US Debit Cards and European ATMs

Old Feb 13th, 2014, 01:44 PM
  #21  
 
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However, if you are 14 years old and don't have a bank account and your parents want to send you money in increments because they KNOW you are not good with funds I would recommend the preloaded card.

Several of the kids I have traveled with on group trips have used the AAA TravelCard just for this purpose and in those cases they work well. I wouldn't use it for my funds but it does allow the parents some control, does not require you set up a bank account for the child (and that's getting costly in the US, fewer and fewer banks want those small dollar accounts), does not require you give your kid access to your money (LOL!) etc....
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Old Feb 13th, 2014, 01:45 PM
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And my pin begins with a zero. Never had a problem getting money from any bank in Europe with it. (4 digits)
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Old Feb 13th, 2014, 02:13 PM
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<i>* I have now a chip and sig card...will that be adequate?</i>

- For making withdrawals from a machine, it won't be any sort of issue.
- For 99.5% of purchases from manned pay points it won't be an issue.

Tales of woe regarding non-chip and PIN cards in Europe are wildly overblown.
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Old Feb 13th, 2014, 10:12 PM
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<i>Tales of woe regarding non-chip and PIN cards in Europe are wildly overblown.</i>

Right. Until it happens to you; until you have a restaurant or hotel bill that you have no way to pay.

There are those who spend a few days in Paris, take the Eurostar to London and spend a few days there and return home. These people will probably never have a problem with using their magnetic strip credit cards. Rent a car for a couple of weeks and drive around France and distasteful situations can present themselves.

I now have pin and chip cards.
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Old Feb 13th, 2014, 11:22 PM
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I don't understand why using a bank machine in Europe would compromise your account any more than at home so that is no reason to pay for a prepaid card. Millions of Europeans have accounts in Europe and use their cards everyday with the same risk as you.
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 03:15 AM
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<I>Millions of Europeans have accounts in Europe and use their cards everyday with the same risk as you.</I>

The entire point of chip and PIN is that fraud is more prevalent in Europe. Well, that and it gave the European banks an out on liability.

<I>Right. Until it happens to you; until you have a restaurant or hotel bill that you have no way to pay.</I>

No, they remain overblown even if it does happen to you.
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 03:42 AM
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<i>I never pay any fee at any ATM in Europe because my credit union doesn't charge a use fee or charge me for currency conversion. It's nice not to have to worry about a partner bank!</i>

internetbrofist

My credit union charges me $1 ATM usage fee and the exchange rate comes out to be within 1% of the xe.com rate.
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 04:23 AM
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Back to OP and Krejaton's questions--
--I agree with posters above that...
...chip and signature will work most places
...chip and PIN tend to work in more automated machines than do other types, but...

<b>for the most part, we've done just dandy with our regular credit cards for hotel bills, restaurant bills, grocery store bills etc. You just have to explain that there will be no PIN with it to the vendor.</b>

--We have specific credit cards we use overseas that have no foreign transaction fees. After Capital One commercials, I've seen more and more banks offering such cards. If you have time, you might want to get one. The savings can add up quickly.

--We also have many ways to get CASH:
...I take an plain ATM card, one <b>without any VISA/Mastercard association</b>,that draws from our joint account;
...my husband takes an ATM--again, the simplest kind available--from his other account; AND
...we take a Schwab debit card w/Visa association on trips because the purchase limit can be lowered to 1 penney. Hence, one can steal it and run up purchases. To get this card, you have to have a Schwab investment account.

--We only have four-digit pins for the ATMS. They work just fine.
--We have NEVER had a problem withdrawing cash in France, and it is for sure has been a country where we've never been charged an ATM fee from the bank where we are withdrawing. Our Schwab ATM does not charge us anything on the other end.
--I always notify my credit card companies that I am leaving af few days before I do so, and I certainly notify Schwab <b>ONE WEEK</b> before; <b>however,</b>...
--I have given up notifying our bank (PNC). The cash machines abroad do not care. Plus PNC staffers always tell me that my ATM card will not work in Europe, and even when I explain I have been going overseas with that darn thing since 1998, they insist that I am wrong (!!!). <i>This situation reminds me of sales clerks who solemnly tell me that I cannot charge my smartphone abroad with a simple plug adaptor</i>. And along those lines...
--Our ATM cash limits seem to go nutsy overseas. My husband has a higher cash withdrawal limit on his account than I do. Yet I can always withdraw more money abroad than he can--and I can withdraw more than I can at home.
--Yes, we have had trouble time to time at ATMS. Mostly it's merely a data connection or time difference issue of the local bank from whose machine we are drawing money. We just go to the next bank down the street and are good to go.

