If you lose your credit card overseas, there are three main things you should do:
It’s easy to panic if you misplace your card. However, try to remain calm and focused. Losing your credit or debit card is an inconvenience, but it can be resolved.
Lock your card
Most banks and major credit card issuers allow you to lock or freeze your card for free. This is typically done through a banking app/website, or by calling your provider. Blocking your card gives you time to retrace your steps in case you’ve misplaced your card. If you do find your card, you can easily unblock it via the app or by calling your provider again. However, if you’ve still unable to find your card, cancel it altogether.
How to cancel a credit card
The big banks each have a different method you must follow to cancel a credit card when overseas. Here are the following steps for cancelling a credit or debit card with your bank.
- ANZ: access the goMoney app, click ‘manage cards’ and select which card you’d like to cancel. OR, call ANZ on +64 9 522 3010
- ASB: log in to the ASB mobile app and select ‘more’, tap ‘cards & devices’ choose the card you need to cancel. OR, use FastNet Classic internet banking and select ‘replace card’ from the ‘open & apply’ page. OR, call ASB on +64 9 306 3000
- BNZ: call BNZ on +64 4 4735 901
- Kiwibank: log on to the Kiwibank mobile app, go to ‘cards’ and choose the card you want to cancel by selecting ‘cancel’. OR, call Kiwibank on +64 4 473 1133
- The Cooperative Bank: contact MasterCard Global Service on 1800 627 8372 (if in the US) OR on 001 636 722 7111 (if outside the US)
- TSB: click on ‘card manager’ from the TSB mobile app or online banking and select which card you’d like to cancel. OR, call TSB on +64 6 968 3700
- Westpac: log in to Westpac One online banking and select which card to cancel. OR, call Westpac on +64 9 914 8026
Most banks will allow you to request a replacement card while cancelling your missing card.
File a Police report
In many cases, especially if you believe your card was stolen, it’s a good idea to file a police report. This can be useful for documentation and may be required by your card issuer or insurance company.
To file a police report, go to a local station and explain your situation, they will be able to guide you from there.
Alternative payment methods
Replacement cards can take a few days to arrive, especially if you are overseas. However, you’ll still need money to pay for food, transport and accommodation. Here are some options while you wait for your replacement card to arrive.
If you have any foreign currency, you’re in luck. While cash is less convenient than a bank card, it’ll still allow you to cover the basics, depending on how much you have. Budget your cash carefully and be sure not to misplace it.
Travel money card
Prepaid travel money cards are a safe and affordable way to travel. These cards are widely accepted, you can lock in an exchange rate before you go, and if they are lost or stolen they can be replaced easily.
The best travel money cards have low transaction fees and offer currency exchanges at the interbank rate. That’s the rate that banks use when trading foreign currency, with a mid-point used between the buy and sell rates across two currencies.
Travel money cards allow you to load up currency online, anywhere at anytime, making it a solid option if you lose your credit card.
What if I lose my travel money card?
If you lose or misplace your travel money card, contact your travel money card provider immediately. They will cancel your existing card and issue a replacement. Alternatively, your provider may be able to arrange for emergency cash in the local currency (up to the value remaining on your card) almost anywhere within the world, typically within a few hours.
Compare Travel Money Cards
Headed off overseas and looking for the best in money cards? Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular cards in New Zealand:
The display order does not reflect any ranking or rating by Canstar. This information is not an endorsement by Canstar of travel money cards or any specific provider. Information correct as of 20/09/23. For full pricing details see individual providers’ websites.
Some banks will allow you to use digital platforms, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, even if you lose your physical card. If you have reported your credit/debit card lost of stolen, your replacement card details will be automatically updated on your digital payment account. This ensures you can continue to make transactions without the need to activate your replacement card.
However, not everywhere accepts digital payments, so it pays to do your research before spending.
While overseas trips can be full of surprises, it can hurt your hip pocket if they’re of the nasty kind. That’s why travel insurance is important.
If your money is stolen while you are on holiday or travelling overseas, travel insurance can provide compensation.
The New Zealand government website SafeTravel recommends travel insurance for anyone taking a trip overseas.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.