Credit Card/ATM in Paris

Nov 27th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 147
Not sure about this 4-digit PIN info, I have 2 ATM cards that have been used for years throughout Europe and other regions of the planet. One has 4-digit PIN and one has 5-digit PIN.

Is the intent of this information to mean a MINIMUM of 4 digits?

smarty is offline  
Nov 27th, 2007, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,690
A lot of people are leery of PIN codes with more than 4 numbers because in olden times, some of the ATMs wouldn't accept them. For the most part, those days have passed. In any case, there is no problem in France with more digits.
kerouac is online now  
Nov 27th, 2007, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,371
"make sure their pin is 4 digits and that the money is in their savings account. is incorrect on two fronts.

It is true that years ago one needed to have 4-digit (only 4 digits) PINs. But that has changed over time and 4, 5 , 6 digit PINs work fine. Just make sure it is all numeric or at least you know the numeric equivilent of any letter.

And the money should be in a checking account (or your primary acct if you don't have a checking acct). Most European ATMs do not give you a choice of accts nor let you transfer funds from one acct to another.
janisj is online now  
Nov 27th, 2007, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
Yikes, a double oopsie.

Correct, the money comes out of your checking account, you will not have a choice at the ATM. I've always had a 4-digit pin, but memories of people reminding others to get one were...too fresh

Michel_Paris is offline  
Nov 27th, 2007, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,093
The ATM machine doesn't know if it's a checking or savings account and doesn't care. The money simply comes out of whatever account to which your card is linked. So just make sure you have the account linked to your ATM card loaded with enough money for your trip. My card is linked to my checking. My checking and savings accounts are with a very large national bank in the US and if I exceed the amount in my checking it automatically draws from my savings account. To have this feature you must arrange for it with your bank.

Larry J
LarryJ is offline  
Nov 27th, 2007, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,339
Yet in the past some cards i've had linked to savings accounts did not work but checking accounts always have

same bank one and when i got back they told me savings account ATMs thru them would not work abroad - only checking

in any case check with your local bank before going

and i have seen ATM machines that pop up the question: Checking or Savings
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 04:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 189
After traveling through Italy last month using ATM cards for cash, I would advise carrying more than one card. Have a couple of backups. We had our card stuck in ATM machines twice. One we were not able to retrieve. Take at least three cards where you are able to withdraw cash just in case,
smoot60 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 05:01 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,371
LarryJ: Unlike w/ US ATMs it does matter which acct. If the card is linked to ONLY a savings acct then you will be able to access your money. But many people have money in checking and savings at the same bank and use ATMs to transfer money from one to the other or withdraw from either.

That is not an option in France. The money will only come out of the primary acct - which for most people is a checking acct.
janisj is online now  
Nov 29th, 2007, 09:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,093

Agreed. The money will come from the account to which the card is linked. My card is a check card but on the interet I can move money between accounts. I am aware that you don't have this option at the ATM machine.

LarryJ is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2007, 06:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 298
As a side note to all this chatter on foreign exchange, get yourself a Capital One credit card, they are one of only a few credit cards that doesn't charge the 3% foreign exchange fee on every single transaction. 3% added to already terrible exchange rates is a big deal. Check it out!

KarenM is offline  
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