May I spend money, please?


Prior to traveling in Mongolia and China in April ’05, I called Orchard Bank to tell them that I would be using their MasterCard while overseas. Even with that, it didn’t work in the ATM in Beijing nor anywhere else, for that matter! I also had a TJX Capital One Visa card and a debit card, however, and both worked fine.

The same MasterCard did not work on a trip to the “Stans” the following month, although, again, my Capital One Visa card did work. In fact, in the Sheraton in Tbilisi I got both local currency and U.S. dollars at an ATM which dispensed both. I also got money from the bank in the hotel’s lobby.

On my return to the U.S., I canceled the Orchard Bank MasterCard.

By the way, there are things to buy in Georgia. The wool socks and hats are good buys. Three of us spent $60 on postage to mail a 10-pound package home.

Prior to a 2-month trip to South America in October-November ’05, I called Capital One to inform them I would be traveling. I was told I would have to call and renew the reminder at the end of the first month. I said I would be in Easter Island and was NOT going to lose any time from my tour trying to find a phone, and if they couldn’t okay a 2-month usage, I had other cards I could use instead. They changed their minds and waived that requirement.

SAMANTHA SARTAIN

Colorado Springs, CO