Going Debit Card-less Abroad

like a good customer (and one who likes to avoid hassle), i notified my bank about my upcoming trip to Norway, Latvia, and Sweden. no problem, they said, except Latvia was on the block list (see below) of the underlying bank that powers their debit cards, “due to fraud risks and government regulations”. as i recall, last year either Turkey or Ukraine (i think it was Ukraine) was on the block list but i was fine because i still had my Bank of America account open in parallel (because Simple didn’t have check deposit yet — #startupbankproblems).

what to do, what to do. five days without easy access to cash!

i think my current plan of attack is: take $100 with me as a backup, but use the Express Cash program if i get my PIN in time, or else put money into my Bluebird account and use that instead. i will keep you posted. thoughts or advice appreciated!


as of today, the blocked country list for my bank is:

this is kind of sucky because several of these countries (Myanmar, Colombia, Lebanon, several countries that were formerly part of Yugoslavia) are on my to-do list. 🙁

Slovenia is surprising to me, though, since they’re now part of the Eurozone?

From a 2006 trip to Brussels

p.s. i’ve only ever been to Ljubljana (when i had a German bank account, so no ATM problems); it’s really lovely there!

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