Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Cash and ATM tips? Fees? Traveler checks? Need advice.

Cash and ATM tips? Fees? Traveler checks? Need advice.

Old Nov 18th, 2013, 09:32 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 7,763
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Can skimmers really be fooled by typing in eight numbers?
sparkchaser is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2013, 09:33 PM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,210
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Every ATM withdrawal incurs a 1% fee, which is charged by the company processing the transaction, either MC or Visa. Above that most charge a 3% foreign transaction fee. But this depends on your bank and account. (For example, I don't have to pay this fee with my Citi account.). Most credit cards also charge the 3% foreign transaction fee.

Compare to a currency exchange booth that typically costs at least 8% or more, and it's easy to see the advantage if using an ATM. The "fee" at a currency exchange booth is built into the exchange rate.

But your bank might also charge a foreign ATM fee. Still, it's usually a better deal.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 02:34 AM
  #43  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,416
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all for the good info on B of A's fee increase. We are going to Italy next year and I didn't know they charged that much to use a partner bank. I need to revive my credit union account.

To the OP: The AmEx company did a helluva job in marketing their traveler's cheques back in the day. They made everyone think they are accepted as cash worldwide. Although TC's are never advertised anymore so many people still believe the hype. It wasn't true then and as other have mentioned it's almost impossible to use them now.
P_M is online now  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 02:37 AM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 7,763
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I haven't seen a commercial for AMEX Traveler's checks in years.
sparkchaser is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 02:41 AM
  #45  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,416
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Me neither, but they were very effective as they are still remembered by so many people.
P_M is online now  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 05:18 AM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,252
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Did anyone mention that the Italian ATM transaction will default to your checking account? To the best of my knowledge, you will not have the option to withdraw funds from a savings account."

--and--

"In general, you can only access checking accounts, not savings accounts, from foreign ATMs.

This is an important point - First time in Italy, I thought I was being so clever to set up a separate travel savings account , until I found I could not access the funds.
29FEB is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 05:32 AM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 7,763
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It works like that in the UK, Germany, Belgium, and Czech Republic as well. I can't remember about other countries but I am sure the list is much, much longer.
sparkchaser is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 06:08 AM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,026
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
European ATMs generally will not have an account withdrawal option. ATM withdrawals will ultimately be taken from the account at your local bank designated as primary. Theoretically, a savings account could be targeted as primary but this is something that would need to be set up at your bank in advance of travel.

Currency conversion fees, typically 1%, are take by Visa/Mastercard (or Plus/Maestro/Cirrus/ for ATM transactions). This fee represents the cost of converting euros to dollars. Some card issuing banks reimburse this fee. Examples are PenFed, Captial One, Andrews FCU, and Bankamericard Travel Rewards.

Foreign transaction fees are charged by card issuing banks (local banks). This fee can be as high as 2%, making the the total transaction cost 3%. This fee represents your banks ability to take money from you for no other reason than they can which is why many banks don´t charge this fee. USAA, PenFed, Andrews, Capital One, some Schwab accounts and various other institutions issue cards without this fee. American Express typically charges 2.7% on foreign transactions.

Some US banks now issue chip and signature cards which are becoming more and more important to travelers. To my knowledge, there is only one chip and PIN card available in the US without any annual fee and that is the USAA Mastercard. All foreign transactions using this card are completed with the user´s PIN - a signature is never required nor ever accepted.

Many US bank issued chip and signature cards are issued with a PIN which may be required for certain kiosk purchases. Note: using a PIN this way has nothing to do with placing a US credit card into an ATM for a cash advance which also requires a PIN. Cash advances using a credit card can be done with the magnet strip format, have little to nothing to do with chip and pin usage, and can be an extremely costly way to obtain cash.

All of these fees can add up and rob you of vacation dollars. All of these fees can be avoided by the savvy bank customer.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 08:03 AM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,369
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
k_marie: Did anyone mention that the Italian ATM transaction will default to your checking account? To the best of my knowledge, you will not have the option to withdraw funds from a savings account.

sparkchaser: It works like that in the UK, Germany, Belgium, and Czech Republic as well. I can't remember about other countries but I am sure the list is much, much longer.

