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I was (partially) wrong about debit cards vs. cash

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I was (partially) wrong about debit cards vs. cash

Old Aug 20th, 2014, 09:53 AM
  #41  
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"Once or twice I've had a card refused, but I just moved on to another machine, which worked. "

I did the same thing. When my card has been refused and kicked back out to me, I don't stick it back into that same machine, I consider it a warning that something somewhere isn't right, and I move on to the next ATM--always with success. I don't like to take any chance that the machine which rejected my card may not give it back.
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 10:46 AM
  #42  
 
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"no more."

Michael, did they kill street view in Paris? I sure hope not.
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 10:50 AM
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I just visited Paris via street view. I'm guessing you were referring to the no fee comment?
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 12:13 PM
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I'm guessing you were referring to the no fee comment?

yes.
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 03:38 PM
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Some people open a separate bank account with an ATM/debit card just for travel and put only the money they will be needing in it. With this method there is no possibility of your entire bank account being "drained" because they are not connected.
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 07:30 PM
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To respond to a couple of commenters, there are myriad banks in the U.S. which will sell euros at roughly 105 percent or less of face value. This isn't much worse than getting money with an ATM card that includes a foreign transaction fee, and in fact can better.

I like cash. I really like not having to wait and pray when I first arrive in a country. My past experience is that my wife's ATM card didn't work in every machine. So we would have to spend time looking for a machine that worked. And of course, having an ATM card eaten is not the norm, but it only has to happen once to ruin one's life, or at least one's vacation.

BUT, my point in posting this is that it has now become virtually impossible to convert USD to euros outside very major cities. Because of this I am going to break down and get a debit card before my next Europe trip. I will still arrive in Europe with a pocket full of euros, just not quite as many.
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 09:18 PM
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This isn't much worse than getting money with an ATM card that includes a foreign transaction fee, and in fact can better.

When I use my debit card, I get charged $1 for using a non-network ATM and 1%.

I'll stick to using my debit card.
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 09:28 PM
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I pay even less, sparkchaser: $0 fee and 0% conversion fee, using my Andrews FCU ATM card.
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 09:42 PM
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Nice.

Maybe I should switch.
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 09:57 PM
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but we do change our most-counterfeited bills with some frequency, and.the new bills always have new security features, some of them not visible under ordinary light.

What we do not do is require citizens to bring their old bills to the bank to exchange them for new ones.


How does that stop counterfeiting? The counterfeiters will just keep counterfeiting the old bills.
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 10:07 PM
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dotheboyshall: "What we do not do is require citizens to bring their old bills to the bank to exchange them for new ones."

How does that stop counterfeiting? The counterfeiters will just keep counterfeiting the old bills.


That doesn't mean the Federal Reserve isn't removing the old bills from circulation - it simply means you aren't required to turn the old bills in. Gradually, the old ones are being removed, until they become very rare.

If you are a counterfeiter trying to peddle your fake bills, you're going to have a much more difficult time trying to peddle the old hundred dollar bills. Maybe you could get away with a few here and there, but that's hardly profitable. The last thing a counterfeiter wants to do is draw suspicion to herself or himself, and if you show up trying to spend ten old $100 bills, you draw an enormous amount of suspicion to yourself.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 09:42 AM
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Having my card eaten did not spoil my vacation at all, let alone ruin my life. We always bring two. We actually have accounts at 2 different credit unions, one of which we use only for travel. I carry one card and my husband carries the other. On this occasion I made a phone call reporting the loss of the card and carried on with our trip.

The very first time I went to Europe without getting euros ahead of time I was a bit nervous. But that was long ago and many trips ago. All the European airports I've arrived at had a row of ATMs near the luggage carousel/exit. Very convenient, more so than finding a currency exchange.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 10:18 AM
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If having one ATM card "eaten" ruins your life or even your vacation that only means you didn't have a good Plan B in place.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 11:37 AM
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Exactly. You need backup plans in case one source of payment doesn't work, mostly to put your mind at ease. Two ATM cards from different financial institutions, a few credit cards (including one spare hidden in my suitcase in case my wallet is lost/stolen), and some USD is probably good enough for a typical European trip.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 11:59 AM
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Europeans usually also carry a few gold bars and some small diamonds - just in case. Gold teeth are strictly for emergencies only.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 12:31 PM
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I think paying 105% for your money is a lot compared to zero, which is what I pay using my ATM card. But it's your money, what the heck. If you charge most things to a credit card, that's your decision. Although, I don't think that most banks actually charge only 105% to get you euro, I think many charge about 107%, all the ones I've asked do. And as for charging less than 105%? I don't think there are many.

I do have backup plans but have never had to use them. First, I have two ATM cards, and then I have PINs with my credit cards. I also carry some US cash on me, which I could exchange if I had to (not a lot, maybe $150).

I am a little confused by your use of the terms ATM vs. DEBIT card as I do not have a debit card, I only have an ATM card. In fact, I have two of them from two different bank accounts. It's not that much different to most people, I just don't have debit cards because I don't ever intend to buy things with them, just to get cash from an ATM, and my bank used to have a nebulous policy about the risk of a debit card in unauthorized transactions (something about how you weren't liable from when you notified them, someone could spend a lot by then). I don't ever intend to buy anything with it, anyway, so why have one when I only need an ATM card.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 12:50 PM
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well I have a debit card because that's what the bank issued and what I use at home all the time for both purchases and at the ATM. When I travel I only use it at ATMs, but it's not worth it to me to get another separate account or card... so that's why I have one.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 12:53 PM
  #58  
 
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I am a little confused by your use of the terms ATM vs. DEBIT card as I do not have a debit card, I only have an ATM card.

For most people the two are the same as they can be used as both a debit card in shops and an ATM card to withdraw cash

I think paying 105% for your money is a lot compared to zero, which is what I pay using my ATM card.

Mine is 2% plus £1. I could get zero but it means setting up another account and for the amount involved it's hardly worth it
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