ATM experience in Edinburgh

Sep 23rd, 2013, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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RE : Crellton's post

I read about hidden costs in the reviews below. I will wait to hear what other posters think/know of the travel cards to see if travel cards are that good as Crellton says.

hidden costs : card fee, the transaction fee, the currency conversion fee, the inactivity fee…. (seriously they charge you if you don’t use the card).
kappa1 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 06:38 AM
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Kappa, I think you will find that not all travel cards are the same. In the UK where "free" banking is still prevalent fair FX provides a cost effective means of currency exchange, a least for me. I use my cards a lot. Currently on a six month trip around South America and have used the cards exclusively in five different countries. Prior to that I was in Spain for six month again using the cards exclusively and they worked well in both locations. My comments apply to UK based cards only and fairfx in particular. I am very happy with their charges and with their customer service. I can't speak for the

I haven't read your link to the Aussie site in any great detail but I am aware from US friends that the deals available on these cards from say Travelex appear worse in the US than in the UK in terms of fx rates and charges and from what I know of the Australian retail banking system the situation there is likely to be similar.

As with any financial product, it pays to read the small print. I did and was happy with what I found.
crellston is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 06:50 AM
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Thanks, Janis. Actually I used to carry two different ATM cards when I had an account at one bank as well as an account at a credit union so three makes sense because you can never be too careful.

Our friend the computer guru keeps urging me to carry all my credit and debit cards in a wallet that shields them from those readers people can use to get the information from them. Or at least line the thing with tin foil.
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 08:48 AM
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Thanks Janis.
kappa1 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 09:13 AM
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Re francophiletasmania's post. Those responding that pre-paid travelcards area bad idea are likely Americans. And that is 100% true for us.

However francophiletasmania is from OZ and that is a different situation. Many Aussies have posted that their pre-paid cards are a normal way of doing things and don't have the bad features of US-issued cards (and from the posts apparently the same for the UK)
janisj is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 09:52 AM
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It may be standard operating procedure, but it is not understandable why a bank would refuse to return the card to the original holder who presumably has a passport (and probably a driver's license with additional photo) as proof of identity.
Michael is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 10:02 AM
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I have not read all the answers. So this may be a similar answer.

But our ATM card was eaten in the Rome airport.

We forgot to check the expiration date.

Yes, it was expired.
iris1745 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 10:02 AM
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Well, I find this very odd that a bank is keeping a card just because a transaction isn't authorized on it, unless the home bank did have some instructions to that effect. It just doesn't seem like being in a foreign country should be considered "fraud" enough to keep the card. IF so, the rest doesn't surprise me (that they kept it) except it seems they could have been a little more flexible if it was something obvious like the foreign charge and the holder had a passport to verify identity.

Luckily, I've never had a card retained by any ATM system, although it was close once in Prague, but it finally came out. I forget the problem, it hadn't worked for some reason. But I always do tell my bank I'll be abroad but I'm not sure they care much about it, I think the last time they said I wouldn't have had to tell them (they do care about the credit card).
Christina is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 10:10 AM
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Despite all the people who hate Bank of America, they have an official partner bank in the UK--Barclays--and I am thinking that if the OP had BofA and had used Barclay's, they would have offered some recourse. That being said, I also travel w/a back-up debit card from another bank for just such possible snafus!
socialworker is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 10:20 AM
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The point of this post was to say that withdrawing cash from an ATM inside a bank during banking hours does not guarantee return of your card if it is eaten. As I had previously believed from posts on this forum.

Update after return home: yes, I checked the expiration date on the debit/ATM card before we left home; it was November of this year, which worked fine for the credit card. But this might have been the problem with the debit card. Still....

Late in this trip, we got brave and my husband tried his debit/ATM card from the same source, a credit union. His card has a different number and expiration date from mine and it worked fine.

We did have a second ATM/debit card from another credit union and, after my bad experience, mostly used it. But I had only put a certain amount of money in this secondary account, not enough to cover all our trip expenses. Hence we charged our stays at B&Bs and paid a surcharge for that. Usually we would have paid with cash.
Mimar is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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we had trouble in drawing cash in Sri Lanka, on our joint account, though DH had no trouble with the account in his sole name at a different bank.

It was of course all my fault as i had told the bank that holds our joint account that we were going to SL. DH had said nothing to his bank and they were quite happy to dispense as much cash as we wanted - fortunately.

of course when I got home I complained but never got a sensible answer except it was to do with their counter "fraud" measures.

I'm now trying to decide whether to tell them about our next trip to HK, Oz and NZ - how on earth will they cope with that?
annhig is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 12:08 PM
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That is (almost) funny, ann, were it not such a huge pain!!

Here on this side of the Atlantic before our trip to the UK last October, we were told by both banks where we have debit cards that they routinely deny access to funds that are attempted to be withdrawn in LONDON!!! They too cited "fraud" measures.....So much for globalism in banking.
socialworker is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 12:12 PM
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That is (almost) funny, ann, were it not such a huge pain!!>>

i know, sw. i just think that it was someone whose geography was a bit off.

recently my c/card holder rang up to check three transactions within the UK which were none of them more than £300. but routinely stopping transactions in London does seem rather a stretch - how do they think people who live and work there get on? it's like saying they routinely stop transactions in NYC!
annhig is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Well, of course, that was only if you did not tell them ahead of time.....but still!!
socialworker is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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I carry two ATM cards and two credit cards; I am surprised about the trouble inside the back and during back hours.

I do notify credit card peoples when going overseas as I have been burned on that in the past.

The bank doesn't ever stop transactions unless we ask.
annw is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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In our modern 21st century society, this should never happen. Many of the ATM's I use at home have a swipe slot much like the cc terminals which take the antiquated American swipe credit cards and NYC swipe the card with a flick of the wrist or in some cases don't insert the card all the way, you dip it. Much safer for all concerned.

As far as "partner" banks, B of A's relationship with Barclays has nothing to do with retaining the card or things like that. If you have a BofA card and use a Barclay's ATM, it simply means BofA doesn't add a fee. Period. If you use another bank's ATM, then BofA may charge as much as $5 for a cash withdrawal with a debit card.
xyz123 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 02:05 PM
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That's actually pretty good advice: only use swipe machines. They are common enough.
sparkchaser is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 02:58 PM
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I also carry three cards. I cover the keypad when putting in the pin and I look out for strange devices plugged into the ATM.

I think withdrawal of the card with a declined transaction is one of the options the card owning bank can insist on. If they instruct withdrawal the ATM bank has to comply.
bilboburgler is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 03:15 PM
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That's actually pretty good advice: only use swipe machines. They are common enough.>>

Sadly sparkchaser I've never seen one. not in the UK, or on the continent or anywhere. ATMs here are commonly the sort where you put your card in the slot and it gives it back at the end. or not.

at least the Sri Lankan machine didn't eat my card.
annhig is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 03:29 PM
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Here in the States, BofA (in Boston area, at least) has the kind where you push it in and pull it right that what a swipe card is?
socialworker is offline  

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