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Airport ATMs

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Dec 21st, 2014, 06:15 AM
  #1
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Airport ATMs

Has an era come to an end? For ages here many of us have been telling each other that the best way to get your cash on arrival in Europe is to use an ATM in the airport. But it sounds like those days may be coming to an end. I haven't gone to Europe for a year and a half now, but I will say that on arrival in Venice in 2013, I had a hard time locating an actual working "bank" ATM, while I did see what looked like ATMs that were clearly operated by Money Exchange agencies.

So is this report true?

http://tinyurl.com/ptl7q6k
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Dec 21st, 2014, 06:21 AM
  #2
 
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Interesting. My last few trips, I've always made sure I had $50-$100 worth of euros just so I didn't have to line up at the airport ATM with the rest of the arrivals. It always seemed like a hassle, and occasionally one of the ATMs was out of order, making it more of a hassle. Then I get more euros later at an ATM near my accommodations.

I usually advise travelers to do the same as I, for the reasons mentioned. Now, if this article is on the mark, there's another reason.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 06:43 AM
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ABN Amro still has ATMs at Schiphol, contrary to the article.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 06:51 AM
  #4
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hetismij2, When I looked up ABN locations at Schiphol I found this
"Currency Exchange at Amsterdam Schiphol AMS Airport
ABN AMRO or GWK Currency Exchange /Travelers' Checks. There are 8 ABN AR branches at Schiphol, all located before & after passport control."

Interesting that it doesn't say ATM machines, but rather Currency exchange.

And another site says that ATM machines are located throughout Schiphol, but it fails to say if they are actual bank operated ones that are true ATMs rather than the new "exchange" machines they are talking about.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 07:14 AM
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AFAIK currency exchange machines take your foreign currency notes and change them for euros. That is what they do at the bank in town anyway.
I haven't used them I confess. There are normal ATMs at Schiphol. I see no reason why you couldn't use one of those with a foreign card.
I am pretty sure a couple of the shops landside also have bank ATMS in them.

Has anyone from the US tried paying for things in a shop or say a ticket machine with their bank pass, not their credit card? You need a PIN - the same as for an ATM.
Most people in the Netherlands pay that way, and do so in pretty much all of Europe. In theory your cards should work too if they are Cirrus/Maestro cards.
WE paid with our bank cards in the US a couple of times, but I admit we mostly used credit cards because that is what the cashiers understood.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 07:20 AM
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I have just checked the ABN Amro site - they list geldautomaat (ATM) not wissel automaat at several places in Schiphol.

https://www.abnamro.nl/nl/prive/cont...torenboek.html fill in Schiphol, and there is a long list of places with ATMs, plus exchange offices and bank offices. All in Dutch I'm afraid.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 07:30 AM
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Contrary to this article, there are bank ATM in Paris/CDG : they are operated by HSBC
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Dec 21st, 2014, 07:43 AM
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Yes, I used an HSBC ATM at CDG. The ATM in the baggage claim area is a Travelex machine, so I avoided it and went to the area just before exiting for taxis where I found HSBC ATMs.

hetismij2 asks: "Has anyone from the US tried paying for things in a shop or say a ticket machine with their bank pass, not their credit card? You need a PIN - the same as for an ATM." Yes, those of us from the US often have debit cards that can be used in an ATM or at any pay point. The problem is that most debit cards charge a 3% foreign exchange fee and there are not the fraud protections on debit cards that there are on credit cards. So I never - anywhere - use a debit card.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 07:51 AM
  #9
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So it's sounding like the article is pretty bogus? Perhaps the bank ATMs are just harder to find that they used to be, and many people are getting confused by ATM looking money exchange machines.

Hetismij2, I agree with Kathie -- using what we call our "debit card" ends up costing us plenty. Meanwhile the Netherlands has been one of those places we couldn't use our credit cards in machines (like ticket machines in Amsterdam Centrale) because they were not chip cards. More recently two of my credit cards have been replaced with chip cards, so maybe that issue is not longer true.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 08:06 AM
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I think there are plenty of airports in which bank-operated ATMs are not always very readily discoverable. I had that "problem" when we flew through Heathrow earlier this Fall. Ditto VCE and a few other places.

I continue to believe that ATMs will be the best way to "change" money and despite the fact that using one can bring forth a currency exchange charge from one's bank (but that is a choice one chooses to make).

I always keep cash from the last trip so I have some when I arrive.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 08:32 AM
  #11
 
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Patrick, likely your new credit cards are chip and signature; if so, they likely won't work in ticket machines. You need a real chip and PIN card for that, several threads on here on that topic.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 09:01 AM
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Re that chip and pin "issue."

