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Old 01-11-14, 01:31 AM
bicycle tourist
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
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Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

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Related issue: sometimes it is also useful to carry cards from more than one bank.

Prior to a trip I took through Ukraine and Russia, I notified my credit union of my travels so they could add a notation to my account. However, part way into Russia, the card stopped working at ATMs. I tried a bunch in different cities and each time declined. Fortunately, I had some cash to get me through. On my return, I inquired and apparently the credit union had a security breach that resulted in some numbers being stolen. After that, they placed a system-wide block on ATM use of those numbers in the eastern block. So it didn't matter that I had notation on my account, they had stopped processing any transactions under theory that there would be few legitimate uses compared to the security breach of illegitimate use. After that, I traveled with cards from two different banks.

Depending on where you go, it can also be useful to have a card tied to Mastercard network as well as Visa. There will also be a few countries such as Sudan where cards from US (or believe also European) banks will not work due to financial sanctions placed on the Sudanese government.
mev is offline