Should I take Euros with me to Italy?

Old Jul 9th, 2006, 03:23 PM
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Seems like I'm learning from every post. Thanks so much!

Happy trails,
aranda is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2006, 03:36 PM
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My son will be returning tomorrow night from a 2 week trip to Italy. We sent him with about $100 in euros and a bank card attached to his savings account. He does not have a checking account. Our bank assured us that the card would be the way to go. After he ran out of euros and tried to use the bank card, it did not work. My husband contacted the bank and they said he incorrectly selected checking account. So we contacted him and told him to try again and make sure he selected savings account. He tried again and the machine took his card.

We cancelled the card and are very upset that the card was essentially useless. The bank said they have never heard of this happening.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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I always bring at least a couples of hundred Euros..I feel more comfortable this way, and frankly I dont care if it cost me a little more doing so,my peace of mind is worth more than 20 or 30 dollars extras.
However, this time I still have some Euros from the trip that I took last year, it is enough to pay the taxi and have a nice dinner.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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One thing I have learned, bank "officers" have very little understandings of what goes on with their products in foreign countries...they are not taught the answers to the questions. Now if you had posted before your son left, here is what I would have said (and will say for future travellers)..

In theory an ATM card is tied to the primary account keyed to the card. Usually that is a checking account but it can be a savings account. However in practice often times (the bank "officer" never heard of this happening, what a laugh) cards tied to a savings account only don't work (sometimes they do)..the bank "officer" further showed her ignorance when she said for your son to choose savings account...well there is no excuse for him or her not knowing that European ATM's do not give you a choice...the money can only come out of the primary account on the card...the fault lies with your bank not with the ATM system.

Now in the future, what you should consider doing is opening up an account with a bank such as USAA which offers a free checking account with no minimum balance can make it a joint account with your son asit will sit most of the time with no money in it...they will issue ATM cards and they will give you 10 withdrawals a billing cycle for free (if using it in the USA they will even eat up to $15 in those near criminal fees banks charge for having the audacity to use their ATM's with another bank's card but since European banks are not allowed to charge this fee on out of their country cards it is irrelevent to this discussion)..anyway just before he left you could have put money in the account and replenished it as he went along...this would have worked very nicely.

There are lots of internet banks where this can be done and you can transfer money in via the net or by a regular deposit.

Now that is a nice simple way of doing it and guarantee it will work.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 05:06 PM
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Grammie1: your complaint is 100% w/ your local bank. As mentioned, US banks almost never know their you-know-what from a hole in th ground re foreign ATMs.

Just about anyone here on Fodors would have known/understood the situation better than your bank manager.

I know that doesn't help you or your son now, but maybe it will help others reading this thread.
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Old Jul 15th, 2006, 09:27 PM
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This happened to our daughter. Luckily she had a backup since I didn't trust these clueless bank customer service.
I opened a joint checking account in her and my name while she was in Europe and linked her card to the new account that was created on a fly. Sure enough, she can get money from the new checking account.
greg is offline  
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