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Navy Federal Credit Union - Travel Questions!

Navy Federal Credit Union - Travel Questions!

May 26th, 2006, 08:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 932
Navy Federal Credit Union - Travel Questions!

I have a chance to join the Navy Federal Credit Union. I've read credit unions are great period .. but especially while traveling abroad. I will be in Europe for over 3 weeks this summer so thought joining this particular credit union would have advantages over my normal accounts at Wachovia.

This statement on their site concerned me:
"There is no fee for using your Visa Sharechek Card or CUCARD at a Navy Federal or CO-OP Network ATM.
A service fee is charged for all transactions by Navy Federal to members at PLUS System ATMs. PLUS System transactions may result in paying an additional fee to the ATM owner."

Is it difficult to find these "CO-OP Network ATMs or Navy Federal ATMs while abroad? If so and I were to use a regular PLUS sytem .. what fee will I be charged.

Anyone have experience with this?

Also, I read that my daily withdral from an ATM is $400 with the debit card. My daily charge with the debit card (visa logo) is $2500. Have these limits been a problem in the past for anyone? Is the $2500 via debit card charge considered separate from the $400 ATM? Basically what I'm trying to ask and probaby not doing a good job of it is .. if I pay an expensive hotel bill and it comes to $2500 and I "charge it" .. using the Visa logo debit card ... can I then turn around and withdrawal $400 from an ATM machine using the same debit card? Hopefully I didn't confuse the heck out of anyone!

Let me also say that we do not plan on taking credit cards ... as we don't use them .. only in case of emergencies! I am looking for debit card info only. Thanks!

katzen is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,641
I've used Plus ATMs (along with Cirrus on virtually every ATM in Europe) in Europe and never had a charge from the European ATM - only what my local bank charges - but things may be changing.
PalQ is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 932
PalQ, do you have an account with the Navy FCC? I've been told other credit unions don't charge a fee .. but it's possible that Navy does.

In doing more research I've realized that the NFCC doesn't have any locations or CO-OP Networks in Germany, Switzerland or France so if there is a fee charged for using PLUS /Cirrus I'm assuming I will be charged.
katzen is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,510
SOunds like you will have an ATM fee virtually anywhere you go, other than where the credit union is located. I never heard of co-op network, but I imagine the Navy FCU only has their own ATMs right around where they are located, don't they? Won't you have to pay ATM fees even if you travel to another city in the US?

I think credit unions can be good, but I wouldn't say they are great, period. I used to belong to one and had no real advantages over a regular bank. That was before the current issues with foreign transactions fees, though.
Christina is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 932
Christina, yes, it seems the more research i do on the Navy FCU site .. the more I realize that unless I take money out of their ATM or the CO-OP Network (navy related) .. I will be charged an ATM withdrawal fee. I called my bank, Wachovia and the lady I spoke to said they charge $2.00 for every ATM withdrawal in other countries. I'm going to talk face to face with someone at each place ... it seems any time you call you get a different answer from a different person.
katzen is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 26
We just returned from Paris, where I used my NFCU Sharechek (debit)Visa Card at ATMs affiliated with the Plus Network. (I doubt you would find any NFCU or Coop ATMs, and even if you did, you would still pay the $1 fee per withdrawal, which I paid for using the Plus affiliated ATM. The daily limit is $400. I did not charge with it, so I can't speak to your other question.
gramzy1 is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 11:11 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 932
gramzy1, thank you for your reply. $1 isn't bad compared to the $2 Wachovia was going to charge me!

I am planning on meeting in person with both the NFCU and Wachovia and will update later.
katzen is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,049
I'm not sure that visiting and talking to a real live person will give a more accurate answer that using the call center. You will likely deal with someone who has no expertise in the field, who will give you an answer after looking in the same book the call center people use.

For most US banks, the provision of overseas access for their clients who travel is a very tiny fraction of their business, so most of their people never deal with this procedure and consequently lack expertise.

People who are paid to deal with the public are reluctant to admit that they don't know the answer to your question, as it reflects badly on them to have to refer you to someone else. What you need for an accurate answer is access to one of the very few people with knowledge in this field, and those people may not be at the branch you visit, nor even at the call center. I think your best hope for an accurate answer is to write a letter and ask that it be answered by someone with expertise in this field. Calls, emails, and visits are usually answered by the first person who gets them; letters are often routed to someone who can give a full and accurate response.

I've had good results on overseas financial matters with USAA Federal Savings Bank, I think because their client base is largely military and very likely to be overseas at some time. I should disclose that I am also a member of USAA Insurance, which owns the bank, so I anticipate getting rich if I can talk enough people into using the bank.
clevelandbrown is offline  

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