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ATM card difficulty in Prague, Austria & Budapest

ATM card difficulty in Prague, Austria & Budapest

Sep 12th, 2007, 07:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 129
ATM card difficulty in Prague, Austria & Budapest

We are leaving for the trip in less than 4 weeks. Usually when we get to the airport, we'd withdraw money from the ATM.
However, due to a difficulty that my husband encountered early this year in Italy, we are bit nervous.
His BOA debit card (w/ VISA symbol) was rejected in almost all ATM machines. He called his bank numerous times, but they said they didnt see why he couldnt use the card. Then he found a Deutsche Bank & his ATM card worked there. Turned out that in Italy, he could only use his BOA card at a DB machines.

For our upcoming trip, for the 2 of us, we have a DCU, BOA & Citizen's cards (all have Visa/MasterCard symbols).
We dont expect any difficulties (crossing our fingers!), but I still would like to ask anyway...has anyone ever experienced any trouble withdrawing money especially in Prague & Budapest ?
p3t0t is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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We've only had problems in Italy, even when we call our credit cards ahead of time to inform them of our trip. Italy was very difficult and often our bank would reject the charge even though we called them several times.

We were in Budapest last year and Prague this year and had no problems at all. Do notify your CC companies before you leave.
Images2 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 292
We always let credit card and banks know where we'll be, but that doesn't mean all foreign ATMs are going to work for you.

We had a problem in Prague this past summer. We went to three bank ATMs with no luck, but got lucky with the fourth. All four ATMs had Plus/Cirrus/Star on them, so who knows what the problem was.

In Czesky Krumlov and Austria, no problems at all.

The only other place in my recollection where we had a similar problem on past travels was in Rome. Had to do the same thing--go from ATM to ATM until we found one that worked during our week's stay.

My daughter is having similar problems in Cairo. She has found two that work "some of the time" and alternates between them.
josephina is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I've been to Austria and Budapest, and had no problem with my ATM card. It's not Bank of America, but I don't think that is the issue. Call them and let them know you're traveling, and look for the Cirrus or Plus signs at the banks. Many foreign banks don't have that - so you do have to look. Also, as mentioned, sometimes there is just something down in the infrastructure when you try to withdraw money, so you do sometimes have to try a couple different times. I've never had an issue at an airport... Good luck!!
Debi is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 09:53 AM
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I had a problem in Austria and my ATM card didn't work at all -- but that was about five years ago. I tried various ATMs, also, and kept getting a message saying it wasn't authorized for international transactions or some such nonsense. This wasn't true, as I used it with no problems a few days later when I went to France.

I've used ATMs a lot in Prague over the last seven years and only had a problem once, several years ago. It was that particular ATM, though, not in general -- I think I had trouble reading the directions (maybe the screen was too dim or something) or understanding them, and the machine kept my card after I may have pushed the wrong button or waited too long or something. Luckily, it was attached to a place that was open, and some guy came out and hit some button or something and I got my card back. Last time I went in 2005 I had no problems at all. I still only use an ATM card, not a debit card, thus it has no Visa/MC symbol on it.
Christina is online now  
Sep 12th, 2007, 10:03 AM
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Posts: 129
Thank you for the replies.
Yes, we always call our CC companies & let them know that we'd be travelling. Regardless, CHASE still placed a block in my acct until I had to call them again to remind them. It was quite a hassle.

The debit cards that we have all have the Cirrus/Star/NYCE signs at the back.

We're afraid we'd run into problem withdrawing money in Prague where we arrive. We plan to take the CEDAZ shuttle to transport us to the htl, so we need cash to pay. We currently don't owe any Koruna.
Do you think I should buy some here before we leave ?
p3t0t is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I didn't have any trouble using my ATM card (not debit) at the airport in Prague, but I did have a problem in town until I figured out that it was the amount I was asking for. I think the machine didn't have the right combination of bills -- maybe no fives or tens, so when I changed my request I got the koruna.
Luisah is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You could have a problem on arrival in Prague, depending on where your bank is located - if it happens to be offline at that particular time for its overnight processing.
djkbooks is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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Absolutely not (don't buy koruna ahead). It isn't that easy to get in the US, anyway. Even if the ATM doesn't work in Prague airport or some problem, there are plenty of exchange booths in that airport where you can get koruna with USD. You will definitely get a better rate than in the US, if you can even get it. Pretty much all airports in Europe still have exchange booths, I think. I know they do in Prague and rates are fairly competitive there.
Christina is online now  
Sep 12th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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Thanks all for the replies, very helpful.
Ok, we will not buy Koruna here, but we'll bring extra U$ w/ us. Thanks again!
p3t0t is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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The ATM's at the Prague airport are by the windows, past the CEDAZ booth. The machine will give you very large bills, that CEDAZ can't break. What you need to do is put in an odd number like 198 instead of 200 kuna so you'll get smaller bills.

The CEDAZ shuttle is great. They only take 6 or so people at a time, so if the van fills, you have to wait for another. You can buy tickets from the booth inside the airport or from the driver of the shuttle.
Images2 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 08:04 AM
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Hi P3,

>The debit cards that we have all have the Cirrus/Star/NYCE signs at the back.

The Cirrus is OK for Europe.

I have ATM cards from different banks. One is Maestro/Cirrus, the other is Interlink/Plus.

In Austria, we found some banks that took the one, but not the other and vv.

If you have an AMEX card, you can link it to your bank account. It will always work, but you pay $5 per transaction.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 488
We were in Germany, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and Czech last week. Three of our ATM cards worked, the one lady's card only worked in Austria. It was from a major bank. She is checking with bank tomorrow to find out why it didn't work in Slovenia and Croatia. If you have two cards from different sources I would suggest taking them both.
Nlingenfel is offline  

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