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Have you ever had a problem with a debit card?

Have you ever had a problem with a debit card?

Old Jan 25th, 2005, 07:48 AM
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Have you ever had a problem with a debit card?

Iím curious.

Have you or anyone you know ever had any problems with a debit card in Europe, or any other place for that matter?

Iím thinking of problems like a lost or stolen card, unauthorized charges, etc.

Also, have you ever been hit with a high atm or foreign exchange fee?
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 08:15 AM
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I used my credit union debit card in Europe this past spring with no problem.

It was primarily for withdrawing funds out of the ATM, and I was planning on making purchases with my credit card. One day I mistakenly paid for something with the debit card, but there were no problems at time of purchase or afterwards.

My credit union did not charge me for any ATM fees or foreign exchange fees, but I suppose that is up to your bank.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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The only time I had a "problem" with my debit card was when I used it at a hotel in Pennsylvania. I didn't know it, but they are able to authorize a "hold" in excess of the room amount (I think it was by a good $250) on your card. I had checked out, and 2 days later was trying to withdraw money from an ATM...and I was stopped for insufficient funds. I had to call the hotel to have them remove the hold before I was able to withdraw money from an ATM. That was the last time I used a debit card when checking into a hotel!
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 08:47 AM
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I have never had a problem, but I think it's generally safer to use credit cards while traveling since you can stop payment on them and you don't run the risk of having your entire checking account wiped out. I have used debit cards for withdrawing cash in European cities, but I use credit cards for everything else.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 08:53 AM
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If you can try to get an ATM Debit card that can only be accessed by using a PIN.That way if you loose the card someone won't be able to empty your bank account because they won't know your PIN.A PIN only ATM card will not have a Visa/Mastercharge logo on it.I know the banks say you are protected from unauthorized use of your ATM card ,but who needs the hassle of dealing with a bank when you are on vacation.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 08:55 AM
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That's a loaded question! My entire purse was stolen last year, along with my bank/debit card. It was no different than any other credit card. My bank had to cancel the card and re-issue me a new one. They did manage to send me a replacement card via DHL service while I was still in Europe so that eased some concern.

The ATM fees are the same everywhere, as in the U.S. too. The rate was ~1,50 euros per transaction. I tried to get out a larger sum of money so I didn't have to keep returning to an ATM to withdraw and incur fees. I use the many frequent Deutsche Banks found throughout Germany, Italy, etc. since their policy is uniform throughout Europe. Smaller, individual type banks might impose different (higher?) fees.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 08:57 AM
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Another problem with credit cards is that the bank will (for security) put a limit on total withdrawls per day. Meaning that you might not be able to cover your hotel with it when you get ready to leave. The best option is a travel atm card. AAA has them. You deposit a set amount onto the card, and it can only be used at an ATM with a PIN number. If it is stolen, it is useless and can be quickly replaced.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 08:57 AM
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If it's strictly a debit card, if you lost it, someone would need your pin to use it. If it's a Visa/MC debit card, if you lost it, someone could wipe out your checking account. Of course you would eventually get the money back, but what a hassle.

I have a Visa debit card and disable the visa portion when I go overseas.

There are no transaction fees in European ATM's, but check with your bank to find out what the conversion fees are. Normal is 1%, but some banks charge more.

Like Jennifer said, debit card for getting cash, and credit card for hotels/rental cars, restaurants, purchases, etc.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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In London a couple of years ago, my husband used his debit card to withdraw some cash. The machine, which was near our hotel, did not give him money OR return the card. We spent much of our remaining week arguing with the bank to get the card back. The bank won. Luckily, I had my own card so all was not lost. Moral: Be sure you have a backup card!!
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 09:01 AM
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Had a problem a few years ago in Surrey England. Smallish town, ATM had the "proper" network symbol (think it was Cyrrus) but it kept saying there was an access issue. Have since used ATMs in Paris with no prob
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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Thanks to all for your response.

To Budman: You say you can disable the Visa part of your card. Is that easy to do?
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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I haven't done this but I've read from several people here that they set up no-fee checking accounts just for travel purposes. They get a debit card for that account, and use it only for travel. Should the card be lost or misused, at least it's not affecting their primary bank accounts. But disabling the Visa or MC aspect of their regular debit card may be just as easy.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 10:10 AM
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Hi tater,

>You say you can disable the Visa part of your card. Is that easy to do?<

Call your bank. Tell them you want an ATM only card. They will send you one.

Much safer than the Debit/credit cards.

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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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Mine got "demagnatized" while in France. That can happen anywhere. Particularly easy to ruin 2 cards when you lay them together side by side in your wallet...

Now, I don't do that. Anywhere.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 10:17 AM
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tatersalad - Yes, phone call.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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Budman

I've been meaning to ask you; is that Budweiser or Budvar?
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 12:19 PM
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It's actually Chateauneuf du Pape. I'm a Wineaux.

BTW, check with your bank concerning your withdrawal limit on the debit card. Mine told me I could get $500 a day on my card, and $500 a day on my wife's card -- same account. That was nice information to know in case one or the other was lost or stolen.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 12:37 PM
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Perhaps I am wrong (and know someone will correct me if I am ) but even if your bank allows $500.00 to be withdraw from your account via an ATM card can't you have a problem because the ATM you are using has a limit (say for example at $250.00). Of course if that is the case one can go to more then one ATM to get the total of $500.00 but then that would mean more fees.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 04:55 PM
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I've never had a problem with my debit card when traveling (knock on wood), but I am always very cautious with worries of such.

I just have to say...Budman, you're a man after my own heart and all this time I thought you mainly favored beer. Chateauneuf du Pape is one of my faves. Had a bottle from our friends cellar when we got our Dutch EU citizenship a few years ago and have been hooked since. Ah...memories.

To the OP..."tatersalad." You wouldn't happen to be a fan of the comedian Ron White, would you?
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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 06:09 AM
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I travel to Europe two/three times a year. This is what I've learned: Notify your credit card/ATM bank{s) before you leave what countries you will be in and the dates. This will prevent them from blocking charges if they think it is fraud. I use my credit card for hotel/major purchases. I use my ATM card for cash. I bring a minimal amount of US $ in case of emergency. I have never had a problem. Note their daily amounts on how much you can withdraw are all over the board. If you get a bank fee for using an ATM it is significantly less than the fees/commission that is charged to exchange money. I had FRAUD on my debit card here in the USA. Got all the money back but did a number on my checking account until it was TCO. Since then, I use a straight ATM card not a debit card when it comes to my checking and savings. Happy travels.
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