Safeguarding Shutdowns while Traveling

The American Express’s shutdowns from about a month ago rocked the community. Even though the total number of shutdowns was barely above the single digits, for about six hours, chat rooms, slacks, and forums lit up with discussion, data point sharing, and an impending sense of malaise. I was taxiing for takeoff for a week long international trip right when the news broke. Fortunately (?), I was able to stay connected with inflight WiFi to follow the drama in real time, and I was able to share in the myriad “what if” planning sessions that inevitably followed.

One of those “what if” scenarios was “what if I’m out of town with only one or two cards and I get shutdown?” There’s a simple mitigation:

Always carry cards from multiple issuers when traveling.

If I had been shutdown (I wasn’t), and if I only carried by American Express cards with me (I don’t), I’d have been in a rough spot. When I travel internationally, I carry a card from Chase, a card from Citi, a card from American Express, a card from US Bank, and a card from a local credit union. Some of those cards stay in my suitcase and some in my wallet. If and when I’m shutdown, I’ll be sad, but I’ll still be able to pay for things while I figure out next steps.

Special thanks to CF Frost for suggesting an article on this topic.

Occasionally adult advice from an occasional adult.

Related Posts