Replacement ATM Card?

Old Jul 1st, 2002, 04:02 PM
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Replacement ATM Card?

I am going to Italy this summer, and plan on using my ATM card to get money. Sometimes, I have a problem with my card here. The magnetic strip becomes desensitized, and the card will no longer work. In this country, I just go into the bank and have them magnitize it again, but I'm a little worried about being in Europe and having this problem. Can the banks there remagnitize the card for me--or should I order a spare card from my bank?
Old Jul 1st, 2002, 04:07 PM
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Bring a spare card. The "remagnetizing" involves reinstalling account information; not just any old bank can do this for you!
Old Jul 1st, 2002, 04:15 PM
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Just get a new card; it's no big deal to have the bank issue one, and it's a lot better than having to worry about whether or not it will work. I remember getting one the day I left for Italy; it took maybe 10-15 minutes of my time at the bank, but it sure was worth it not to worry about whether the card would work or not.
Old Jul 1st, 2002, 05:16 PM
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I actually called my bank about this, and was told that they could not issue me an extra card. They did say, however, that they would replace the card I currenly have with a newer card--which apparently has a better magnetic sensor than the old cards. Sure wish I could get a spare....
Old Jul 1st, 2002, 06:50 PM
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I guess your spare card could be your credit cards, just put a large deposit on your account before you leave on holidays,
then you won't have the daily interest charges.
Old Jul 1st, 2002, 10:44 PM
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Canuck, that seemed like a really good idea, so I called my credit card company--and guess what--they informed me that I would not be charged interest if there was money in the account, but I would be charged a $29 transaction fee, or 3%--WOW! I think I will steer clear of that if possible! Just hope my bank card works. BTW, my credit card is from Citibank.
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 12:05 AM
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Its worth getting a spare if you possibly can or else take cards for a few different accounts & keep them separate. When I was in France last year the mag stripes on my key card & credit card were both mysteriously wrecked & I was stuck - fortuatnely I had some spare cash on me & it was only 2 days before I was going did put a dampener on my shopping plans though (they aren't big on manually processing credit cards I found)
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 01:11 AM
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You should always Keep you ATM card protected a lot of banks issue the card with little (envelope)Jackets they realy work great if you use them and keep you card safe and in great condition . You can get some gift card envelopes and they will work just fine. They realy do work they protect it from rubbing your other cards in your wallet or purse .
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 05:56 AM
Dick Yeager
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You mention your credit card being from CitiBank. Word of warning, they will also charge a 3% conversion fee on any and all purchases you make outside the US currency.

Here is how it works; both Visa and MasterCard charge a 1 % conversion fee to change Euro to Dollars. Some of the banks, including CitiBank, then add another 2 % just to screw you. If you doubt me, call CitiBank again and ask.

Cards that do not charge the extra 2 % include MBNA and Capitol One. While the extra 2 % is not a back breaker, I'd rather have the money that I have earned rather than give it to some faceless bank for doing absolutely nothing.

Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 07:41 AM
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I guess the only full proof way that you will not be stuck is to bring Travellers cheques with you, hopefully everything will be fine with your debit card. Then cash in the travellers cheques at home if you did not need them.
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 08:40 AM
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Dick: Because of messages similar to yours on many threads, we took our MBNA card with us to Italy in early May. We used our ATM card extensively, but toward the end of our trip we used the MBNA card three times. When I received our statement there were two charges of $5.00 and one for $5.49. We were astonished! My husband called and complained about the charges and they were removed; they additionally dropped our interest rates!

My question is if MBNA made no charges, how could those fees have been so high? We didn't withdraw enough euro for a 1% charge to have run anywhere close to that.

Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 09:07 AM
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Joanne, I don't have an MBNA card but I can guess what might have happened but I'm not quite sure what you used your MBNA card for. (BTW, as far as I know, all credit cards charge a relatively high transaction fee for cash withdrawals and having a credit balance doesn't make any difference, it's a transaction fee for that service, so that isn't usually a good way to get money.)
It sounds like you withdrew cash with your MBNA card? If so, that sounds like their fee for that, although if so, I'm surprised they removed it. Most CC transaction fees have a minimum charge regardless of what you withdraw, so that could be what the $5 fee is (ie, fees may be 3 pct of amount or min. of $5, something like that). Since you said you withdrew euro, I am presuming that's what you did.

Posts like Dicks are referring to conversion fees on charges made in foreign currency (that MBNA doesn't charge a conversion fee on purchases, hotel charges, etc), NOT fees that apply to using a CC to withdraw cash which is treated like a cash advance. I think all credit cards charge a cash withdrawal fee which is a flat rate or pct of the amount.
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 09:16 AM
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Christina: Thank you for the explanation. You are no doubt correct. I obviously misunderstood the previous posts.

I'm sure the reason they removed the charges is because we have had the card for many years and have used it extensively (i.e. we've been excellent customers), and also because my husband is very persuasive and somehow is able to wrench all kinds of things out of people using a very light touch.

Thanks again.

Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 10:24 AM
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Just got our credit card statement back from a trip in June - we made one cash withdrawal on our First Union Visa Card(with MBNA) since it was late at night and I didn't want to search alone for an ATM that took our Debit Card. Was pleasantly surprised at the rate. We took out 200 Euros on June 19th, the cash advance was listed at $191.94 with and ATM transaction fee of $5.75 - added together come to $197.69, or conversion rate of .9884, almost the same as something I charged on the same day. The Transaction fee looks high initially, but the conversion rate the
bank uses is in your favor and the bottom line is reasonable.
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 12:06 PM
Posts: n/a

Banks are loath to issue duplicate ATM
cards 'cause they'd rather you used
their CC or T.Cheques. It took me
two trips, a interview (!) with the
Manager and a threat to close my
account before they issued me one.

I have had a card disappear into the
ether in a tiny village in the Var -
and 'twasn't easy working around that
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