Capital One Sends Me Across London To Get My Debit Card To Work

Lucky reader Twila is enjoying a European vacation right now. Only she has one sort of inconvenient problem: her Capital One debit card won’t work in many of the places she’s visiting. Like her hostel. And entire parts of London.

She writes:

I will try to keep this short and to the point. I live in Montana and have the good fortune to find myself vacationing in Europe right now. I was just in London, and my MasterCard debit card with CapitalOne 360 stopped working.

When I called CapitalOne, they said that they did not have a block on my card, that MasterCard was doing it “for security reasons”. I had tried 3 ATMs and 1 store purchase and they were all rejected. I asked if there was some MasterCard Overlord who I could call to straighten things out. No. The only advice they could give me was to take the Underground to a completely different part of town “to see if” I could get it to work there. Thankfully, it did. But never at my hostel.

What is that about? Have you heard of such a thing? If my own bank can’t clear me to use my card… odd, right ?

That’s why, even though these kids today don’t like credit cards and prefer to go debit card-only, it can be a good idea to carry a few different payment methods when you’re traveling. Just practice safe credit card spending. At least having multiple cards makes more sense than traveling to a random other part of one of the world’s biggest cities and making a purchase or a withdrawal just “to see if” your card happens to work there.