Bank of America/ ATMs in Europe

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Jul 15th, 2007, 05:49 PM
  #1
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Bank of America/ ATMs in Europe

Has anyone had any experience using a Bank of America check card in London, Scotland, Paris, Italy? Just looking for any potential problems or good experiences.
Thanks.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 07:31 PM
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no problems - but expensive unless you use partner bank ATMs. You will be fine in the UK (Barclays) and France (BNP Paribas). Unfortunately there are no partners in Italy.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 07:38 PM
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As stated,either go to a partner bank or pay B of A $5.00 per swat to use your money card off net. That $5.00 per usage fee applies here in the US as well.

If you have a B of A credit card, be prepared to pay then 3% for nothing.

I suggest getting a Capital One credit card and finding some other bank to house your money.

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Jul 15th, 2007, 08:05 PM
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BOA also works with Deutsche Bank which has lots of branches in Italy.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 08:16 PM
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I believe that the partner deal works only with the bank in its native country. Thus there is no charge for taking money out of a Barclays ATM in the U.K., but there would be a charge for taking money out of Barclays ATM in France.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 08:43 PM
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Open an account at metlifebank.com... no fees at all and if you use your card at a bank that charges you a fee ,they refund it.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 09:25 PM
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Sarvowinner: "BOA also works with Deutsche Bank which has lots of branches in Italy." Unfortunately only partly true. Yes, there are lots of Deutsche Bank locations in Italy - but they are not considered BofA partners there. Deutsche Bank ATMs would be free in Germany, but they cost BofA customers $5 a pop in Italy.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 10:19 PM
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Sorry about the bum steer. Westpac's website clearly states that Global Alliance partners includes Deutsche Bank in Italy http://tinyurl.com/2l6scl I know that we didn't get charged in Italy or when using Barclays in Tanzania. I assumed it would be the same with B of A in Italy.

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Jul 16th, 2007, 12:07 AM
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I use Deutsche Bank in Italy and I am not charged extra for taking money of a BofA accout. I havent tried for a year now so maybe things have changed.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 12:52 AM
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SeaUrchin, yes things have changed. Beginning last year BofA started charging the $5 fee for using partner banks when they are not in the country of origin. In other words, if you use DeutscheBank in Germany -- no charge. But use it in any other country , and there is a charge.

I've been pleased with BofA in the past, but this summer has been a bit of a nightmare with them. Before leaving on this 11 week trip, I called on both my partner's and my accounts and gave a full itinerary. We had no problems the first month in NYC and in London, using both cards several times. But the day we were leaving London, I checked my emails at the airport lounge and had a messge from BofA that my account was on hold due to "unusual away from home activity". I was to call them. The numbers they provided were only for automated service and when you say "agent" you get a message that they aren't available except during business hours. I emailed them (on their secured site) and said I HAD informed them of my travels and I needed to have access to both accounts in a few hours to withdraw funds in Rome to pay for our apartment.
When I got to Rome, I was able to withdraw 250 euros on Lee's account (250 is the maximum allowed by most Italian ATMs), but mine would not work. When I tried to use Lee's again to get more funds, I got the same message about "contact your bank".

Fortunately the owner of our apartment was very understanding about paying her later (she actually said she'd return a week later just before we left and we could pay her then). But I went through three days and about 20 phone calls to BofA to straighted things out. I finally figured out that apparently at the end of 30 days they automatically cancelled the override on travel (one agent told me that the overrides are only good for 30 days -- so why didn't they tell me that when I gave them the 76 day itinerary?).

Nevertheless, for the next three weeks, I had even more problems. Despite my bank raising our limits to $1000 per day on each of our separate accounts, because it was out of the country, BofA told me they automatically limited it to $600 per day. And although our two accounts are totally separate but we can access each other's accounts, they have linked them together, so that equaled ONE limit per day of $600 per account. So after withdrawing 250 euro, I couldn't withdraw another 250 euro as that would be a total over $600. More calls and finally we were fine for awhile, until in Venice they stopped my account again. This time they said there was "extreme" withdrawing of a suspicious nature. I had withdrawn 400 euro two days in a row!! I had more aparments to pay for in cash and wanted to get the money plenty early.

Another call and they released it again. Also I was refused money on a Monday because I had withdrawn money on a Saturday morning -- so BofA considers that the same banking day!!

I think the worst thing of all is not being able to contact them. In addition to the unmanned number they gave me, they provided another number on their website which they say you can call collect 24 hours a day if out of the country. Yet when I called it from an "800 and collect calls" phone at the BofA lounge, I get a recording that says, "sorry, this number is not allowed to accept collect calls. The regular customer service number on the back of the check card is only for automated balances and you cannot reach a human during weekends or after hours -- which in Europe is when you are most likely to be calling them. I'd have to wait until after 3 in the afternoon to call them when I tried to get money in the morning.

They also have a secure site for your own accounts where you can email and they promise to respond within 12 hours on the same site. They then send an email to your regular email account telling you to go to the secured site and check your messages. When I emailed them asking why my account was frozen even though I had called them and given them the dates and full itineray, I got a generic response telling me they were sorry for the problem. In the future I should call them and tell them my dates and itinerary. Huh? And when I asked why our two separate accounts had been linked together for one limit, they responded with a message that limits out of the country may vary from the limits within the US. Again -- no relation to what I asked.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 12:59 AM
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Heed Bob Brown's advice. I specifically got a no-fee Capital One card after reading this Board this Spring for trip to Paris. No fees
at all.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 01:05 AM
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So Rhea, are you saying you opened a checking account at Capital One for ATM withdrawals? Surely you don't withdraw money from an ATM with a credit card, do you -- that results in all kinds of charges, even from Capital One?
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Jul 16th, 2007, 11:20 AM
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aye yi yi neopatrick!! Times have changed old BofA I see.

Late last year I opened a checking account with Wells Fargo and planned to use them for cash withdrawels and the Capital One card for my credit card.

I would like to find a bank w/o charges for ATM cash.

Thanks for your post.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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No Neo what I meant to say was that I
got a Cap One Credit card to charge
hotels, meals etc - no conversion
fees on it.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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Commerce Bank, based in NJ and expanding in the mid-Atlantic area, offers no-fee-anywhere ATM transactions. Internet-only banks, ING is one, may also be a good source for fee-free ATM cards.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 12:38 PM
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Not only do they hit you with the 3% fee they also try and tick you with a additional foreign bank fee. I ran into a small problem in turkey and need to use it. They attempted to charge me the 3% + 5.50 for use of card + 4.95 foreign bank fee. After getting my statement I went to bank and had it out with them. It ended up with the 3% which I knew about and they dropped the other fees. Get another card from either credit union or one with smaller fixed fee.
I had stupidly left my other cards in safe on ship so only had the bofa with me otherwise I would have never used it.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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kayd, do you know of any on the West Coast?
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Jul 16th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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I have B or A accounts. About the only good things about them are that there are branches near my home and at work and ease in getting access to no fee ATMs in Germany and in Paris.

Everything else about them, as NeoPatrick and others metioned, is bad or expensive. I can't wait for a day I can close all my B of A accounts. I hate those telephone runarounds.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 01:02 PM
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Sorry, I don't know anything about banking practices on the west coast. But the internet knows no state boundaries -- why not try a google search?
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Jul 16th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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JoanneH, are you talking about a BofA ATM or check card? They do NOT charge 3% so far as I know. They charge me exactly 1% over the daily XE rate, plus the $5 fee if it wasn't a partner bank. Or are you talking about using a BofA credit card for charges -- something I've never done?
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