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ATM help. Geneva Airport, French Sector. France

ATM help. Geneva Airport, French Sector. France

Jan 19th, 2015, 08:10 AM
  #1  
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ATM help. Geneva Airport, French Sector. France

I hate accounting and the research on this is very spotty.

I may need to acquire about a 1000 Euros on the day I arrive at Geneva Airport for my trip to Annecy, if that's even possible. I've never been to GVA. I have some questions about securing Euros.

1. I'm renting a car in the French Sector. Any recent travelers know if there is an ATM in the French Sector? Does it dispense Euros as any other ATM in France would?

2. If I had to use an ATM on the Swiss side, it seems some machines may dispense Euro but after it converts from Swiss Francs. How might the cost of securing Euros this way compare to the cost of purchasing Euros in the U.S. before I depart?

Because of terrorism, Capital One's policy has changed. They will no longer do a traveler increase on the daily withdrawal amount. I think the cap is now $600 per day. I may try to make arrangements to get cash in 2-3 days, but that may not meet the approval of the apartment owner.

3. Does anyone know what the standard withdrawal caps are in GVA ATMs and France's ATMs?

Thank you in advance.
wesleymarsh is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 09:03 AM
  #2  
 
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Use multiple debit/ATM cards.
Buy Euro at home with 8-10% fee hit. Most banks offer this high fee service and you can do it online. Look at your bank web site. You get to see the fees tacked on PLUS bad implicit exchange rate buried into the conversion which you have to consult online resources like xe.com to find out the rate difference between your bank and the official rate.

Even without high cash need, you should be traveling with multiple debit/ATM cards as well as multiple credit cards from different banks. Your card can get useless physically. Also, if you get your card gets cloned, you cards suddenly turn into pieces of worthless plastics. It is an annoyance at home but a major headache abroad.

I bring US dollars cash ($100 bills) for this type of what-if-I-cant-get-all-cash needs. It ATM works, I just take US dollar cash home and deposit back into my bank at no cost. If ATM method does not work, I supplement missing Euros by cash exchange dollar with 8-10% fee hit.

I don't know about withdrawal limits at GVA. Elsewhere, I have taken 300-400EU. Every so often, I hit an ATM that would not give me more than 250EU. Beyond 400EU, my banks limit daily withdrawal.

Also look at exactly how the withdrawal limit is set by your bank. You need to know WHOSE clock the daily limit is set and the definition of "daily". If it is 24 hours, you have less leverage. It if is some kind of "transaction day", it is possible to account two withdrawals made in Europe in the same morning to be accounted as taken place on two different days in the U.S. due to time difference. This can also bites you since the withdrawal made the previous night and the next day morning in Europe are seen as taken place on the same day in the U.S. The bank customer service usually get very annoyed when I ask "How do you define a day and using which clock?"
greg is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 11:00 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Greg. Even though I didn't understand some of your post, I do have two extra debit cards, but those banks have varying international transaction fees. Still, that one-time fee is much lower than 8%, so using a 2nd or 3rd debit card to secure 400 Euros each seems to make more sense than buying Euros in the U.S.
wesleymarsh is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 12:17 PM
  #4  
 
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International transaction fees do not come from the ATM issuing the euros. European bank ATMs only dispense cash and they charge nothing for this service, nor do they have nothing to do with exchange rates.

Assuming you have used a bank ATM, fees can come from two sources: the network making the currency exchange such as Maestro, Pulse, or Cirrus (and they only take 1%) or from your local bank (which can take from 0% to 2% more plus some charge a fixed fee such as Bank of America).
Sarastro is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 01:49 PM
  #5  
 
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I don't know withdrawal limits at ATMs, it has never been an issue for me that I needed 1000 euro upon arrival, it sounds like your bank is the problem, not the ATM. I know I've taken out at least 700 euro at CDG. But the limit could well be below 1000 euro.

Since you planned such a complicated thing (needing 1000 euro cash immediately and flying into Switzerland, not France), I think you just have to consider your ATM card fees a travel expense. And it should be lower than your bank at home will charge to get you euro notes (mine charges 7 pct, actually, not 8-10).

If an ATM at the airport says it dispenses euro and CHF, are you sure there is a markup for euro? I wouldn't presume that, being right on the border of the two countries. Converting from CHF doesn't mean it costs anything, it's just math. If you have to choose, you might pick the post office ATMs (La Poste), I think they would be less likely to charge you. I often use them in France. see this map, it is no. 76

http://www.gva.ch/en/Portaldata/1/Re...ng_arrivee.pdf


But since you are renting a car (which will use a credit card, of course, not cash), can't you drive into France and use an ATM there? If you need one for an apt, I presume you are going to some type of town/city.
Christina is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 03:19 PM
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wesleymarch,
I don't know why you need 1000 Euros, but for the last couple of trips I've made to Europe I never even used change or cash for anything. I paid for everything from a cup of coffee, transportation (including taxi, public transportation), restaurants, museums, etc using a Visa credit card with a chip. I never once used cash - and especially that much.

If you have a B of A ATM card they are a "sister" bank to Paribus (the French bank) and you can use this French bank's ATM's without incurring fees.
nanabee is online now  
Jan 19th, 2015, 03:34 PM
  #7  
 
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OP may need cash for apartment rental in France; credit cards don't work for every need.

I am not sure why you simply don't wait til you get into France and simply get euros.