Another CC note: Ireland used to be the hotbed of Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). The clerk or waitress would tell you that "for your convenience", they will charge you in dollars. Well, what they often didn't know, was that system skimmed a % to the vendor's account. If you were paying a foreign transaction fee (which your cc would charge no matter what currency the vendor charged you) on top of the DCC %, your pocketbook got hit hard when you got your final bill.

We got so frustrated that we just started paying in cash everywhere because we had to do cartwheels to cancel the transactions and put them into Euros.

On our last trip to Ireland, however, we noticed that clerks asked us if we wanted to be charged in dollars or Euros rather than automatically charging us in dollars. Note: The "correct" answer is the currency of the country in which you are paying the bill!
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 04:32 AM
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Correction to above re Schwab: Typo! I meant to say, "Hence, <b>no one</b> can steal the card and run up purchases.

I'm old!
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 12:38 PM
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"Fraud is more prevalent in Europe". We need proof for this indictment., but baed on my experience I am not sure I find this statement factual
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 03:05 PM
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I don't think you need a 4-digit PIN in Europe. My Italian ATM card has a 5-digit PIN, and the machine knows that when it reads the card, so it starts processing as soon and the 5th digit is entered. When the machine detects a non-Italian card, though, it asks you to choose your language, and then a message is displayed saying to enter the PIN and hit "Esegui" (Continue) when you've finished entering it. It definitely waits after the fourth digit, so five or more digits must be a possibility.

I've found the same behaviour in other European countries.
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 03:40 PM
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We've always used a Capital One debit card overseas because of the no foreign transaction fee policy. We have just returned from Mexico and found fees were charged. After a call we were informed they have a new policy. Fees are charged on some accounts, but not on the high-yield checking. We have a Schwab account so it's not a big deal, but we wasted $25 - do you know how many margaritas that is?
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 04:37 PM
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Yes, enough to put me under the table. But I'm a lightweight when it comes to drinking.
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 11:15 PM
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<<* As a poster above said, do I really need to change my pin if it begins with a 0?>>

I've been using a PIN that starts with "0" since 1989 with no problem.
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Old Feb 15th, 2014, 03:45 AM
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ceeast--
My Capital One <b>CREDIT</b> card that was advertised without foreign transaction fees still is without foreign transaction fees.

I also have a Capital One <b>ATM</b> card and a Capital One <b>Debit</b> card(has a MasterCard association on it). At one time, they would refund any <b>bank fees</b> (foreign or otherwise)on either of them; now, one of them could get charged because of the policy change.

Of course, the funny thing is that I always forget which one of them may get charged now, and I always have to ask the associate before I leave for overseas.

My Schwab debit card is entitled to a refund for any such fees--I think the refund amount is up to $45.
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Old Feb 16th, 2014, 06:01 AM
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http://www.bmo.com/home/personal/ban...d-credit-cards
Fraud is everywhere and a lot of cards are compromised at gas stations so we use this pre loaded card to buy gas. Has a pin. theft ptotection, reloadable, no down side for us.
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Old Feb 16th, 2014, 06:21 AM
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That´s interesting snowgirls. Could you kindly explain exactly what kind of theft protection a pre paid provides to you. Are we to understand that if your card is lost or stolen that the unused balance is somehow refunded to you?
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 12:37 AM
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@snowgirls: I think most pay at the pump facilities do a $100 preauthorization for a fill-up so you can't use a preloaded card with a balance less than $100.

If you're that worried about fraud, open a second "travel-only" account and move money to that account as you need it.
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 04:13 AM
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I agree with sparkchaser about preauthorization issues as one problem. The currency exchange rate is another touchy subject, plus it tends to work better as a charge card than as an ATM card (fees).

I frankly don't understand why this card would work better than a plain old ATM card for cash and a credit card for purchases, though. My ATM card needs the same PIN that you would need to withdraw cash (and there are no withdrawal fees or currency exchange issues with my ATM card); my credit card has the same fraud protection and no foreign transaction fees, etc.

BUT--If YOU feel comfortable with the card, snowgirls, then enjoy using it.
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 04:34 AM
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"The entire point of chip and PIN is that fraud is more prevalent in Europe. Well, that and it gave the European banks an out on liability. "

Article in Economist shows that fraud is far higher in the US than Europe.

http://www.economist.com/news/financ...d-skimming-top

the shear cost of moving to chip-and-pin has held these banks back but slowly the idea is getting across
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