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ATM withdrawals different in Paris than at home?

ATM withdrawals different in Paris than at home?

Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:17 AM
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ATM withdrawals different in Paris than at home?

Friend from France just told me that twice she had problems in France with withdrawl limits. She said at home (U.S) you would have a limit of 300 euros a day, in France that 300 euro limit is meant for the week!

Have you had this experience and been stuck without the ability to take money out of bank?
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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To the best of my knowledge, these limits are set both by your bank and the local bank and in effect it is the smaller of the 2 (you bank might have a limit of $300/day and so you would not be able to get €300 and if you are a Bank of America customer, they would then stick you with a declined fee those near criminals)....but in almost all cases it is a daily limit although you have to remember that in US banking circle and I suspect in French banking circles, the entire weekend is considered 1 day so if you make a withdrawal after 3PM Friday, you probably won't be able to make another withdrawal until after 9 AM on Tuesday...but don't hold me strictly to those times.

Me, I don't bother. The most I ever withdraw at a time is maybe €30 as I use credit cards for everything no matter how little and I can last 2 or 3 days on €30 cash.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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I was in paris last week and was able to withdraw upto my limit in the UK. I can't imagine that US customers will find any difference.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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Hi S,

Itis unlikely that in the US the daily limit would be 300E. It might be $300.

It is also unlikely that your friend's bank would have changed her weekly limit to 300E if she had a daily limit of $300.

Ask your bank what your daily and weekly limits are. If they are too low ask them to raise the limits.

It is always a good idea to notify your ATM and CC banks that you are going abroad.

It keeps the computer from blocking your account. (mostly)

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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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€300 in the States? Probably means $300. But anyway - a couple of comments:

1) one is not limited to their normal daily limit. For instance my limit is $300 but before every trip I have the bank raise it to $500 or more.

2) Limits are per day - not per week.

and 3) usually the limit is per machine/per withdrawal. So if you need more than the machine's limit (but are still under you own bank's daily limit) simply go to another ATM and get more.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:42 AM
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A daily withdrwal limit is just like what it states it is - it is the limit that is set by (or agreed to with your) bank that you can withdraw in a 24-hour period (from 12:01:01 to 23:59:59 , or something like that) and regardless of whether it is a weekend or weekday.

Daily transactions, or ATM withdrawals, are authorized ONLY by your bank at the time of the transaction. The French ATM machine will not release any more than your daily limit as your US bank will instantly ("real time") instruct them what you can withdraw.
 
Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:42 AM
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Hi

This is really a coworker I am talking about, she said this happened to her on 2 trips. They forgot about the restrictions on the following trip over. I am aware that 300euros is different in dollars and so is she. Remember she was born and raised in France and goes home frequently. I just threw that number out there. They were restricted from their funds for a week when they anticipated that the account would only be restricted for 24hours. She said this does not happen to her in other european countries only France.

Her home is not in Paris, so I am curious if this is a country bank policy. She insists this happened to her in and outside of Paris. Just wondering if this is something that happened to anyone here. VERY REASSURING not to hear confirmations of her experience.

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful responses. I never carry much cash or travelers checks on trips to europe so I was a bit alarmed to hear this.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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My experience mimics janisj's - I have a $300 limit normally here in the USA. When I go to France I have my bank raise it to $500.

There aren't any weekly limits -that's just fiction.

The only problem you might encounter is during the morning on Sundays in France. Often, US banks seem to do their weekly "housecleaning during the middle of the night on Saturdays" - at least mine does - and aren't corresponding with French banks at that time. I've found if I wait until 2 pm or later on Sundays in France to get cash from an ATM, it works fine.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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How many of you rely on your atm when in Paris
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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Yikes another French national in my office confirmed her story. He also said that he does not rely on his Atm in France though. He thought the limits was 375euros for the week for most banks but it was particular to your bank at home. He understood that it was week based and not day based as in U.S.

Anyone rely on their ATM in France?

Sorry for the drill, just a bit surprised here. I am calling my bank.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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I think I am right namely that some banks do impose limits on withdrawals on their machines which are different than your US bank's limits. This goes on all the time in the never ending battle against fraud. For example, the ticket machines in the London underground restrict you to 1 transaction/day..I'm not clear if that's per machine or per station even though your own bank holding the card might have no such restriction..I'm not willing to stake my reputation, no matter how small it is, on stating absolutely that is so but I think it is so....

