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Do most ATM's in Europe accept AMEX cards?

Do most ATM's in Europe accept AMEX cards?

Aug 29th, 2008, 09:06 PM
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Do most ATM's in Europe accept AMEX cards?

We've always used Master Card for our ATM withdrawals but will need to use the AMEX card on our next trip. Do most ATM's in Europe accept AMEX?
crckwc1 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 09:14 PM
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You can probably use an American Express, but it would be a cash advance, and would incur interest charges from day 1.

Your card linked to your checking account is what you need to use for cash. Depending on your bank, there may be charges, so check with them.
Barb_in_Ga is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 09:19 PM
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Hi, Barb, The AMEX card is a credit/debit card issued through our broker and is fee-free. For some reason, they are cancelling the same kind of Master Card that we have been using and substituting the AMEX card. Just wondered if AMEX is accepted widely at the ATM's.
crckwc1 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 09:20 PM
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Good question. Wish I could give you a better answer than, "I don't Know". I have only used AmEx in Europe infrequently, as it is not accepted in many places. High end hotels and restaurants will take it, but most other only accept Visa or Mastercard, IME.

It has been my impression that AmEx is not an ATM card, that is, it is strictly a credit card, not linked to a bank account. I would suspect that you might be able to draw an advance from an ATM machine, but that would be a cash advance -- costly, as it starts accruing interest immediately.

ATM cards usually have the logo of the network(s) they clear transactions through, such as Cirrus, Plus, Accel, etc. I look for a matching logo on the European ATM, to make sure it will work.

Just looked at my AmEx card, and it has no such logos on the back.

Hope someone can give you a more positive, and informed answer.

nukesafe is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 09:43 PM
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Some ATMs in France take the American Express card. I know that the LCL bank does.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 29th, 2008, 10:01 PM
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"Do most ATM's in Europe accept AMEX?"

The staight answer to that question is No.

Doubtless there are ATMs somewhere that do, and they may come in clusters. But they're very rare, and if that's the only cash withdrawal card you've got you need to get Amex to give you a list of European ATMs that accept it.

Without such a list, assume there simply aren't any where you're going to be.
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 01:05 AM
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Sure AMEX is accepted by many, many ATMs across Europe. I have a corporate AMEX card for business use and have routinely withdrawn cash from ATMs in Germany, Italy, Holland, Russia,... OK, once in a while I've found a machine that won't take it, so I've just gone to the next bank up the street. I've never been completely stuck but I do have other cards to fall back on if necessary.

As for "....accruing interest immediately...", that's not the way the traditional AMEX charge card works - you have to pay a fairly hefty withdrawal fee, but you don't pay interest unless you fail to pay off the card at the end of the month (that's why my employer likes AMEX for its corporate travellers). You do need to check this however, because AMEX also offers other account products that may charge interest immediately. Another issue to watch out for is the weekly cash withdrawal limit. Mine is set at a derisory GBP400 per week. Enough for the occassional business trip, but probably woefully inadequate for a week's holiday.
Gordon_R is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 05:15 AM
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They are accepted in most ATM's here in Spain but not in shops or hotels so they are not very useful for paying things
kenderina is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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Doesn't AMEX offer a list of ATM's on their website where those cards are accepted?
djkbooks is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 09:32 AM
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Have used AmEx throughout europe - but as a CC - not an ATM (didn't even know you cuold do that). For ATMs you need a card attached to a checking account. Is this a checking account with the broker? If so the AmEx should have the ATM system symbols on it (Star, Cirrus etc). If not - I doubt it will work. You need to contact AmEx and find out exactly how this card will work there.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 10:12 AM
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I think every CC charges interest from the date of a cash withdrawal, AMEX included, because it is a cash loan basically, not a purchase from a store. That includes cash products like travelers checks with it, also. So the fact that CCs don't charge interest on purchases if you pay off the bill the first month (which is nothing unique about Amex, they all do that) is not the same terms as for a cash advance on the cash. Amex also charges a 3 pct fee just for making a cash withdrawal (or $5, whichever is lower), and about a 2 pct foreign exchange rate difference on top of that 3 pct. You'd be charged 3 pct if you did it in your own country.

I have an AMEX card and the terms say that interest isn't charged for PURCHASES if they are paid by the due date, but it doesn't say that for cash advances.

Most credit cards can be used in an ATM, I think all of mine can. I do have PINs for them. AMEX talks about their card being using in ATMs as part of its terms, including the various fees, so I know you can. I've never done it, but would for an emergency if my ATM card didn't work. ATMs often list what networks are available or cards on the outside, and they show cards as well as Cirrus and Plus networks, I've just never paid that much attention to it in Europe.
Christina is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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My Amex card is a debit card rather than a credit card and can be used for cash withdrawals. I have never used it for such, since I have a Visa debit card, but I remember that it mentioned way back when I first read the instructions that the money would be debited directly from my bank account "plus a 10 franc service charge" (that's how long ago I read the conditions!) - this was for a French Amex card being used in France.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 31st, 2008, 03:51 AM
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Dare I point out that some of the answers given here are just factually inaccurate? (If I don't know the answer to a question on this forum or have no personal experience, I don't make a wild guess and post in on line as a fact).

I've no particular axe to grind in favour of AMEX but... there are over 650,000 ATMs across the world where AMEX is accepted under agreements with the local banking networks. You can search for all of them at:- http://amex.via.infonow.net/locator/cash/ In my little home town in sleepy Hampshire in England (pop 14000) there are 10 ATMs within walking distance that accept AMEX.

As to whether you'd *choose* to use your AMEX as a source of cash, over other alternatives, as I said earlier, that depends on the specifics of what account you have with AMEX (ie what charges apply), and whether you're signed up to their Express Cash programme.
Gordon_R is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 04:18 AM
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I C,

I have successfully used my Amex card for ATM withdrawals in France, Austria, Italy, and Germany.

ira is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 08:24 AM
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I was recently in Japan, where my trusty old ATM cards (one affiliated with MC and one with Visa) were rejected at ATM after ATM. Given that every one of these ATMs had an AMEX logo, I felt pretty stupid that I never bothered to get a PIN for it.

As for Europe, I see the AMEX logo on most ATMs. As for using it as a CC, I've never had any of the problems mentioned by others. It is very, very rare that I come across a place that takes MC/Visa, but not AMEX.
travelgourmet is offline  
Sep 1st, 2008, 05:50 PM
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Thanks to you all, especially to ira with your usual brief, to-the-point answer, and to GordonR for the amex link.

The reason I'm so in the dark about all this, is that I don't actually have the new AMEX card nor the terms in my hands. I just know they are "in the mail" and will be replacing the MC I've used for years for ATM withdrawals against my brokerage account which incurs no interest nor fees. I presume, but don't know, that the new AMEX card will do the same. So much for advance details from my brokerage firm!

The irritating part is that I leave in two days for Europe and the MC will expire before I return and I haven't yet received the AMEX. IF I get the new card before I leave I will need to know the ATM locations which GordonR kindly provided. Thanks to all again for the information and for putting up with my long rant.
crckwc1 is offline  

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