173 votes

Job interview in London requires me to wire money to the travel agent. Is this a scam?

Based upon what you wrote, you are getting ripped off. It means you are the victim of a con. A UK emergency travel document is issued to British citizens only. They will never issue an emergency ...
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  • 83.5k
147 votes
Accepted

How do I insist that American hotels accept my employer's credit card for payment, instead of asking for personal credit card upon check-in?

The problem here is not the corporate credit card, but that you're trying to do this without a physical card. A credit card number is good enough to make a reservation, which is why the phone call ...
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  • 99.7k
127 votes
Accepted

My hotel "blocked" 5,000 dollars when I arrived and now is taking again the money

It is usual for hotels to put a 'block' (a deposit) on your payment card for the total amount, plus some estimated incidentials. On a credit card, this has little consequences (unless you are maxed ...
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  • 27.5k
117 votes

My hotel "blocked" 5,000 dollars when I arrived and now is taking again the money

I'm going to disagree with the other answers here, and state that the hotel didn't follow the correct procedure for charging your card, which is what has caused your problem. When you checked in, the ...
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  • 106k
73 votes

Gift of Travel: Way to get a gift card that works for any airline, but only airlines?

Indirectly. You can give them a voucher that tells them you will buy them a plane ticket of their choosing up to a given amount. Far more personal too than simply handing some precharged card.
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  • 8,203
71 votes

Do North American banks have a key phrase that allows customers to disable all security checks for using the card internationally?

No. Since the bank is the one that has to assume the risk of unauthorized charges (by law, your liability can't be more than $50), it doesn't matter that you are "okay with taking the risk," because ...
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  • 84.7k
70 votes

Why does custom officer stop me for carrying too many credit cards?

Immigration and Customs officials are generally on the lookout for anything that could be an indicator that a traveler is either carrying something illegal, or is bringing something in that may be ...
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  • 106k
55 votes

Booked a room 5 months ago, now hotel lowers the price, what can I do?

There are no rules that say a hotel has to refund money to already-booked patrons if they lower their prices. And you would certainly object if the hotel asked you for more money because 'prices had ...
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  • 57.9k
53 votes

What's the right answer to "Check, Savings or Credit" for an overseas card in Australia?

At point-of-sale terminals, cheque and savings transactions are processed through the domestic EFTPOS debit card system. As far as I know they only accept locally issued debit cards. Credit ...
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  • 6,315
48 votes

How to get a large amount of cash abroad if a debit card stops working?

My advice for anyone who wants to get out of a difficult situation is to not get in that situation in the first place. In this case, the easiest way would be to take a second debit card, or a credit ...
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  • 1,561
48 votes

Cashless visit to the USA?

There's a few places where you may encounter difficulties: Lots of people expect tips in hotel, especially bellhops (the people who will carry your luggage to your room or into your car). I'm not ...
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  • 47.6k
47 votes

Sending money to a friend stuck abroad without a debit card?

I second the comment by B.Liu. Make really sure this is not a scam. I once used Western Union to send money to a relative abroad. They are still in business and so are several other providers. (...
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  • 32.1k
47 votes

Preparing in case ATM/debit cards might go missing during a long trip

This is a fairly simple approach, but I have a couple of different cards (including ATM/debit and credit) from different banks (which also helps with ATM compatibility issues). When I travel, I take ...
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  • 84.7k
47 votes
Accepted

Should I get a physical or virtual credit card to travel to Western Europe?

"Europe" is a big place. The situation regarding acceptance is going to vary significantly depending where you are. Where I am in Germany, contactless payments (either with a card, or mobile ...
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  • 10k
45 votes

Is American Express widely accepted in France?

For both historical and financial reasons, American Express acceptance in France is quite low. Visa and MasterCard were associated from the start with the CB program, so anywhere they take cards they ...
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  • 47.6k
45 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to travel abroad with only a prepaid Mastercard?

It's always a good idea to have at least two completely different and separate cards if you are travelling far from home: Some issuers will overzealously block your card "for security reasons" as ...
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  • 47.6k
42 votes
Accepted

Why do tourist businesses in Mexico give a big discount when paying in cash?

There are a bunch of legit reasons Save Credit Card Service fees (2%-3%) No risk of having to chase or eat a bad payment. Less paperwork However, I suspect the main reason is the same as in most ...
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  • 62.4k
36 votes
Accepted

Why do restaurants and cafes in Ukraine make a transaction on each food separately?

This is how they avoid taxes. In Ukraine, there's a special regulation for small businesses, called "Private Entrepreneur" (приватний підприємець or фізична особа-підприємець, abbreviated ПП ...
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33 votes

Are there any issues with using credit cards in Germany?

This question is from 2011 and things have improved, even in Germany. As of 2016 you can survive using credit card payments only, but there are still plenty of places that do not accept them. As a ...
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  • 25.9k
33 votes
Accepted

How to get a large amount of cash abroad if a debit card stops working?

Both Visa and MasterCard offer worldwide card replacement services for lost or damaged cards. There may have a fee attached, which will probably be taken from your bank account but as far as I can ...
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  • 1,130
31 votes

Recourse against bank ATM fraud in China

This has happened to me multiple times with local cards as well so I doubt they target foreign cards. Every time the police have helped me rather swiftly, provided me with a copy of the case ...
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  • 4,203
31 votes

Should I get a physical or virtual credit card to travel to Western Europe?

Having only a virtual card puts you one dropped/stolen phone away from having real trouble paying for things, possibly rather important things. Even a flat battery can make life difficult. I'd say ...
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  • 6,135
30 votes
Accepted

Is American Express widely accepted in UK?

Whether you have problems or not depends on where you are and what kind of shops you like to go to. In central London where I live and work, there is no problem, it is accepted as widely as any other ...
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  • 36.5k
29 votes
Accepted

Can a friend borrow my U.S. Debit Card with my consent?

Well first of all, as has been pointed out in comments, you will really want to trust your friend. He could run off with all of your money, not pay you back the full amount or lose the card. If all ...
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  • 25.9k
29 votes
Accepted

Using US "chip & signature" Credit Cards abroad in "chip & PIN" countries

Yes they will work just fine. I have the chip and signature cards and I have used them abroad successfully. The merchants will just give you the receipt to sign instead of having you enter your pin. ...
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  • 44.8k
29 votes

What if you don't bring your credit card or debit for incidentals?

Travelling without a credit in the US is difficult. It's almost impossible to rent a car. Some hotels will try to work with you, others will not. You may have to put down substantial amounts of cash ...
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  • 62.4k
29 votes

Can you use a virtual credit card to withdraw money from an ATM in the UK?

Alternatively to an ATM, you can ask for cashback in stores. The way this works is that after scanning your items, you can ask the person at the till for cashback of X amount (normally smaller ...
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  • 9,647
28 votes

Does Mastercard or American Express have more worldwide acceptance?

Mastercard, hands down. If you want a card to make payments abroad, your choice is between Mastercard and Visa, especially in Europe. Other cards are much less commonly accepted (and in fact quite ...
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  • 95.8k
28 votes

Will TfL's plan to close all Tube ticket offices affect (US) tourists?

Tourists planning to visit the UK can actually buy a Visitor Oyster card in their home countries, if they live in one of 24 countries where local travel agents sell the cards. For instance, people in ...
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