ATMS or Travellers Cheques for Cash

Oct 2nd, 2009, 03:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 646
ATMS or Travellers Cheques for Cash

We are visiting Italy (and also Budapest and Berlin) at the end of the year for 7 weeks. I was planning on taking my ATM card to withdraw cash abroad. It is a bit of a pain as we are limited to $1000 (Australian) - about 550 Euro - a day which is not much when paying for apartment rentals for a week or two at a time, but still manageable. However, a friend tells us on his last three trips to Italy (and also one trip to Spain) his ATM card had been "scammed". When he went to withdraw cash his account had had illegal activity on it. A nuisance requiring long diatance calls to the bank to correct the problem. I was then thinking about taking some travellers cheques with as a fallback, but on our last trip to Germany we found travellers cheques to be very difficult to use. Many banks would not exchange them - in one town we were sent to four banks before we found one who would cash our travellers cheques.
What do other travellers to Italy do for cash? Have many people had these issues of illegal access to your bank accounts?
PRLCH is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 316
ATM's all the way. We live in California and had our credit card scammed, so it can happen anywhere. We try to only use ATM.that are on the outsides of banks. I saw a tourist in Istanbul loose their card in a free=standing ATM. Where do your go to get it back??? Never had a problem with ATM card. I seem to remember that most ATMs limit the amount we could get per day. I think it might have only been 250 euros. per day
Marycang is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,662
Traveler's checks are dinosaurs. You can't use them to pay for things and you'll pay a hefty fee to get them cashed for euros. Open a second account and get a second ATM card to avoid the remote possibility of a card being "scammed" or whatever, so you have a backup. Use only ATMs at banks or Post Offices.

I've never, in hundreds and hundreds of trips to places all over the world, had anyone "scam" my ATM card. I've had someone hack into my AMEX account, but that's another thing entirely (and no problem, as AMEX was all over it in a heartbeat).
StCirq is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
You will have even more trouble with traveler's checks now. The key to safe use of an ATM is to use an ATM inside the bank while it is open. That ensure that no one else is pulling any information from it. If you use ATMs on the street there is the possibility that is has been adjusted during the small hours to take a reading of your card info.

Also, suggest you take 2 cards on 2 different accounts - so if there is a problem on one you have a back-up.

You might also check if any of the apartments will take PayPal - so you have to pay for fewer in cash.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 05:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 646
Thanks - you confirm what I thought to be the case. I have arranged to prepay as much of the accommodation as possible and have organised two accounts with ATM cards for each. I wasn't aware one could get cash our of an ATM inside a bank - that seems like the way to go. I will make sure I have the "hotline" number for the bank in case of any problems.

Only two months and we head off - cannot wait!
PRLCH is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 05:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,266
I'm guessing that you are Australian.
Take a look at the ANZ bank Travelcards.

We have used them and they are good.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
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