I have a Chip and pin credit card I can use in Europe and I always take it with me as a back-up. I think a lot may depend on location. We used a regular non-chip and pin card for just about everything this Fall in London, Berlin, Munich, Salzburg, Venice, and Vienna. This included hotels, restaurants, etc. They were all very willing to swipe a card for payment.

In terms of train tickets, whenever I can I buy the things in advance on the railroad websites and print the tickets out at home.

We've made some payment adjustments over these past couple of years but, so far, we have not been required to resort to the chip and pin card.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 09:15 AM
  #13
 
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I never understand why people feel the need to get cash from an ATM in an airport. I'm sure they all have their reasons why they THINK they need to but I never do so.

Kathie and Neo, if you don't use a debit card at an ATM to withdraw cash, what do you use your credit card? If so, you are then going to pay interest on that 'cash withdrawal' form day one. Are you saying it costs you less to pay the interest on your return than the percentage exchange loading you are charged on your debit card? I suppose that it possible.

I always use a debit card at ATMs and credit cards to pay for purchases, hotels, restaurants, etc. Both my debit and credit cards that I use for travel have no foreign exchange loading added but they are from a UK bank.

Chip and pin has been covered on other threads and it is going to be an ongoing problem for US based travellers since the US still doesn't seem to be headed that way. They still insist they are going to go to chip and signature which will not always work for you as US based travellers have already started finding out. Often at the most inconvenient times.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 09:18 AM
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I agree,you can still do almost 100% of what need a credit card to do with a swipe card. Our chip and PIN is also our back up in case main CC fails.

Yes, the card often defaults to signature. But there are times when we have needed a chip card (automated gas pump, last minute train ticket - could have used booth but long line- and auto expressway toll booths) and we were glad to have ours.

During our trip that wraps up next week, we have spent almost 3 months in 8 countries and as I indicated, the swipe worked well. But that may not always be the case.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 11:24 AM
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NeoPatrick,
I think the referred article is a case of poor research.
This year, I have used:

AMS -ABN Amro (no DCC)
ZRH -Credit Suisse AG (no DCC)
CDG -HSBC (no DCC)
CPH - I think it was AMEX, but either it was easy to avoid DCC or not encrypted to mislead you like a Travelex machine.

I have also used Trevelex at CDG. In secure side of terminal 2E, Travelex ATM was all l could find in this area. You can use it in non DCC mode, but I think it was deceptively set up. There is a non obvious crucial screen you must push the correct button to avoid DCC, BUT... the phrasing is confusingly stated that the "DCC" button seems to be the only button to get cash.

The "DCC" button is perhaps about twice the "non DCC button". It is located on the right side of the screen, so the right handed people would likely to push the "DCC" button. And finally, the small "non DCC" button on the left does not look like button at all. It is in different dark color from the "DCC" button with words written in dark color to reduce the contrast making it very difficult to read. Even if you detected the correct button to push, they would scare you that you are making a monumental mistake by taking a conversion risk - but in reality they are trying to hit you with guaranteed "no-risk" ~6% fee on top of all other fees against your favor.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 11:57 AM
  #16
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I guess I mis spoke about never using a debit card. Actually my BofA ATM card is what I use to withdraw cash from an ATM, but I never use it for purchases.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 02:44 PM
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SojournTraveller, One of my ATM cards can only be used in an ATM - it has no debit card function. My other ATM card also can function as a debit card, but I never use it as a debit card. I get money from ATMs with one of these two cards. For hotel and restaurant bills, purchases, etc, I use one of my credit cards that has no charge for foreign exchange.

But what works best for one person is not the same as what works best for another. A lot depends on your bank and what they charge. One of my ATM cards not only has no charge for use of a foreign ATM, it also refunds any charge from the local ATM. For those who have accounts with the "big banks" they usually charge is $5 per use plus 3% foreign exchange premium.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 08:23 PM
  #18
 
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Actually my BofA ATM card is what I use to withdraw cash from an ATM,

BofA is one of the worst offenders in terms of charges: $5 per transaction plus 3% conversion fee--one of them waived if using the ATM of a partner bank.

But I think that there has been a basic miscommunication on this thread ("AFAIK currency exchange machines take your foreign currency notes and change them for euros. That is what they do at the bank in town anyway". NeoPatrick's concern is that non-bank ATMs have the right to add their own fees to the withdrawal of money.
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Dec 21st, 2014, 10:19 PM
  #19
 
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No problem finding a bank ATM at LHR a couple weeks ago - in fact the place was plastered with HSBC ads.
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Dec 22nd, 2014, 01:53 AM
  #20
 
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Happy to read of people's recent experiences finding bank ATMs. But I wonder if the article is heralding the future, where airports make deals with the currency exchange business to exclude the banks. Time will tell.
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