When you are about to embark on a journey, you should concern yourself not only with your itinerary and accommodation. Taking the precaution of keeping safe your credit card or cash is also crucial, if you want your trip to be hassle-free. Nothing can be more frustration on your journey than suddenly finding yourself without means to pay for your expenses. 

As many countries are notorious for mistreating tourists, this is not a hypothetical exhortation to keep a close eye on your wallet. In Poland, Thailand, Mexico, Turkey, Egypt, and many African countries, you can be duped with such a sleight of hand and dexterity that you will not even realize you were a target of somebody’s trickery. You can become a victim of unfair currency exchange deals, overcharging, or plain robbery. However incredible it may sound, but on the streets of many foreign counties, your belongings, cash, and credit cards can be stolen from you in broad daylight. Or your hotel room can be ransacked, while you are outside sightseeing a town.  

Losing your credit card is by far the worst predicament, when you are travelling overseas. While you are in possession of your credit card, you can repair the loss of your cash, luggage, and smartphone. But without your access to your bank account and ATM, you will be immobilized. For chances are that you rely mostly on your credit card to pay for your transportation, a hotel room, rental car, and food. Even if you took care to choose the best credit card for international travel before departing, all its benefits will be of no use to you, when it gets stolen. 

But do not despair. There is a way out of the most depressing situations, and in the paragraphs below, we will explain to you what to do, when your credit card is snatched from you in a foreign country. We will elaborate on a few steps that you need to take to protect yourself from liability for unauthorized charges and to make sure you can continue paying for your expanses. 

The first precaution should be taken even before you leave your home country. You do not need to become paranoid and assume the worst during your trip, but, as the proverb goes, forewarned is forearmed. Therefore, minimize the possible damage by writing down your credit card information or photographing its front and back. Keep these notes in a secure place, separate from your wallet so that they do not get stolen together with your credit card. 

For extra safety, know the exact addresses of embassies and consulates of your home country in those places where you are travelling. Registering your itinerary with your country’s consular service will also help, if your worst fears get actualized. What is also important is to look up the international contact number for your credit cards or find their numbers in those countries which you are visiting. Specialists also advise never to travel with only one payment option. Keep one of your cards in a separate place for emergency cash or buy some currency before you hit the road. Another good idea is to obtain a prepaid card and put some amount on it so that you can use this money for your purchases. 

When you discover that your credit card was stolen, you need to call the issuer of your card as soon as possible. As a rule, the number of the issuer – Discover, Wells Fargo, Chase, Citi, American Express, or Capital one - is written on the card or, if you had not jotted it down beforehand, you can search for it on the internet. After you have reported the loss of your card, ask your bank for emergency card replacement or cash. It is of paramount importance to inform your bank that your card was stolen straight off, before any charges are made. In this case, you will not be held responsible for charges made by a thief. Within two business days, you are legally liable for up to $50 for any fraudulent charges. If you report a theft later than two business days, your liability will be as large as $500. 

Some of the banks will help you out by generating for you a virtual credit card number and mobile payments. Although land-based shops will not accept your virtual credit card number, you can use it for shopping online. If you are traveling in a country with good delivery services, you can order food and local attractions through the internet. Uber also accepts virtual credit card numbers and thus can facilitate your transportation within a city.  Other banks or credit card issuers may offer you emergency credit card replacements or emergency cash advances. Or they will generate a new card number for you to use over your smartphone or Apple Watch.  You will add this new number to your digital wallet and will continue spending. 

If you take necessary safety measures before leaving your home and follow all the above-mentioned steps in the event of a theft, losing your card in a foreign country will cause you a bit of a headache but will never ruin your trip. Armed with these pieces of advice, you will still be able to enjoy your journey in a good mood and with a smile on your face.