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Cash Passport-Travelex nightmare, ruined trip

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Barcelona, Spain
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3 posts
3 reviews
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Cash Passport-Travelex nightmare, ruined trip

Here's how travelex ruined my holiday.

It's a highly incompetent team with a lot of excuses and a lot of "can I put you on hold please?" on a system they don't even understand.

First time my card was blocked I booked a holiday flat in London, the booking got cancelled by the owner and after a couple working days I got the refund, I made a new booking that didn't go through, my card was blocked.

Without any notice they blocked my card on the grounds of suspicious activity, that been the refund I got from the flat that got cancelled and me trying to spend it again.

Second time I loaded my card in Paris and when I tried to use it (make a guess) blocked again!

I was in central France and got asked to go to Paris to get a new card because there have been suspicious internet transactions in France and the card number might have been "compromised", I read about it on the news and my spanish bank told me that a huge breach had taken place and many card numbers were exposed.

All my trip money was on that card of course I had to travel, a trip to Paris is expensive, train, restaurant and Paris is huge you need the whole day to run a single errand.

I got a new card and it lasted 1 day, it was blocked again then I received a call from the anti-fraud department asking for apologies but it's a new procedure now for the safety of the cardholders I was asked to make a new account and get a new card, again, I was like, this can't be possible... I was told my balance would be transferred and I'd get to use it as my previous one. Once again, a new card, bankers

A week later I'm in Finland, first time I try to use my new card guess what?

My €2000 were blocked from internet transactions without giving me any notice, I find this out 2 days before I have to check-out making a new booking so I literally have no place to stay. It was a desperate situation, I lost my flight ticket because I couldn't complete the flat booking.

I spent a great amount of time and money on the phone with incompetent people, 34 minutes equivalent to €20 on a call that resulted in nothing, a real nightmare.

I think they make money from the phone calls, they were just trying to comfort me but not solving anything: "I understand your situation, please hold in line ... thanks for holding, it really means a lot, I understand this is upsetting but unfortunately I'm unsure if there's anything I can do, let me ask my superior, please hold in line".

Every card with the same first 6 digits of my card have been blocked, but wait, I had just been told to get a new card for that same reason, why in earth would they give me a new card that was already blocked? Unthinkable

Please BOYCOTT, that's my advise, you don't need to add that amount of stress to your life.

I had to cancel part of my trip, it's very sad.

Paris, France
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16,583 posts
19 reviews
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1. Re: Cash Passport-Travelex nightmare, ruined trip

Why didn't you just use your own debit card? These cards are known to be a bad deal.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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10,884 posts
105 reviews
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2. Re: Cash Passport-Travelex nightmare, ruined trip

Thank you for the detailed review of the card. People here have mentioned before that it's a bad idea, but no one said much about why. Now we know why. I'm so sorry you spent your vacation mostly managing your card, that should have been the easy part of the trip.

They probably make money by holding your money until you spend it. On the other hand, it just sounds like basic incompetence (no surprise to me there). Even with my own bank, I have had a card work one time, then get a hold for suspicious activity (after making sure they absolutely had the notation for overseas use), and then have to call again. Fortunately, one call to the Fraud folks will do it and we've never had our own bank card be so difficult to use.

Many of us have a debit card that's just for travel - I think that's a good way to go.

Le Bugue, France
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14,097 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Cash Passport-Travelex nightmare, ruined trip

Sounds like a nightmare, but that's Travelex for you. Those prepaid cards are a rip-off from the get-go. A regular old ATM debit card is always the best way to get funds while traveling in Europe.

Paris, France
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25,245 posts
32 reviews
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4. Re: Cash Passport-Travelex nightmare, ruined trip

There are dozens of prepaid cards now in every country. One should study all of the internet sites that compare them before making a decision. From what I have read, it seems that it is best to buy one of the cards in the country where you plan to spend the most time, because at you theoretically will not have any problems there at least.

Next year, another new card is going to be sold by the tabacs in France with very low fees since it is aimed at people who have been banned from having a bank account -- rechargeable over the internet like just about all of these other cards.

5. Re: Cash Passport-Travelex nightmare, ruined trip

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Montreal
Destination Expert
for Paris
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18,647 posts
148 reviews
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6. Re: Cash Passport-Travelex nightmare, ruined trip

Visa credit card and some cash are good to have when travelling, and it is best not to rely on a single mode of payment.

New Hampshire
Destination Expert
for Paris
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20,949 posts
25 reviews
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7. Re: Cash Passport-Travelex nightmare, ruined trip

I would guess that the Travelex fees and charges are higher than any bank issued debit card.

I'm wondering how one would recharge a card over the internet without a bank account?

Paris, France
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25,245 posts
32 reviews
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8. Re: Cash Passport-Travelex nightmare, ruined trip

You can get people who do have a bank account to recharge your card. This card is also aimed at 'children' in difficulty.

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Mauritius, Grand Baie
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20,199 posts
1,627 reviews
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9. Re: Cash Passport-Travelex nightmare, ruined trip

Maybe this problems would have been avoided if you had a regular credit card.

Florida
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17,082 posts
10 reviews
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10. Re: Cash Passport-Travelex nightmare, ruined trip

How do you pay for things in Spain? Only with cash, or do you use a bank card there? Curious to know how or why you would need a 'travel' card for other European countries...