Even IF you can get euros in Geneva, it will be converted twice. From Swiss to Dollars to euros, I think. For $1000 it may add up. Only you can decide convenience factor of getting euros while still in US or from Geneva ATM or French ATM.
DebitNM is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 04:09 PM
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The problems are various. Any American bank's debit card will have its own fee structure and daily withdrawal limits. The bank that owns the Swiss or French ATM will set it own per-transaction, withdrawal limit. The source of the problems don't matter to me. What matters is finding the most cost-effective way to get the Euros with the least amount of inconvenience.

I'm hoping someone with recent experience in the French Sector at Geneva Airport will see this thread and respond. If there is an ATM in the French Sector, I'm assuming there's a chance it will be a French ATM on French land, therefore bypassing Swiss francs.

>>Since you planned such a complicated thing<<

Geneva airport sits on two countries. I have nothing to do with the complication this presents. My rental car in the French Sector is $400 less than the Swiss alternative.

>>can't you drive into France and use an ATM there<<

That's my plan B. According to the Cirrus ATM Locator map, there are no ATM machines within walking distance of my residence. The only bank ATM with a parking lot is about 2.5 miles away. I want to avoid driving in city-center traffic or having to park on a metered street. If I run into problems, I may need to rely on two bank locations.

Debit card transactions in a foreign country are more complicated this past year. Between the hacking fraud and terrorism, bank's rules change. All I can do is be prepared.
wesleymarsh is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 06:06 PM
  #9  
kja
 
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Geneva aiport ATMs:
http://www.gva.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-152/

Your banks probably have on-line lists of participating ATMs.

I trust you have explored the options for a cashier's check?

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 06:34 PM
  #10  
 
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>>The bank that owns the Swiss or French ATM will set it own per-transaction, withdrawal limit>>

If the French bank is Paribas (I think it is the largest in France) and you have a Bank of America ATM card there are no transaction fees. None.

We don't like B of A and don't use them for anything in the states, but we got a card specifically for travel in Europe to take advantage of the free ATM use.

It has saved us a lot of money.

Again, if you have credit cards, trust me you can pretty much save yourself the hassle of money exchange and use CC for everything. Unless you are uncomfortable doing that.
nanabee is online now  
Jan 19th, 2015, 06:42 PM
  #11  
 
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Open another account at a different bank. You'll now have two ATM cards and access to more cash than BoA has decided you should have.

As mentioned above, use your credit cards for as much as you can for other expenses than the apartment.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 08:35 PM
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Generally a large amount of cash needed upon arrival is for an illegal apartment rental, to permit the owner to evade taxes.
kerouac is offline  
Jan 20th, 2015, 02:59 AM
  #13  
 
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If the French bank is Paribas (I think it is the largest in France) and you have a Bank of America ATM card there are no transaction fees. None.

You might want to update your information regarding B of A and ATM fees. They now charge 3% for all foreign ATM withdrawals and $5 per withdrawal. B of A is probably charges more for foreign ATM use than any other US bank. They will withhold the $5 fee if you use one of their member banks but few US banks (Wells Fargo is the only other to my knowledge) charge this $5 flat fee in the first place.
Sarastro is offline  
Jan 20th, 2015, 04:11 AM
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Have you asked your bank to up your daily ATM card limit? If they will take it to or over the $1000 you need for your apartment, then make several withdrawals from the same machine to that limit. In any case most ATM's have an inbuilt daily limit that will kick in if your daily limit is over that figure. Hence the need to make several withdrawals.
Rubicund is offline  
Jan 20th, 2015, 10:53 AM
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It's worth opening a new account with no fee ATM withdrawals. Then any worries about member local banks and such disappear. Capital One 360 is one of the no fee ATM banks. You can set it up online and link it to your normal bank account. Then you have a backup ATM card also.
tom_mn is offline  
Jan 20th, 2015, 12:18 PM
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Capital One 360 is one of the no fee ATM banks.

Don´t be mislead by Capital One 360´s marketing machine which advertises there´s a free ATM wherever you are. That only applies to wherever you are as long as there is an Allpoint ATM nearby. There are no Allpoint ATMs in France. You will be charged for using a Capital One ATM card in France.
Sarastro is offline  
Jan 20th, 2015, 01:48 PM
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<>

well, no, that's not exactly true as I have two Cap One ATM cards and I am never charged a fee for foreign ATMs. I think it may depend on your type of account. I don't have a Capital One 360 account, but two other ones (one in my bank and one online which is a money market). I think my money market is legacy as I don't see online that you can even get one anymore, which is too bad.

Cap One's website is very upfront about the terms on ATMs and clearly states that it is free-free only at Allpoint ATMs and Cap One ATMs.
Christina is offline  
Jan 20th, 2015, 02:13 PM
  #18  
 
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I have two Cap One ATM cards and I am never charged a fee for foreign ATMs.

How are you determining that you are never charged a fee? Cap One is quite clear that only withdrawals from the Allpoints network (or Cap One ATMs) are without fees. There are no Allpoints or Cap One ATMs in France so who pays the foreign transaction fees when you withdraw euros from a French ATM?

You might consider the possibility that you are indeed paying for the ATM withdrawal but just are unaware of the fees associated with the transaction.

You also might want to contact Cap One and ask. I already have.
Sarastro is offline  
Jan 20th, 2015, 03:10 PM
  #19  
 
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The newer Cap One ATM cards do charge a fee; the older ones do NOT charge. We have 2 of them from 2011.
DebitNM is offline  
Jan 21st, 2015, 09:22 AM
  #20  
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Today is a good news day. The owner of the property has agreed to accept installment payments. I don't have to worry about collecting all the money on the day I arrive. What a relief.
wesleymarsh is offline  

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