Canadian Debit Cards

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Oct 8th, 2008, 05:04 PM
  #1
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Canadian Debit Cards

I am travelling to SA over Dec/Jan and am wondering if I can use my Canadian Debit Card (TD Canada Trust)? On the back of the card it states "Green Machine", "Plus" and "Interac". I suspect that these can only be used at ATM's that belong to these groups.

I will have my Visa with me as well but don't want to use it for withdrawing cash funds as I don't want to be charged interest.

What is the recommendation in using Traveller's Cheques these days?

Thank you in advance.

Marion
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Oct 8th, 2008, 06:17 PM
  #2
P_M
 
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MarionM, I don't know much about the Canadian banking system, but here in the US our debit cards usually have the visa logo. Does yours? The visa logo will allow you more widespread use.

You are wise not to use your visa credit card unless it's an emergency.
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Oct 8th, 2008, 09:12 PM
  #3
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Hi P_M

Thanks for your response. No my debit card doesn't have the Visa logo on it. I think I won't be able to use it then.

Marion
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Oct 8th, 2008, 09:29 PM
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We (my husband and I, fellow Calgarians!) have now traveled to Southern Africa on three different occasions and have, up until our latest trip in Aug/Sept 08, never had any problems with our Canadian bank cards (BMO - they have cirrus and interac). On our most recent trip, we traveled to South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Our cards worked fine (in the ATMs) every time all through SA and Namibia but, when we arrived in Botswana, they wouldn't work in the ATMs. Not sure what the difference was. Your cards should be fine in South Africa - we have never had a problem there. I should add that our cards did work if we went into the banks in Botswana and handed them to a teller. The only drawback of having to go into the banks was that the lineups in the banks tended to be long and slow.
We never use traveler's cheques any more - we rely on our bank cards. We each carry our own bank card and we have credit cards (Visa and MC - Amex not well received in SA) as a back up. Robin
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Oct 9th, 2008, 07:20 AM
  #5
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canadian_robin thanks for your response. It was very helpful. So it looks like I will be able to use my TD Debit card at the ATM's after all.

I was just checking the exchange rate of the SAR to CAD and today it's 8.22. Maybe I still should get a few Travellers Cheques!

M
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Oct 9th, 2008, 07:36 AM
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Travelers checks (in CAD) are good in case of emergency, but when trying to exchange, few places will do this and the rate isn't very good.

In Botswana, we used USD which were gladly accepted.

If using debit cards for ATMs, be sure to have more than one, and if possible from different accounts... just in case one isn't accepted or is eaten!

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Oct 10th, 2008, 07:14 AM
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Sandi is correct - few places (other than banks, of course) will accept travelers cheques and the rates are poor - we usually purchase some rand before we go - they are readily available in Calgary. However, as I said, we just rely on our bank cards, taking out money as needed - there are ATMs even in the most unlikely places in SA. Robin
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Oct 10th, 2008, 07:28 AM
  #8
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You've all been very helpful. Thank you very much!

Marion in Calgary
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