I’m in Seoul right now and today when I tried to withdraw cash with my Debit Card this afternoon at a Citi Bank ATM, I got an error that said contact your financial institution. No way to get money in a foreign country. Great.

So I called BofA from Skype on my iPhone (which is an awesome app by the way). The representative I spoke with said their system is down until 5 am and to try back after that so they could help me. Great. I don’t quite get the reasoning that I have to call them back — shouldn’t they just verify my identity, fix my card’s status when the system comes back online, then email me a confirmation when the issue is resolved?

Luckily, I am with two friends and still have a little cash left, so don’t urgently need cash right now this second. But if I were traveling solo and needed the cash urgently, I would be ticked and SERIOUSLY screwed.

Every time I have traveled internationally, I’ve gotten my card shut off and had to call BofA. This seems like a case where BofA has gotten too big for it’s own good and put in place protected measures that are actually counterproductive and cause more problems than they solve. The whole thing is a BofA fail in my book. I’m thinking I need to put money in my Charles Scwaab account and use that debit card overseas from here on out…or just get rid of my Bank of America account entirely.

Update: I talked to BofA customer service again today and they said there is no record of my failed attempts to withdraw cash yesterday. So maybe this was just a case of CitiBank ATM machine failing for my transactions but not my friends. Not really sure. But if writing this post was premature of me, my bad and I’m willing to retract some of my feedback for BofA. It just seems awfully odd that I’ve had so many bad experiences overseas with my BofA debit card.

Update #2: I finally got cash today from the same Citibank ATM that failed yesterday. I have no way to know whether this was an issue with BofA or the Citibank — and I’m guessing I’ll never know.