US Debit Cards and European ATMs

Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 04:03 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We tried to use our new Wells Fargo debit card which did not have a chip and it would not work at any bank or ATM in Ireland. According to the banks in Ireland, in order to use a debit card in their ATMs the card must have a chip.
jyoung048 is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 04:08 PM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,384
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
that is weird -- I've used many US issued debit cards in Irish cash machines. MANY other Fodorites also have used their ATM/debit cards in Ireland.

Are you sure it wasn't just that your own bank blocked the transactions???
janisj is online now  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 04:20 PM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 986
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I initially had problems with my newly-issued ATM cards in Ireland (local US bank) so phoned them (what fun to tell them I was calling from Ireland!) and they had to "set them up for international use" or something and after that they worked a treat. Of course that was in '11 but I had no problems with the same cards in '13.
jaja is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 05:36 PM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 365
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Does anyone know the partner bank in France for Bank of America and Wells Fargo?
topeater is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 05:43 PM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,969
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
topeater,
The bank webs have this info:

for BofA:
https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposi...aq-atm-fees.go
"What is the Global ATM Alliance?"

Note that for BofA you are still hit with fees even with the partner - since the fall of 2014. You avoid the $5.00 part with partner banks.

partner bank ATM: 3% conversion fee
non-partner bank ATM: 3% conversion fee + $5.00 usage fee
greg is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 10:48 AM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 106
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We are going to Europe in June (Belgium, France, UK). I have applied for a Capital One credit card because of their no-foreign transaction fee. I had not planned on using it to withdraw cash from ATM machines because I thought that I would be charge high interest. However from this thread, it seems like it would be OK to withdraw cash using the Capital One credit card as well. Please help clarify. I am trying to minimize the number of cards to bring on the trip
Hoai is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 11:06 AM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,384
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>> it seems like it would be OK to withdraw cash using the Capital One credit card as well.> am trying to minimize the number of cards to bring on the trip
janisj is online now  
Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 12:59 PM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
it seems like it would be OK to withdraw cash using the Capital One credit card

If you bank in the USA, please keep a sharp distinction between credit cards and ATM/Debit cards. It would need be a life or death situation before you would ever use a credit card in an ATM. Doing so initiates an immediate loan at very high interest rates. Any balance on your credit card, current or otherwise, could also be treated as an unpaid load at exorbitant rates of interest.

Credit cards are for credit purchases. ATM/Debit cards are for immediate cash withdrawals from checking. Do not mix the two.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 03:55 PM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,512
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
jyoung048 et al--
I wonder if we should start a new thread with a query about anyone having problems with ATMs THIS YEAR in Ireland.

I am more than willing to believe that it's not a chip problem as opposed to the owner's local bank problem, but I wonder if we should scout this out.
AZ
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 08:16 PM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>

No, of course it wouldn't be OK to use a credit card to withdraw cash! DUMB!

And there's no reason to limit the number of cards you bring. It's not like they weigh you down.

jyoung, I fear you've been misinformed. Unless I'm missing something very peculiar to Ireland, there is nothing related to a chip-and-pin card that would preclude it from being used in an ATM anywhere in Europe.
StCirq is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 09:55 PM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 111
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
...and so to summarize:

Credit Card at ATM= Horrible, terrible, do not do it. The hand grenade of card use.

Debit Card at ATM= Works fine if you alert your US bank in advance and don't bank with Community Bank of Nowhere-ville. The holy grail of simple travel funding.

Pre-Paid Card: Rip-off, expensive and largely useless device created to take advantage of the uninformed; beware, though, these are heartily defended by the uninformed... The traveler's check of the 21st century.

Classic Signature Credit Card= Sometimes can work fine in retail settings until it doesn't... and then it sucks. The Russian roulette of cards.

Chip and Signature Credit Card= Easy to get and generally work well as long as a human is involved in processing your transaction. Machines, though, will treat you like a human in a terminator movie (machine wins, humans lose).

