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Credit/Debit Cards (was) RE: [at-l] Re: questions for the upcomming thru-hike season.

Sorry if I am repeating something that someone else has said or was said in
the original, but I just picked up on the thread.

Note on credit card:  I don't use one now, but when I did, I was turned down
by the Georgia branch of the bank I had used for years.  Apparently some
credit cards only work within certain territories during "on duty" hours. As
the "customer service" office explained it to me, they could not "verify" my
card with my state's W******* central office since that office was down for
the weekend.  ???  Then, at the same bank, I once had the person who had my
power of attorney send a wire from our local W******* to one in Orlando: I
had car trouble in Disneyworld. The Orlando branch gave me trouble because
my bank was in South Carolina and not part of their W*******.  ???  Although
the W******* branch in Hot Springs had gone to great troubles to get me
extra cash when I needed it for a doctor and later when I needed it for meds
and still much later, when I decided to spend a couple of weeks in the Hot
Springs area -- by then I think they were thinking of me as family.  SO make
sure your credit card will work in all states and in all situations.  And
don't just take your local teller's word.

And don't take NO for an answer from the teller in front of you.  I had to
demand to speak to the local manager to finally get my money that was wired
to me in Orlando.  He was out on business.  And when he came back, he walked
right to where the wires would come in -- a basket behind the tellers.   He
checked the basket and found the wire right away.  After verifying the info,
he gave it to me, and sent me over to the tellers.  One still gave me grief.
And the manager came over and did the transaction himself.  I've got a
feeling there was at least one firing and some a**** chewed out.  Which I
felt guilty about. The point is that tellers do not always know and do not
always care; especially if you are not one of their regular custormers.

As to debit cards, if you've got someone at home who you can trust, have
them ready to add money to your "hiking" account every so often: You really
should open a seperate account from your regular money.  You don't want
someone "finding" your card and figuring a way to empty your account.  One
guy I know lost a lot because someone "peeped" over his shoulder and then
"found" his card. I understand some of these people can tell what you're
punching in by watching the way your fingers move.  And some pretend to be
bird watching with a good pair of binoculars.

My friends kept track of how much was in my "hiking" accounts and renewed
the money when it dropped to a certain level, and would put extra in if I
called.  And when I needed "cash" they would send me a Western Union or
arrange a bank draft.

As for all cards: Keep track of where you put them, and check often to make
sure they are there -- only not in front of anyone.  And never, ever walk
away without your receipt and carbons, etc.

Remember the old motto: In God We Trust.  And the addition to that: All
Others Pay Cash.

William, The Turtle

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Fowler [mailto:hikergrampie@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2002 11:57 AM
To: at-l@mailman.backcountry.net
Subject: [at-l] Re: questions for the upcomming thru-hike season.

Hi Paul, Sounds to me that you have done your homework. The meal idea
sounds good for a start anyway. I brought most of my food in trail towns
on my thru-hike last year. This gives you a oppertunity to change what
you want to eat along the way. What you are doing with your credit card
sounds O.K.. Have you considered a debit card? They may be a little more
flexiable when you want cash. As far as a sleeping bag, hace you
considered two bags? One for the start & end and another light summer
bag. I did that and it worked well for me. Good luck on your hike,


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