Stranded on Bali and ATM swallowed my card debacle

JimboJJ

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May 31, 2020
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Hello all, I'm an American Expat living in Thailand but currently stuck on Bali. Yesterday I used my credit card at at Commonwealth ATM here in Seminyak and the ATM swallowed (did not return) my card. So first thing next morning I went to the Commonwealth Branch here and they said they could do nothing and the card would be destroyed. They use a 3rd party to service their ATMs :-(

So then a big big hassle and maximum stress (especially being stranded it is my lifeline) to get a new card sent and now I will get a new card from my bank in a few days but I want to make sure that the next ATM I use will be a bank that has a policy to open the ATM and return the card in case this catastrophe ever happens again. Anybody ever have their card swallowed and the bank had good customer service and returned the card? Name of Bank please?

I don't trust ATMs now (I have to be ultra careful being stranded) and wish I could just go to a bank teller and give them my card and the bank do it avoiding the ATM altogether (maybe I'll try that). Thank you all
 

Balifrog

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Hi Jimbo,

May I suggest you have 2 ATM (or CC) cards on 2 different accounts.
I had my CC cloned twice in Bali in 2 years, and was happy to have a 2nd card waiting for the renewal of the "main" one.
 

dafluff

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The only time I got my ATM card back right away is when I lost it in the ATM right outside of the bank I actually bank with, so they knew it was my card and just waited for me to realize and come back.

The other times, even if it was same ATM card, same bank, but different branch, they couldn't help me and had to issue a new card.
 

JimboJJ

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Hi Balifrog, thanks I should have carried a 2nd card. I do have another card but is is a Debit Card issued by a big Thai Bank but it doesn't work in any ATMs that I've found. I had about 10,000 Thai baht cash and exchanged some of that to get me by the exchange rate was horrible for THB. The rate on the internet ifor 1 THB is 462 IDR and the rate I got at the Kuta Money Exchange was only 300. Other money exchanges here on Bali do not even want Baht.
 

JimboJJ

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Thanks Dafluff, Yes I plan to find an ATM that is in the foyer of the branch. I am also emailing several Banks (Mandiri, BNI, Permata etc..) to find out what their policy is towards ATMs that swallow cards i.e. do they destroy the card or will they get it back and return it to the customer. The Commonwealth bank will not return cards because their ATMs are serviced by a 3rd party (how convenient for them). In the old days we used to be able to go to a teller and get a cash advance straight from the teller. Could be wrong but I doubt if they do that anymore?? Being stranded you are always living on the edge.
 

Balifrog

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. In the old days we used to be able to go to a teller and get a cash advance straight from the teller
Yes I remember that. It was called "cash advance" or something like that.

But last time I did that was over 20y ago.....
 

scouser59

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You might try BCA on raya kuta ,they used to have a "cash advance " service on various credit cards debit cards etc ,a few years ago ,I dont know if it is still functioning ,its on the right side just b4 central parkir .
 

R Cameron

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I don't trust ATMs now (I have to be ultra careful being stranded) and wish I could just go to a bank teller and give them my card and the bank do it avoiding the ATM altogether
I have done that at BCA, I don't recall they called it, but there was no fee and the exchange rate was the same as using an ATM.
 

JimboJJ

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You might try BCA on raya kuta ,they used to have a "cash advance " service on various credit cards debit cards etc ,a few years ago ,I dont know if it is still functioning ,its on the right side just b4 central parkir .
Thanks for the tip Scouser I will check it out
 

snpark

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Hotels also used to do it but max $250 a day. Usually you have to be staying there as a guest and mostly the 5* ones. Your card company also does emergency cash advance and can wire you money through WUMT etc
 

Jaime C

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Having lesser currencies while traveling, can make things difficult. I always try to have USD. Euros would also be good.

I generally carry at least 3 cards that I can get money with. The last thing you want to be is that broke Bule begging for money! :)

I also try to time my money exchanges whenever possible. In January and February, the rate seemed a bit high (compared to USD). I waited until late March, when it was in the 16500 range to change 6 months worth.
 

fastpitch17

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My wife had her US card eaten in a Mandiri ATM. Called the number on the ATM and no answer. Went to her Mandiri Bank and explained to CS what happened and she needs the card back. It was then we leaned that all the ATMs are contracted out and her card would be removed from the bin and destroyed. No, that wasn't going to fly so she demanded since the name oon the ATM says Mandiri, they contact the vendor and have them find and return her card. She filled out a form. We figured it gone so just in case who knows would get their hands on it, we canceled the card and had another sent to her. Next day, Mandiri CS calls her. They have her card. Of course, we didn't tell them we had canceled it but did explain how grateful we were for the excellent service. 4 weeks later, had a new card. Good it wasn't her only one.
 

snpark

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Yeh nothing worse than when you lose a card, cancel it, order a new one, then find the old one. Lol

Sometimes useful to keep a spare "supplementary" card. Or as with BCA I have the Black visa and Black MC, both operate off same account, limit etc etc but at least I always have one if I lost the other.
 

Banana72

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I'm thankful that when I tried using my Chase card on an ATM in Vietnam it went successfully (except for the fee...)..I did have my card eaten by an ATM (Maybank). Left in a hurry and the beeping must've been quite soft as I didn't remember hearing it...(nothing like BCA's beep...which is loud!), realized after a couple hours but the machine took it by then. Still I went to the branch, had them canceled...took them about a day and a half to get a replacement (Private Wealth...not sure if it's that quick for regular card..but I got my replacement free of charge).
 

Helpful Herbert

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Having lesser currencies while traveling, can make things difficult. I always try to have USD. Euros would also be good.

I generally carry at least 3 cards that I can get money with. The last thing you want to be is that broke Bule begging for money! :)

I also try to time my money exchanges whenever possible. In January and February, the rate seemed a bit high (compared to USD). I waited until late March, when it was in the 16500 range to change 6 months worth.
Good timing - it is now "a bit high" again, back to 13900
 

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