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Credit Union - primary account?? at the ATMs

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OK, been reading quite a few threads on Fodors and elsewhere – usually the original question spirals ‘out of control’ into a vortex of off-point but still useful information, lol, and my head starts hurting. I am clear on the finer points of ATM fees, foreign currency fees, daily maximums, notifying the bank before we travel, and so on.

I’m a new credit union member and am hoping to figure out one thing regarding using my C/U debit card at ATMs in Europe: which account should I have the $$$ in??

The credit union says the Savings is “primary”. Savings accounts have transaction limits for withdrawals (6/month), and some electronic debits aren’t allowed by a Credit Union savings rules (draft vs debit?, not sure about this). I also opened a Checking account as well so have two accounts now.

ATMs in Europe present you only the “primary” account for withdrawals. I want to use the Checking account for my ATM withdrawals in Europe. Anyone know from experience if the credit union Checking account can be made “primary” so I can access it with a Debit /ATM card in Europe? (of course, I will quiz the C/U rep on this but wanted to “know” what I’m talking about by then, lol).

I always take two different Credit cards, but usually have cash in only one account, so nervous about being able to do this right after we get to France this fall.

Thank you for your experiences and advice!
~ travelnut

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