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ATMs and cashback

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Jun 1st, 2013, 06:39 AM
  #1
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ATMs and cashback

I will be travelling from the UK, with my husband, in September for 3 weeks in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. I am very excited about the trip which I am starting to plan in detail.

I was planning to get cash from ATMs using my debit card, issued by a UK bank. I understand that most ATMs in the USA charge about $2.50 per transactions (which they don't in the UK). I have read that a way around this is by getting cashback when you make purchases in stores.

Can anyone give me any advise on this? If cashback is a good way of getting cash which stores e.g. supermarkets, do this. Does anyone know whether the stores have any problem taking UK debit cards for cashback?

Any tips gratefully received!
vacationbug is offline  
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Jun 1st, 2013, 06:49 AM
  #2
 
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I cant address whether you will have a difficult time using your UK debit card here [ I "think" you should be ok] but know that most stores limit how much cash back they will give you - $20 is the max in many stores. Also, this is done in grocery stores or general merchandise stores [walmart, target type stores]. You will NOT be able to get cash back from the majority of stores.
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Jun 1st, 2013, 06:51 AM
  #3
 
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Getting cash back in stores is OK for a small amount of walking around money - but likely won;t be enough to cover your needs. Stores typically have a limited amount of cash back - depending on the type of store. Drug stores will often let you have $25 or $35 back. Supermarkets may let you have $50 or even more back - but they don;t want you to spend $5 and ask for $100 back.

Best bets are:

Find out if you local bank has a partner bank in the US

Take out enough money at one time that the $2 (shop around for charges) doesn't matter. $2 is a lot if you are taking out $40 but not if you take out $200.
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Jun 1st, 2013, 08:02 AM
  #4
 
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If the debit card doesn't work at a POS (point of service), it can be used as a credit card. Let your bank know that you will be using the card in the US before you leave your home country.
Bring along your walking around money or pick it up at an airport ATM.
I have found Wal-Mart and Target to be good about giving $100 or more "extra" cash.
Bring a laptop to check your bank balances or use a computer at a public library.
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Jun 1st, 2013, 08:44 AM
  #5
 
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Using a "no transaction fee" ATM in an airport could cost you more than $3 if it does not give you the interbank exchange rate. Don't sweat that small fee, just withdraw a large amount each time. Consider the $15-20 you spend on ATM fees a cost of travel.

Anyway, it used to be that holders of foreign bank cards were not charged a transaction fee by US bank ATMs, just as European bank ATMs charge no fee to US bank card holders, but I do not know if that is still the case.
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Jun 1st, 2013, 08:47 AM
  #6
 
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Yes you can get cash back when using your debit cards. But not everywhere. It is very business-specific. For instance my local supermarkets in California will go up to $200 cash back on any purchase, but other stores might have a $50 limit or not give cash back at all.

So it is always good to ask - it also varies in different parts of the country. If you get some extra cash most times you use your debit card it will reduce the number of times you need to hit cash machines. And the fee to use ATMs will vary from zero to $5. Most charge $2-&4 but several large bank chains charge $5 per non-customer transaction.

And NO - do not bring your 'walking around money'!!! That will cost you in the exchange rate.

If you have an account w/ Barclay's then you can use Bank of America cash machines w/ no fee. Otherwise they charge $5.
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Jun 1st, 2013, 08:48 AM
  #7
 
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"I have found Wal-Mart and Target to be good about giving $100 or more "extra" cash. "

Not any where I have shopped; $40 is a lot as cash back.
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Jun 1st, 2013, 09:39 AM
  #8
 
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I can get $200 cash back at any local supermarket (regardless of how much I spend). Walgreen's is limited to $40.
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Jun 1st, 2013, 09:50 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Not the case here in NM or SW CO.

So, as a precaution to OP, don't count on getting wads of cash back as your main means of getting cash, since it is very dependent on location.
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Jun 1st, 2013, 10:22 AM
  #10
 
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Don't over think things. If you are able to get cash back - great. If not there will be cash machines just around the corner . . .
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Jun 1st, 2013, 10:41 AM
  #11
 
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Our supermarkets give $50 max - and it is a service for customers - not tourists. Can't imagine how much tourists would be spending there.

However, there are a lot of places that you can simply PAY with your ATM card - including every drugstore, supermarket and most shops. And they don't charge any sort of fee. I pay for anything more than about $15 with my ATM card. (Comes direct from checking account so no interest as with a CC)
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Jun 1st, 2013, 01:31 PM
  #12
 
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> it is a service for customers - not tourists
> Can't imagine how much tourists would be spending there.

I've done the following as a tourist more than once, and always without a moment's thought -- walk into a major grocery store; buy some sodas, snacks, sundries, and/or picnic items; and easily get $50 cash back without one bit of a problem. For pretty much all store clerks, if the machine says, "Change back $50", they'll hand you $50 without blinking an eye.
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Jun 1st, 2013, 02:09 PM
  #13
 
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If I remember correctly, ATMs are supposed to let you know how much they will charge you (if anything) before you make a cash withdrawal. For example, you might see an on-screen message like "XYZ Bank charges a $4 fee to non-account holders for using this ATM. This in addition to any fees your bank charges."

You can cancel the transaction if you don't like the fee.
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Jun 11th, 2013, 04:17 AM
  #14
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Thanks All - that's cleared it up for me. We will aim to take a reasonable amount out at each ATM visit and keep an eye open for how much the ATM will charge.
Thanks for your thoughts!
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Jun 11th, 2013, 10:02 AM
  #15
 
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Not sure of that part of the country - but here many of the large drug store chains have ATMs that charge $1.99 per withdrawal and will let you have up to $500. (Although that much might not be left on a Sunday if a lot of people have already used it.)

The one in my corner drugstore is a Chase Bank ATM and the fee is $1.99 regardless of withdrawal amuont.
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Jun 12th, 2013, 09:15 AM
  #16
 
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In all of this discussion did anyone mention that your ATM card most likely will need a magnetic strip in order to work in US ATMs? Whether it is in the drug store or the bank.
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