ATM Card/Check Card in Germany

Jan 18th, 2000, 04:53 AM
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ATM Card/Check Card in Germany

Just checking -- I've read much on this forum about being able to use ATMs in Germany to get money in DM. Can we actually just use our ATM or check card--no need to use your credit card?

Jan 18th, 2000, 09:08 AM
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ATM cards work great in Germany. No need to use credit card. One cavet: Most European ATMs work with only a 4 digit pin. If you have more than 4 digits in your pin, your card may not work in some machines. Just go to your bank and change the pin to four digits and you will be okay. I have used my ATM all over Europe and it beats travelers checks plus exchange rate is better than going inside the bank.
Jan 19th, 2000, 11:23 AM
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I agree with Bob, after living in Germany for 3 years (95-98), they have really come a long way in their ATM usage. Some times individual ones choose not to work for whatever reason, normally if you find another, you'll be fine.
Jan 19th, 2000, 12:26 PM
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By ATMs, I am assuming using ATM or check card to obtain local cash, not using cards to pay at POS terminal at stores.

Regarding credit card. No, you do not NEED to use credit card on ATM machine, you CAN, but it is a bad deal. Other use of credit card is similar to US. Whenever business wants some sort of indefinite deposit, hotel, rental car, etc, you probably NEED a credit card. However, for smaller amount (even few handred dollars worth,) I found German businesses PREFER to be paid in cash to avoid CC processing fees. They are more forthcoming in saying this to you than in the US.

ATM machines were different in following ways even compared to other neighboring countries. Usually you find a Union Jack on the first screen so you get an idea to push that to get English info. German ATM machines I encountered, mostly PostBank machines, I had to navigate two pages of pure German instructions before getting a screen to use English. I had to pick and peck buttons until I found some sort of "abort" button which allowed me to choose the language. After learning what to push, I found quite many ATM machines located inside lockable premises. So I could only get to the machine during business hours. This is in contrast to ATM machines in UK, France, Switzerland, US etc.
Jan 19th, 2000, 04:55 PM
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We just returned from a December trip in Germany and took both travelers checks and ATM card. I will say that they have caught up to the US in ATMS being available everywhere. Just about all the machines we tried to use offered instructions in english among other choices. We did encounter a problem with the machines that I never saw mentioned on the boards, maybe I'm the only one like this ? But they do not offer you a choice of account to pull money from. I have my card linked to a savings account. The atm machines in Germany pull from the checking account. I could not get money out and did need to use my checks until my wife was able to get money transfered to one a checking account on her atm card. so make sure your funds are in the right account.
Jan 25th, 2000, 07:11 AM
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Regarding the ATM cards, what systems do they have available? The card I plan on obtaining, is only good at a few systems - cirrus, pulse, plus. Are these in Germany, Austria & Switzerland?
Jan 25th, 2000, 11:59 AM
Brian in Atlanta
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Jill, Plus and Cirrus are the big ones, so you should have no trouble in the countries you mention. You can check it out for yourself (and even see if there's one in the airport you'll fly into at):

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