To answer Sarah, I use atm's exclusively when travelling but as noted, I hardly ever use cash. A typical day I spend in London for example might consist of breakfast at the hotel, an hour on the internet (50p - cash), a couple of drinks at a grocery (£1.25 - credit card), a sandwich and a soda from a grocery (£4 - credit card), a pint at a pub (£2.20 cash at a pub), theatre tickets (TKTS - £25 credit card), dinner at say Wagamama (£10 - credit card), drinks at a grocery for half time at the theatre (£1.25 - credit card), some snacks at the grocery for the hotel such as ice cream, chips, soda say £3 (credit card)...a very full day and let's see in cash only the internet and the pub...everything else credit card. Tube ticket - credit card of course so quite frankly there is very little reason to spend much cash...London is a lot like the US where more and more credit cards are being taken everywhere such as at fast food places (the pret a manger near Leicester Square takes credit cards now)...unfortunately there are some British establishments I have run into with a silly moronic rule requiring a minimum amount for a credit card's use (such practices are luckily illegal in the USA) but the chain places such as Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury and the others could care less as long as it is over £1 (they claim their machines don't recognize amounts less than that and even I wouldn't use a cc for less than £1) but to me, it's the only proper way to travel in the 21st century.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 08:07 AM
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Thanks XL...I am going with a young person who has only traveled by herself once to Spain and there she met a lanuage class. So, I am more worried for her getting cash strapped, we both have our visas and we I guess are just going to have to rely more heavily on them.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 08:16 AM
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Sarah - I typically spend 6-10 weeks in France a year, with that time divided up between Paris, the Dordogne, Provence, and sometimes other areas. I've been doing this for decades. Because of the nature of my trips - not just pleasure but a lot of work involving upkeep and renovations to a property there, plus giving organized tours - I need cash from ATMs usually at least every other day. Except for the problem I previously mentioned about Sunday morning withdrawals, I have never encountered any problem, whether in large cities or very rural areas, withdrawing many hundreds of dollars per week from ATM machines. So, unless ATM machines can distinguish between a French national and a visitor - and maybe, just maybe, they can - I'm not inclined to believe the weekly limit story. At any rate, you're a visitor and it wouldn't apply to you.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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I completely rely on ATMs when travelling - with one exception - Belgium.

For reason's best known to themselves, them wacky Belgians have a completely incompatible ATM network (for instance, there are only three or four places in the whole of Brussels that I can use my "plus" network card).

Otherwise I've used my card all over the world.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 08:30 AM
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Are you sure that your friend is not talking about a French checking account? I have one, and was told by various branches in other parts of France that there was such weekly limits when withdrawing money with a check. And even then it is not clear whether the limit applied to all branches of that region or to that specific branch. But I have never had that limit imposed on my American account.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 08:31 AM
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Thanks Cirq...seems bizarre to me to but I don't go there too often to judge.

Bank manager told me their limits are the same in U.S and abroad and he had not heard of a problem in France.He did add that nations can and do impose their own restictions on banks that reside inside their respective country.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 08:35 AM
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I have not heard of a US bank that imposes a weekly limit, but all do have a daily limit, which can be increased when needed by special arrangement. You haven't named the bank(s) that impose this limit on your associates; I wonder if it might be a French bank that issued their ATM cards?

There is also a transaction limit imposed by every ATM, and the amount varies. I have seen some European ATMs that will not issue more than 200 euro in a single transaction; but I have always been able to immediately do another transaction, subject, of course, to the transaction limitation amount, and the amount of my daily limit I have not used. If ever I find a machine that refuses to do a second transaction, I will simply use my wife's ATM card, or go to the next ATM. I have been able to draw far more than 300 euro per day on too many occasions.

I have found ATMs to be the simplest and most economical way to obtain local currency, but you should be aware that some US banks charge higher conversion fees than others, so I suggest you find out what your bank charges, and if it is over 1%, find another bank or credit union for your business.

Also, me experience is that mastercard is the most widely accepted credit card in the parts of Europe I have visited, followed by visa, with AMEX trailing surprisingly far behind. So my advice is that you take both a visa and a mastercard.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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cleveland it was the French banks imposing the limits not the U.S banks
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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yeah cleveland that has been my experience in the rest of europe as well but I don't have a lot of experience in France. Yes friend said this was her experience with limits imposed by French banks. Called the manager at my bank and he said countries frequently impose policy on top of individual bank policy. He was not aware of this issue in France though.
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Old Nov 17th, 2005, 10:00 AM
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Sarah: "They were restricted from their funds for a week when they anticipated that the account would only be restricted for 24 hours"

Thsi doesn't sound like anything to do w/ a daily limit. It seems to be realated to how soon after a deposit is made the funds would be availble to withdraw. That sort of thing happens all the time - when you deposit a check the bank may impose a hold and not allow you to take any out until 3 days or 7 days (for an international check) to make sure the check clears.

If there isn't enough other money in the account to cover the amount of the check the bank may block it until the check clears.
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