Not true in Belgium (or France or Luxembourg). I traveled there in May with my Andrews ATM card - no checking account, just a savings account. (My card is an "ATM card" not a "debit card.") Yes it "defaults" to my non-existent checking account but there was an option to choose my savings account instead. I had no trouble withdrawing money from my savings account at any ATM in those three countries. It works the same for me if I use it in the US.

I haven't used this Andrews card in Italy so I can't verify whether it works there or not. I do travel with a second backup ATM card, tied to another credit union checking account, and I know that card works in Italy...
Andrew is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 08:56 AM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,252
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And I only tried my "savings only" ATM card in Italy.
When my attempts were all rejected, I switched to my backup card, also with a credit union.

Returning home, the first thing I did was switch my "special travel" account to checking (I am educable!) so I never tried it anywhere else.

This is a very informative thread!
29FEB is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 10:53 AM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 959
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
kybourbon: I don't imagine it's changed. What is changed is they have to break it out into separate listings on your statement. Before it was just bundled in the amount.

Nope. My bank didn't bundle the charges before - it ate the cost. I checked when I got back from my trip and found a notice that said they had to start passing on the cost.

I also took along an Andrews Visa card and a Cap One card. So it was just the cash fees. But over six weeks those add up!
christycruz is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 11:11 AM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd like to add to Sarastro's nice summary.

Bank of America's travel reward is a zero annual fee chip & signature credit card. All other ones I look at with Chase require annual fee.
calflu is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 05:55 PM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We got euros from our bank before we left because we had to pay for our apartment with cash. Our bank opened another account for our trip and we both had a ATM card to withdraw money. The ATMs only allow you to take out 200/euro a day per card. Between the money we had ahead of time and the ATMs we did not have to use our credit card to much. Oh and our bank gave us the first three withdrawals per card free...so we had no extra fees (Wells Fargo). We also had a Chase Sapphire credit card that has no fees for use abroad. Hope this helps
Paquintravel is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 06:23 PM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 26,405
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Are you saying that Wells Fargo did NOT charge a foreign conversion fee? What kind of account do you have with them? The basic checking account in my area with them costs $5 per foreign ATM withdrawal plus conversion fees. Just goes to show you must check with YOUR OWN bank, and not rely on what someone else gets.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 06:45 PM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,026
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ATMs only allow you to take out 200/euro a day per card.

EU bank ATMs generally do not limit your ability to withdraw funds. Limits, if they are imposed, come from your local bank and are transmitted as part of the withdrawal authorization.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2013, 11:07 PM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 7,763
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have a $700/day limit for my debit card. Comes out to be a little more than 500 Euro, and gettign less by the week ;__;
sparkchaser is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2013, 08:39 AM
  #57  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,238
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>The ATMs only allow you to take out 200/euro a day per card. machines or your card?

European Banks really don't limit how much you can withdraw per day. Some do have a limit per transaction but not per day.

You own bank does usually limit how much you can withdraw per day - but most of the time you can have your bank increase that limit.
janisj is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2013, 10:07 AM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,553
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>

This is a classic case of people either swallowing total BS from their bank or just not understanding how anything related to foreign currency works.
StCirq is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2013, 06:38 PM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jainisj- you are right. We set it up to only be a certain amount. You can set up what ever is right .for you with your bank.

Thursdsd- you are right you should check with you own bank re fess etc... We did not get charged for the first three withdrawals or have any fees for each of our cards. It worked out that we did not have to use each card more than three times.

Stcirq- Wow....really..
Paquintravel is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2013, 08:00 PM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 26,405
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
"or have any fees for each of our cards"

Are you SURE you were not charged a foreign conversion fee? On a Wells Fargo account??? Did you actually check the exchange rate and your statements? (It would not show up at the ATM itself.)
thursdaysd is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Howell
Europe
29
Aug 9th, 2013 09:35 AM
albertico62
Europe
8
Jun 8th, 2012 10:16 AM
maxmox
Europe
9
Apr 15th, 2009 03:54 PM
humanone
Europe
8
Mar 12th, 2009 01:13 PM
mtnestr
Europe
22
Jan 21st, 2009 05:15 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:58 AM.