[pct-l] Paying Bills While Thru-hiking

Bob Bankhead wandering_bob at comcast.net
Tue Nov 4 09:28:35 CST 2014

Tortoise is spot-on! 

Call the number on the back of each of the credit cards you are taking with
you. Ask them to place a travel advisory on the card. Tell them the time
periods and locations to which you will be travelling. If you anticipate
larger than normal expenditures, also ask them to place a balance advisory
on the card. You might also inquire about raising your credit limit to the
maximum possible without having to undergo a credit check, which takes time.

It is also possible to make an advance payment on the card before you go.
You can then draw against that amount while you're on the trail, knowing
your card will not be declined because you exceeded your credit limit or a
monthly statement was not paid. At the least, pay off any existing balance
in full before you leave, even if it is before your normal statement date.
This gives you the card's full credit limit with which to work while on your

If you also carry a bank debit card (or a credit card that allows cash
advances), re-evaluate your current maximum daily limit on withdrawals and
make any needed upward adjustments. 

Make a copy of each card number, security code, and customer service
telephone numbers listed on the back. Carry this copy somewhere other than
where you carry your cards. You'll need them if you lose one of the cards.

What financial resources to carry with you?

1) plastic: I have found it wise to carry at least two plastic cash sources
- usually my VISA and my bank debit card - at all times. I never know when I
might suddenly need more cash than I usually carry. 
2) $100 in cash - nothing larger than a $20 bill. I carry mostly $5 and $10
3) a $10 roll of quarters - they are worth their weight in gold for pay
toilets, showers, laundromats, and telephones (if you can find one that
works). Also good for opening/closing bear cans. 
4) Cashier's checks are almost impossible to cash due to counterfeiting. 
5) a telephone credit card or pre-paid calling card; VISA does not allow its
cards to be used for telephone calls from pay phones, and you won't always
have cellular service on trail.

-----Original Message-----
From: pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
On Behalf Of Tortoise
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2014 5:48 AM
To: Tim Umstead
Subject: Re: [pct-l] Paying Bills While Thru-hiking

Another suggestion. Contact your creditors especially credit card issuers to
let them know you will be gone for a while. This will ease the situation if
you have problems. Alerting your card issuers may prevent fraud alerts when
your usage  changes and  charging pattern changes. 

You can also leave sign checks with a trusting person who can use them to
pay reoccurring bills.


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