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Using magnetic-strip ATM card to withdraw cash from Eurozone ATM

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Jan 26th, 2015, 06:11 PM
  #1
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Using magnetic-strip ATM card to withdraw cash from Eurozone ATM

We are Americans travelling to Europe in summer 2015 for the first time in ten years, and the new "chip and pin" technology" for credit cards and ATM cards has been quite a surprise.

We are getting "chip and pin" VISA CREDIT cards through our US bank (one of the big banks), so we should be covered on the credit card front.

But our bank won't be issuing "chip and pin" ATM (debit) cards until late 2015 long after we have returned from Europe.

We understand that many standard American magnetic-strip ATM (debit) cards no longer work in Europe if the ATM cards is being used a DEBIT cards to actually pay for stuff ("point of sale") at self-service kiosks or when run through the new European card readers in stores.

But we just want to use our ATM to GET CASH (euros) from a bank ATM machine (cashpoint) ! We have done this with no problems in Europe in the past, and in many non-European countries, so our ATM card has been fine on these occasions.

But what about now (2015) in Europe? Will our standard American magnetic-strip ATM card still work just to pull cash out of ATM machines?

I can't get a straight answer - All the websites I have checked have outdated information;
the bank personnel just give me contradictory information.

So I am appealing to to Fodorites who have been recently (in the last few months) to
our upcoming European destinations - The Netherlands Germany, Belgium, and/or Luxembourg.

Please let me know the latest scoop about whether standard American magnetic-strip ATM (debit) cards can be used just to withdraw cash (euros) at ATM machines in these countries.

Thanks in advance.
Cinder11 is offline  
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Jan 26th, 2015, 06:14 PM
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I have had no problems using my ATM chipless card to withdraw money from a bank ATM.
Michael is offline  
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Jan 26th, 2015, 06:38 PM
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You do not need a chip card to use ATM machines to get cash. You are confusing chip credit cards with ATM/debit cards.

Read ALL of this, as the original posters asks the same question. I answered on it.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...technology.cfm
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Jan 26th, 2015, 07:08 PM
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FYI, an ATM card and a debit card are not the same thing. A debit card acts also as an ATM card, but you can get an ATM-only card (no Visa logo, only used at a cash machine).

And yes, magnetic strip is all you need at any European ATM machine. I had no trouble getting Euros from ATM machines in Luxembourg, Belgium (2013) and Germany (2014) with my simple little ATM card with no chip.

The other question is: what does it cost to use your ATM card in Europe? The local ATM machine in Europe won't charge you anything (if it's part of a major bank), but your bank or financial institution may charge you a 3% currency conversion fee PLUS a per-use fee. You'll also want to alert the institution before leaving for Europe that you plan to use your ATM or debit card there - otherwise they may lock it if they think it is being used fraudulently!
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Jan 26th, 2015, 09:50 PM
  #5
 
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The above advice is sound. We used generic, strip-only ATM cards in Austria and Germany last month with no problems.
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Jan 26th, 2015, 10:46 PM
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Hi Cinder11,

Well, I have a different view.

I live in Germany and have used my American debit card for about four years at my bank. Then last year, they changed their atm machine, and it will no longer accept my debit card. It's not a huge problem as I only have to walk one block to get to another atm, but it can be irritating.

Bottom line -- you may run into one or two banks that will refuse your card. In that case, you'll have to just look around for a block or two to find another atm.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Jan 27th, 2015, 01:17 AM
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I live in France and have never had a problem withdrawing money from any European bank ATM using a magnetic strip card. However, you should check with your home bank about what fees you may incur. Some banks charge you nothing, such as Swab One, and others charge very high fees such as the 3% and $5 that Bank of America charges.

There is only one credit card currently widely available in the USA that is a true chip and PIN card meaning that a PIN is required to complete any and all transactions. That card is issued by the UNFCU. USAA had such a card but is no longer issuing it. For most all transactions, your signature will be required when using your new chip and PIN credit card (unless is was issued from UNFCU).

Probably the bigger concern is the high fees associated with credit card use outside of the USA. Fees range from 0% with cards issued by PenFed, Andrews, or Capital One to fees of 3% charged by Bank of America, Citicorps, Wells Fargo and others.

If you are banking at one of the big banks, you are likely going to pay on the high side for both ATM withdrawals and credit card usage while you are in Europe.
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Jan 27th, 2015, 04:30 AM
  #8
 
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I live in England and use my US magnetic strip debit card in ATMs all the time, as recently as two days ago. I've never had a problem in the UK or any other country.
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Jan 27th, 2015, 05:21 AM
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>A debit card acts also as an ATM card, but you can get an ATM-only card (no Visa logo, only used at a cash machine).

My bank, a large regional, issues a debit card which will also serve as a credit card. But in my case I only use that card to get ATM money so the bank was easily able to throw a switch such that the card would work ONLY in ATM machines (with a PIN code).

Any attempt to use as a credit card or debit card anywhere else would be declined. That's an excellent safety valve in case the card is stolen or lost.

I successfully used this card in a number of countries in Europe last month.
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Jan 27th, 2015, 05:24 AM
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>There is only one credit card currently widely available in the USA that is a true chip and PIN card meaning that a PIN is required to complete any and all transactions. That card is issued by the UNFCU.

There are others. CitiBank also has widely available chip and PIN cards (I have two of them).
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Jan 27th, 2015, 07:57 AM
  #11
 
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CitiBank also has widely available chip and PIN cards (I have two of them).

The Citibank cards are all chip and signature cards and they all charge a 3% FTF. If you have one of Citibank Platinum Select, Thank You Preferred, or Diamond Preferred cards, the PIN with which they are issued may be accepted at certain kiosks if the kiosk has the internal capability to authorize the transaction on line. Otherwise the PIN is only used when making cash advances at an ATM (something you would want to avoid doing).
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Jan 27th, 2015, 12:41 PM
  #12
 
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I use an American debit card with magnetic strip both for purchases and for withdrawing money from an ATM. I live in Italy, but have used it in other European countries, most recently in France and the UK.
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