I wanted to share my experience of when an ATM cash machine ate my bank card in Bangkok, Thailand.
Not an ideal situation to be in, but then again not all of my travels go to plan.
Things go wrong from time to time, and the best thing to do is to learn from your mistakes.
From missing a bus, discovering that all the shops are closed due to a public holiday, or finding out that all the hostels in town are sold out due to a festival, these things happen when you travel. Being prepared always helps.
My top takeaway from this post is to always travel with a primary card to use on your travels, such as a Curve card. Let me explain what happened.
It’s great to learn from the real-life experiences of others and become better prepared for the future. Plus, every mistake you make while travelling allows you to think on your feet and work out how to solve problems.
I’ll be honest though, it wasn’t a good situation to find myself in.
How an ATM Cash machine eat my bank card in Bangkok, Thailand
When travelling around Bangkok, Thailand, I always like to carry some Thai Baht (the local cash currency) around with me in my wallet.
In Thailand, local street vendors prefer cash payment, and I love to eat from the food carts on the streets of Bangkok for lunch as the local food is super tasty and affordable.
For this reason, I always like to carry some cash around with me for these types of transactions.
I prefer to use the ATM cash machines inside the shopping malls as it’s a safe place to do so. I found an ATM cash machine inside a shopping mall that was run by a local Thai Bank, and I used my UK bank card to make the transaction to withdraw some cash.
When I put my card in, typed my PIN and entered the amount I wished to withdraw, something strange happened after that.
No money came out, no receipt came out, and neither did my bank card!
I didn’t get a pop up message asking me if I wished to continue.
Immediately while I was waiting for something to come out of the machine, the LCD screen on the ATM returned to continue playing ads as it had always done before, it was as if I had not even used the ATM at all.
Well, this is bizarre!
Not only was I standing in Thailand without access to any bank card, but I also didn’t end up with any money either.
Always travel with a backup travel card such as a Curve Card
Neither did I have a second card I could use or any emergency cash tucked away; I was standing there looking at the machine, wondering what was I going to do next.
I hadn’t thought about this exact situation happening until it happened, which was one of the main reasons I wanted to share with you my story.
This is my story, and it wasn’t an ideal situation to be in.
If you lose your card when you travel, follow these steps
This is what you should do next if you find yourself in the same situation:
It’s possible that the card could have become jammed or stuck.
– Contact the bank that owns the ATM; they usually have a helpline phone number that can be found on the machine. They might have a maintenance team that check on the machine, and you can arrange to meet them to retrieve your card.
– It could be likely that the machine has been tampered with, and your card might be part of a scam. Immediately contact your bank to cancel your card so you can add a block to your account and avoid any further issues.
– Always travel with a backup card for cash withdrawals on your travels, such as a Curve card just in case this happens, you can have a way to access money on the road.
First of all, don’t forget to take a deep breath, everything will be fine.
It could be an ATM fault, or your card is flagged for security because it’s a foreign card in another country.
Or you might have misunderstood the language on the machine, or you’ve input the wrong PIN too many times.
Generally, ATMs connected to banks are your safest bet to use abroad and getting help as you can walk into the bank and talk to the staff directly about the issue to have it dealt with swiftly.
I would avoid any machines from third parties. They usually don’t charge you a reasonable exchange rate or might charge you extra for withdrawal fees on top of your banking transaction.
Apart from Japan, where the best machines to use are the Seven-Eleven machines for international tourists, international bank cards are hard to use in Japan. Still, the Seven-Eleven machines are located all over Japan and easy to locate.
Why should you get a Curve card to use when you travel
This is why I would always recommend travelling with a primary card such as the Curve card.
For those in the UK or any of the EEA supported countries, when you sign up to receive a Curve card, you will get a bonus £5 reward after your first transaction has been completed.
Not a bad bonus for that extra security you will have when you travel.
What I love most about Curve is that you no longer have to carry all your endless amounts of bank cards; you can combine all your Mastercards and Visa cards into one single card by using the app.
Keep your emergency backup card separate from your main wallet and Curve card. Usually, I keep my backup card hidden in my backpack.
Keeping it away from your wallet means that you still have your backup ready to use in your backpack if you lose your wallet.
And vice versa, if you lose your backpack, you still have the main card in your wallet.
Just be sure never to store your wallet in your backpack, as this can cause all sorts of confusion.
On my backpack, I keep an Apple Tag to track my backpack location from my phone if it ever goes missing or it becomes misplaced.
Having all these systems in place just helps to make the terrible situations just a slightly bit better.
After all, travel is fun and exciting. There is no need to be paranoid about having your items stolen; this is why it’s so important to have suitable travel insurance so if disaster strikes, you have some cover to get yourself back up again.
I’ve also found that many apps allow you to temporarily block or freeze your card if it’s been misplaced, which stops the opportunity of your card being used fraudulently, giving you enormous peace of mind.
Why not upgrade and get a metal Curve card?
Why not take your Curve card to the next level and unlock a whole host of extra features with Curve Metal. This is what you can get with a Curve Metal:
– an exquisitely crafted brushed 18g metal card to stand out amongst the crowd.
– Unlimited access to Fair FX for fair exchange rates across all your cards.
– Fee-free Foreign ATM up to £600 a month.
– Mobile insurance keeping your phone safe from accidental damage, loss or theft.
– Worldwide Travel Insurance.
– Access to discounted airport lounges around the world.
(All the above features are subject to terms and conditions and may change from time of writing).
Loads of additional features that you can unlock with a monthly fee which, after set up, you can update your free Curve Blue card to A Curve Metal Card.
Thank you for reading my blog post about an ATM eating my bank card
Thank you for visiting my blog and reading about when an ATM cash machine ate my card in Bangkok, Thailand.
If you haven’t got yourself a Curve card yet, I would highly recommend using them on your travels.
You can unlock all the bonus features when you upgrade to a Curve Metal to use on your travels.
I hope you found this article helpful and learned a lot, and I hope you can avoid making the same mistake that I made on my travels.
This blog post was put together in collaboration with Curve.
Have a great future travel trip.