You are on vacation and visit an ATM to withdraw money for your vacation or work trip. But then, the machine displays the message that no traveler wants to see: “The machine has retained your card, “Temporarily out of service.” The non-working ATM has now trapped your card while you are on vacation or traveling for work. Now you find yourself googling, “What should I do if my card is stuck in an ATM?”
This happened to me in Bolivia – see my full story HERE. With no prior experience dealing with something like this. Add being in a new country, I found myself learning very quickly how to navigate this travel problem.
Hope my travel experience dealing with retrieving stuck ATM card internationally saves you time, stress and will prepare you for the worst of travel scenarios.
Stuck Credit Card Abroad
Here’s how you can handle a situation when your credit card becomes stuck in an ATM abroad. This step-by-step guide will teach you what to do if an ATM machine retains your card while you are traveling.
- How to report the problem
- How can you replace or retrieve your card?
- Other ways to access funds while traveling
Disclaimer: This What should I do if my card is stuck in an ATM? article may contain affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we receive a small commission on purchases made through these links. By making a purchase using these links, you are directly supporting and allowing me to continue providing you with free high-quality travel guides. Thank you!
ATM Card Retrieval While Traveling
Breath in, breath out. Yes, this situation is frustrating. Yes, this will mean extra time sorting out the problem, which no one wants to do on vacation. But trust me, we will find a solution!
2. Take Pictures
- Of the machine
- The telephone number to call
- The message that may appear on the screen.
These pictures will come in handy to show proof and/or make the report.
3. Take Notes
Write down notes:
- Of the location of the ATM
- The time and date the incident happened
- What your bank, ATM provider say along the way
Use these details to report this to the bank or ATM provider.
4. Call Your Debit Card
Contact your debit card customer service department and request they freeze your account. Additionally, explore the available options for replacing this card. Depending on the situation, a bank can expedite sending a card to your travel destination.
In my circumstance, sending a debit card to my home wouldn’t help. I was solo traveling after all and had 3 more months of my Latina Solo travel adventures. Regardless, I knew I would need access to cash. My bank recommended I visit the ATM bank provider to see if they could retrieve my debit card. They informed me that this would be the easiest way to access a card based on my travel situation.
5. Call ATM Bank
Call the phone number found on the ATM machine or the bank who owns the ATM. Wondering what bank owns the ATM? Most machines have their logo. Explain your situation and ask what steps you should take to retrieve your card.
My bank advised me to visit a branch in the city to report my issue. Every case will be different. My advice is to stay patient and be friendly with staff. This goes a long way in expediting situations like this.
6. Credit Card Withdrawal
Withdraw money from your credit card. Most credit cards provide a cash back option where you can withdraw cash. Make sure you set this up in advance and have it available to you.
TIP: Be sure to pay this cash back immediately as most credit cards charge a fee for this service and the interest rate is higher for this cash than their regular interest rate for other transactions placed on your credit card.
More Content On Smart Travel Money Strategies
These additional resources can help with financial planning for travel. The will provide you with additional money saving tips and step by step guides to the most unexpected of scenarios.
Best of luck and remember to not let this ruin your trip!
Disclaimer: This what should I do if my card is stuck in an ATM post may contain affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we receive a small commission on purchases made through these links. By making a purchase using these links, you are directly supporting and allowing me, a Latina travel blogger to continue providing you with free high-quality travel guides. Thank you!