My Tangerine Debit Card Doesn't Work Overseas!

(Even Though I Told Them in Advance!)

My Story

I was in Ubud, on Bali Island in Indonesia and my Tangerine debit card was rejected from a number of ATMs. I was so confused, I had even called a couple times to update them on my travel plans and to make sure that they were fully informed about my travel plans - specifically so that this wouldn't happen! Now that I reflect, I also understand why I couldn't withdraw money in Australia with my Tangerine debit card - I'm glad my relatives in Sydney had my back!

Each Tangerine representative I talked to said that they saw the note on my account said it was weird that my ATM withdrawal didn't go through and asked me to try again. Of course, using Google Hangouts to call for free from my hotel means that I can't exactly try again and stay on the line with Tangerine.

Fortunately, I finally found a knowledgeable Tangerine phone representative who figured out that the problems were because Tangerine had a whitelist for certain countries where you had to be specifically added. If a Tangerine rep does not submit a request with your account, dates and with manager approval (?), then your Tangerine debit card will be automatically declined. Unfortunately, when I found out it was the middle of the night in Canada and no manager was available to do anything about it. I did submit a complaint to Tangerine about this issue and to date you'll find no comprehensive list online of which countries require addition to this whitelist. I suspect the whitelist exists because of a high level of fraud in these countries.

Countries on the Whitelist

If you're travelling to one of the following countries you must ensure that you're added to the whitelist or your Tangerine card will be rejected.

What to Do!?

Call Tangerine (1-888-826-4374) and tell them you plan on traveling. Provide the phone representative with specific dates and locations. After giving them your list, tell the representative: "I understand that for travelling to ________, I must also be added to a whitelist or my Tangerine debit card will be declined". If they don't seem to know make sure you ask them to confirm with a manager! Many representatives don't know, and will dutifully add notes to your account but not send in a request to add you to the whitelist. At the end of your phonecall, remember to ask them again if they added you to the whitelist for those countries that require it.

Hopefully this helps someone.

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