was, how do I get money in my pocket if I lose my wallet, and a bank transfer is one of the fastest and most reliable.
    – robrtc
    Jan 24, 2013 at 14:57
  • Actually no he asked about a bank account solution or travel money card. But I get your point. However I'd say that while I used to be able to transfer from my UK bank account, I can't initiate transfers online from my NZ OR my Canadian bank accounts. Certainly won't work for everyone.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 24, 2013 at 23:40

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