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Emergency Cash
I was surprised to find it quite difficult to get emergency cash today, though I'll admit it was almost directly related to my own laziness. My primary checking account didn't have enough, so a regular trip to the ATM wouldn't work. I should have transferred money earlier this week but I forgot with work occupying my mental faculties.

So how else do you get large amounts of emergency cash? My first thought was to access my backup account, but I don't carry that ATM card around, and even if I had it, I didn't have the PIN.

My next thought was to get a cash advance on a credit card. However, cash advances usually come with horrendous interest rates, so I never bothered to memorize or set PINs for those either. I tried calling one credit card to get a PIN, but they would only mail it, which isn't so useful when you're in a pinch.

Then I tried calling another bank to get a PIN for another card. After validating my phone number with the automated system, it requested the number for the account I use to pay. Since I was on the airplane about to take off, I didn't have that so I had to wait until I landed so I could go on-line to look it up.

After locating the account number, I called the automated system again and after providing my account number, they requested my phone password. I didn't know that either so I had to connect to their fraud department and explain the situation. Once they determined that I was who I claimed to be, I asked to change my PIN and they said they can only mail PINs. I asked for the automated PIN system and they said they didn't have one (obviously they did as that's how I got into the system in the first place).

After I hung up, I remembered my password so then I called the automated line again and went through the whole process again and finally changed my PIN. Happy that I'd finally gotten a PIN, I went to the ATM to withdraw cash, only to have the ATM tell me my card had been deactivated.

I called the bank again and they said that when I called before, they had entered my cell phone as my primary contact (which it should have been already) and that got registered as a change to the account. With a large cash withdrawal attempted soon after an account change, the fraud detection system had locked my account.

In order to clear it up, they had to verify my phone number again, then verify the account I used to pay again. The problem was that I was at the ATM, not at home, so I had to drive home with the service rep on speakerphone to get the account number yet again. Finally they cleared everything up. I made another trip to the ATM and thankfully got my cash.

Phew, what an ordeal!
Posted 02/27/2009 00:18 AM in Finances, Ramblings | Total Comments: (1)
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Discover at the supermarket
I believe Discover lets you cash out extra money up to 50 bucks at the supermarket, but that doesn't help with large amounts of emergency cash. Just gotta be prepared, I guess.
Submitted by Dan on 03/08/2009 10:01 PM

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