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Has anyone uses a 360 card for cash

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Jun 21st, 2013, 02:36 PM
  #1
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Has anyone uses a 360 card for cash

We are leaving in a few days for paris and don't have time to get a backup debit card. Our bank, fifth third, is offering us a preloaded 360 cash card. It doesn't have a chip. Will we be able to use it in paris? Do debit cards need to have a chip?
Thanks, laurie
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Jun 21st, 2013, 02:54 PM
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You don't need a chip for credit cards or ATM/debit cards. All you'll need is the pin.

I would check the exchange rate they're offering you; it may not be a good deal.

I recently traveled to Spain with a friend who banks at Fifth Third and even though she called them and told them she was traveling they blocked her card. She emailed her husband and he called (or went to the branch in person) and told them to unblock her card and they claimed they did but they didn't. It took a third request and finally she could use her ATM card but not her credit card. She has had trouble with Fifth Third in the past so this was not the first time they blocked her card even when she phoned ahead to advise them of her travel plans.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 05:20 PM
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Thanks, Adrienne. They say it should work like any debit card with no additional fees other than the 3 percent I would be charged anyway. Sorry to hear about your friend. I know what it's like to not be able to get cash away from home. It's not a good feeling, which is why I like to have backups for my backups.
Laurie
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Jun 21st, 2013, 05:36 PM
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<< They say it should work like any debit card with no additional fees other than the 3 percent I would be charged anyway >>

I said to check the exchange rate they're giving you.

Traditionally, pre-loaded cards have very bad exchange rates. The exchange rate is not a fee but the amount you are charged per unit of foreign currency. For instance, the current exchange rate might be $1.30 for 1 Euro. The bank may charge you $1.35 per Euro or $1.40 per Euro or even more on a pre-loaded card.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 06:06 PM
  #5
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Huh. So....be patient with me. I'm confused. I hope I don't sound completely ignorant but are you saying if I go to an ATM and take out 100 Euros, depending on which card I use, meaning debit or preloaded, a different amount of American dollars will be deducted?
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Jun 21st, 2013, 06:12 PM
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Trust me, they are giving you a bad exchange rate on top of charging you the 3%, which is already extortionary. If you're going to the trouble of getting a new card, why not just open a new account at a credit union and get an ATM card from them, avoid the 3% and a bad exchange rate?
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Jun 21st, 2013, 06:24 PM
  #7
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Well, this is very interesting. You guys have saved me again. Basically, I just got the card as a backup. I have a debit card but wanted to bring some travelers checks along as insurance, only to be used for cash if something were to happen to my debit card. The bank convinced me to get the 360 card instead. Do you happen to know if the exchange rate for travelers checks would be any better than the 360 card? We're leaving on Tuesday so we're running out of time.
Thanks so much,
Laurie
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Jun 21st, 2013, 06:25 PM
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<< a different amount of American dollars will be deducted >>

Basically, yes. You will pay a different amount of money to get the 100 Euros. It works the same with Travelex pre-loaded cards. Or any other bank pre-loaded foreign currency card.

When you use a regular ATM/debit card you get an exchange rate that is close to the interbank rate (good rate). This is the rate you see on currency exchange sites. I've checked this when I've used my ATM card so I know what rate I was charged.

When you buy a pre-loaded card you pay for the foreign currency at the time you load the card. There will be a certain amount of Euros (or whatever currency) on the card and you get cash at the ATM and the amount is deducted from the card.

To determine the exchange rate Fifth Third is giving you, ask how much it will cost to load a debit card with 1,000 Euros (or whatever amount) and then you will be able to figure out the exchange rate they're charging you.

Then go to a currency exchange site and check the rate for that day. You'll then know if you should buy the prepaid debit card or if Fifth Third is robbing you. It's usually the latter. Banks are in business to make money; not to give it away and be nice to their customers.

The current rate is $131.22 for 100 Euros. If Fifth Third says that they will charge you $150 for the 100 Euros you know that their exchange rate is $1.50 per Euro rather than $1.31 per Euro.


http://www.xe.com/
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Jun 21st, 2013, 06:28 PM
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Do not bring traveler's checks!!!!

You will not find a place to cash them. If you do find a place then the exchange rate will be awful.

Please do not bring traveler's checks!

You've already bought the 360 card? How much did you pay?

BTW did you ever get your train tickets?
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Jun 21st, 2013, 06:29 PM
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Do NOT get travelers checks!!!!!

Not only do you ge a bad exchange rate -- they are almost impossible to cash anywhere except at exchange bureaus or some merchants who will soak you. Banks won't generally touch TCs.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 06:31 PM
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was posting the same tie as Adrienne. Only difference - I used one more !

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Jun 21st, 2013, 06:31 PM
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Go janisj!

We were posting at the same time with a common thought.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 06:32 PM
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!!! - Just to go you two better!
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Jun 21st, 2013, 06:33 PM
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NO, NO, NO to traveler's checks!!! They are dinosaurs. You won't be able to exchange them at any bank and no merchants will take them. Even if you managed to find someplace to cash them, you'd lose at least 10-12 percent of your money!

Banks in Europe these days won't even let you in the door if you're not a customer.

Just run to a credit union and open an account and get a card.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 06:56 PM
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The plot thickens. My 360 card is loaded with American dollars from my bank account. I think my banker thought I could use it just like a debit card in France. I gather that isn't the case??? It would have to be loaded with French currency?

I know nothing about credit unions. Are you saying I could open an account there and immediately receive a debit card that would work in France?
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Jun 21st, 2013, 07:02 PM
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>> I gather that isn't the case??? It would have to be loaded with French currency? <<

You gather incorrectly. You loaded US$ - which only makes sense sine your bank account is w/ a US bank. And you will use it to withdraw € in Europe. That is where the 'exchange' we keep running on about comes in.

You have $ on the card and your bank will convert the € you withdraw into $ to take out of the account.

But as long as you already have the card - your best option is probably to use it for purchases in the States. That way you won't lose on the exchange.

Is the "we" you and your spouse? If so, don't you each have debit cards - that is your back up.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 07:08 PM
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I don't know if you can get a card the same day you open the account. You'd have to call to find out if they have embossed cards on hand.

Credit Unions traditionally charge a 1% fee rather than a 3% fee that banks charge.

You could ask your bank for a second ATM card.

I've never bought a preloaded card so I could be wrong. But what are you going to do with USD in France? I thought they loaded your card with Euros. You could bring cash - it's the same thing. But don't do that as you won't be able to exchange it at a decent rate.

In a pinch I've used a credit card to get cash. Everyone says don't do that as you pay interest from day of withdrawal on a credit card. But in a pinch it would only be a few dollars. I needed Polish money and my ATM card wouldn't work so I used my credit card. I paid a whopping 60 cents in interest. Big deal.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 07:11 PM
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<< your best option is probably to use it for purchases in the States >>

Can't you put the money back into your bank account?

I guess I was wrong about loading the card with USD but the exchange rate theory is correct, as janisj explains.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 07:15 PM
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>>Can't you put the money back into your bank account?<<

Not sure about this particular card - but most of these pre-paid cards have fees built in if you close/cancel them. It is basically impossible to get every dollar out of them unless you spend it down to zero.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 07:16 PM
  #20
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Well.......I assumed he had a debit card too only to find out at this late date that he only has a "Jeanie" card. I was worried about bringing travelers checks because I see they're not even mentioned in Rick Steves' book. Maybe we should just bring cash as a backup and just not keep it all in one place. I'm so glad you gave me a warning about the exchange rate.

And thank you, I did finally get the train tickets! And the tickets to Giverny. You've been a life-saver.
Laurie
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