Everything’s going well with my card in the middle of nowhere, Alaska thus far; I’ll be crossing the border into the Yukon Territories later today, so we’ll see how Canada handles it too! The tech is actually surprisingly modern up here; every card reader I’ve seen in shops has been a chip and pin (the salespeople always point this out like it’s something unexpected and important to mention, sometimes with added instructions on how to use it), with even one contactless-enabled machine. And yes, it is an absolute blast to see people’s reactions here to a contactless card being used - my local friend wanted me to do it again to show her it really worked, but I felt that buying 1 kilo of cherries was quite enough for one day.
In light of other people’s posts on gas stations and restaurants, I’ve stuck to cash for tips and fuel over here, but I might try paying for a tank of gas with the card in Canada to see if it’s any different.
The one thing I’m not so thrilled about is that even though I’ve enabled data roaming on my phone plan, data in particular seems very very unreliable up here, even when I have a perfectly good signal; the only time I can get the app notifications from Monzo is at the end of the day when I’m somewhere with wifi. It’s not a huge concern - certainly still more than I’d have had available five years ago - but I’m about to set off on a roadtrip for a week and I’m going to miss being able to keep a proper eye on my balance. It’d be nice if there was some way to… I don’t know, temporarily redirect alerts to a friend’s phone? Have a way to log into a very limited functionality version of the app on their phone? I’m just throwing ideas out off the top of my head, and I’d honestly be a bit surprised if this is a situation enough people find themselves in to make it worth spending any time or resources on finding a solution to the issue, but it’s annoying enough to me that I thought I may as well mention it.
Oh, sidenote: I’m so glad I got this card for my trip. I’d initially planned on just getting out cash before coming over for much of what I’d need to buy, and as chance would have it, the pound to dollar exchange rate improved significantly (+$0.06/£1) the very same day I arrived. It’s not a huge deal with the amounts I’m spending, sure, but I’d have been very annoyed to have lost out on the better rate, nonetheless.