Chip and Pin Credit Card= Somewhat limited ability to acquire in the US but a beautiful thing to have for all European transactions, particularly with machines at metro/tube/subways, gas pumps, toll machines. (Pesky default to chip and signature at restaurants is a pet peeve but, hey, life is good). A must have, in my opinion.
RoamEurope is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2014, 01:31 AM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Excellent summary RoamEurope.

You might qualify that the descriptions are for USA card holders as there are significant differences for those banking in other countries.

And the chip and signature/pin cards are very difficult to classify easily. For any transaction there can be three types of cardholder verification methods (CVM) and some banks use only one, some establish hybrid procedures using several; allowing, for example, chip and signature cards to be accepted at kiosks without a pin.

For the near future, we should see chip and signature cards widely available in the USA and a general switch to card processing equipment capable of reading EMV chips.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2014, 10:50 AM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 131
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We can thank Target for the accelerated switchover in the US to the much better European "chip" system. Agree with Sarastro, excellent summary from RoamEurope!!
billandcindy is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2014, 10:38 AM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,863
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A little background on Target: they rolled out EMV chip cards to US customers in 2003 (or so), but withdrew the cards because it was slow at check out (unpopular) and Walmart and others weren't going along.

Anyway, chip and PIN cards are rare in the US but USAA does give them out if you insist.

I am stuck with an ATM card that will charge me $5 per use (no partners in Europe) and then it's Visa network so they will take 3%. Is it worth getting something else for lower fees? We will try to charge everything and will have a chip and PIN card as a backup. Going to UK/France.
tom_mn is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2014, 10:46 AM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,369
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pretty much any credit union will give you a better deal than $5 per ATM withdrawal + 3%. My local credit union charges only 1% and no fee at all for the first five withdrawals per month (from a non-CU ATM), then $2 per withdrawal.

But I also have an Andrews Federal Credit Union ATM card that charges no fee per ATM withdrawal (unlimited I believe) and 0% currency conversion fee. And my Andrews Visa card is chip and PIN and worked great in Europe at ticket machines.

And European ATM machines - bank-owned machines, anyway - generally do not charge you any ATM use fees.

I don't know why so many people stick with their corporate bank vs. a credit union. I dumped my last bank account over ten years ago and still wonder why I waited so long. Not all credit unions are equal, but they all seem to have better service than the big banks that slap on these ridiculous fees!
Andrew is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2014, 11:50 AM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,863
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I understand. I guess I will have to decide if it is worth opening a new account to save $25 in ATM fees (assume 5 this trip) plus $40 in fees for the surplus 2% VISA charge on $2000 cash -- I assume everyone pays the 1% fee.

Normally, I have no bank fees and they are in the supermarket so convenient.
tom_mn is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2014, 12:51 PM
  #57  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I look at it this way; I like to do business with an institution that really cares about its clientèle. B of A has paid, and will pay again, billions of dollars for fraudulently representing packages of inferior loans as better investments than they actually were. It´s not the kind of place I would want to give my business to, as insignificant as it might be.

There are many smaller banks and credit unions that will serve you just as well, probably more honestly, and at far lower cost overall. These are the people with whom I would rather do business.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2014, 04:42 PM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,369
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Not all credit unions are equal, but I've had excellent customer service at my local credit union over the years. I was a customer of big corporate banks years ago before I discovered credit unions, and I think there is a difference beyond just fewer fees.

Plus, it's really nice to have a backup ATM card with another financial institution when you travel, in case one card doesn't work or is lost/deactivated, etc. Why not open a credit union account just for travel and use your bank ATM card as a backup?
Andrew is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2014, 06:47 AM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,863
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So I looked at the local credit union and came up with this http://www.allpointnetwork.com/allpoint.aspx
which does not cover France. I'll have to keep looking.
tom_mn is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2014, 07:15 AM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,863
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Checked several credit unions and non offer free ATMs in France. Online reviews of Andrews are abysmal. My credit card (huge bank) where I do not have checking also will offer free ATMs in UK but not in France. France is the key since 2 accommodations I booked accept cash only.

Interesting B of A is the only bank I can find that offers free ATMs / no fees in all Europe countries.
tom_mn is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -