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Old 07-14-2015, 05:48 PM   #441
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Since they are a VISA, they are using the exact same exchange rate as all the other VISAs, and as the debit (ATM) cards using the VISA system. All VISA cards, debit or credit, use the exact same exchange rate every day. You can look it up each day at the VISA web site. For an ATM card you get the same day rate. For a credit card, you get the rate for the day the transaction posts, which may be a couple of days later for overseas charges. You can look it up for a given date here: Exchange Rate Calculator | Visa USA

I just wanted to point of that one VISA debit(ATM) or credit card does not get a better exchange rate than another. It's all about the fees passed through and tacked on and the rewards a given card provides.
The exchange rate I mentioned is with regards to using cash vs credit card. I've found the exchange rates used on credit card were higher than I could get had I gone to the bank or money exchanger and exchanged my cash.
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:40 PM   #442
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I have chip'd Visa credit cards for Europe (BofA and Chase Sapphire). My problem is my debit cards are behind in security.

Currently I have 2 debit cards (NTF) which are mag strip + signature:
1) Schwab One - they say I could apply for a bank checking + brokerage card to get the chip'd debit card.

2) First Tech Fed Credit Union - they will be issuing Mastercard/debit with chip in August. But we are leaving late August so may be too late.

QUESTION: How have plain old debit cards worked in Europe recently in ATM machines to get cash? This worked fine 2 years ago.

Sorry if this has already been covered here.
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:59 PM   #443
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The exchange rate I mentioned is with regards to using cash vs credit card. I've found the exchange rates used on credit card were higher than I could get had I gone to the bank or money exchanger and exchanged my cash.
Not many folks go to the money changer or bank to exchange cash anymore - you don't get good rates that way and most tourists know that (I hope). The best you can hope to do is probably about 3% on top of the FOREX rate.

Most folks use ATMs to retrieve cash, and depending on your credit or debit card fees credit can be better than the ATM card or worse. Europe bank ATMs don't seem to charge fees, so it depends on what fees your own bank charges.

Even the Travelex machines at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris didn't charge any fees. That's the only ATM available at the airport.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:04 PM   #444
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Originally Posted by Lsbcal View Post
I have chip'd Visa credit cards for Europe (BofA and Chase Sapphire). My problem is my debit cards are behind in security.

Currently I have 2 debit cards (NTF) which are mag strip + signature:
1) Schwab One - they say I could apply for a bank checking + brokerage card to get the chip'd debit card.

2) First Tech Fed Credit Union - they will be issuing Mastercard/debit with chip in August. But we are leaving late August so may be too late.

QUESTION: How have plain old debit cards worked in Europe recently in ATM machines to get cash? This worked fine 2 years ago.

Sorry if this has already been covered here.
From what I read the mag stripe cards still work fine. That's what most Americans use overseas. I didn't read about any problems or see anyone having problems in the airports, etc. The ATM cards I used had chips.

Schwab may require a brokerage account to get the chipped card - that's what I got. But I don't think you are required to fund the brokerage account. I didn't.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:10 PM   #445
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The thing is, most of the ATMs you see in Europe just sucks in the card and return it to you when it's done, though one time it didn't spit it out and I had to go there during business hours.

So you can't tell if it's scanning the mag strip or using the chip.

And the ATMs before there were chipped cards did the same thing.

They probably have the ability to read either.

If you want to make sure it reads from the chip, just scratch off the mag strip.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:14 PM   #446
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...

Schwab may require a brokerage account to get the chipped card - that's what I got. But I don't think you are required to fund the brokerage account. I didn't.
I have the old style card (mag strip debit card with PIN). I was told today that since we have a trust account, I'd have to open an account (probably individual only) that had bank checking + brokerage in order to get the chip'd card. Hence my wondering if I really needed a chip'd debit card to get cash.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:17 PM   #447
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I believe the Visa site has an ATM search and one of the criteria you can specify is ATMs that support chipped cards.

there are very few of them in the US so there's going to be mag stripe for awhile and Europe is going to support all the US tourists, all of whom have mag stripes on their cards.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:36 PM   #448
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Not many folks go to the money changer or bank to exchange cash anymore - you don't get good rates that way and most tourists know that (I hope). The best you can hope to do is probably about 3% on top of the FOREX rate.

Most folks use ATMs to retrieve cash, and depending on your credit or debit card fees credit can be better than the ATM card or worse. Europe bank ATMs don't seem to charge fees, so it depends on what fees your own bank charges.
Problem with using ATM is the low daily withdrawal limits in some countries. Besides, my bank/credit union charges $6-10 per out of country ATM withdrawal which coupled with the low withdrawal limit pretty much offsets the lower rate at a bank/money changer. I never use my debit card for making purchases because 1) better rewards with credit card and 2) better protection with credit card. I know you're not liable for fraudulent transactions with a debit card but that's still your money that's temporarily gone from the account while you're disputing transactions. At least with credit cards, it's the bank's money.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:48 PM   #449
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I have the old style card (mag strip debit card with PIN). I was told today that since we have a trust account, I'd have to open an account (probably individual only) that had bank checking + brokerage in order to get the chip'd card. Hence my wondering if I really needed a chip'd debit card to get cash.
I don't think you need the chip for ATMs in Europe, but more research may be warranted.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:54 PM   #450
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I only have a magnetic stripe ATM card and it has worked just fine for getting cash in Australia, New Zealand and Canada this last year. (all three countires are CHIP and PIN).

Last year I closely checked the exchange rate I was getting on my Penfed no FTF card and I'm convinced I was getting the market rate each time I used it. Very pleased, in fact I haven't even checked the rate on this vacation in Canada.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:01 PM   #451
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I only have a magnetic stripe ATM card and it has worked just fine for getting cash in Australia, New Zealand and Canada this last year. (all three countires are CHIP and PIN).
...
This is encouraging. We will be in the UK and Italy in September.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:01 PM   #452
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Problem with using ATM is the low daily withdrawal limits in some countries. Besides, my bank/credit union charges $6-10 per out of country ATM withdrawal which coupled with the low withdrawal limit pretty much offsets the lower rate at a bank/money changer. I never use my debit card for making purchases because 1) better rewards with credit card and 2) better protection with credit card. I know you're not liable for fraudulent transactions with a debit card but that's still your money that's temporarily gone from the account while you're disputing transactions. At least with credit cards, it's the bank's money.
I had no problems with low withdrawal limits in France - not even in the smaller cities.

Now - the fees on ATM cards from the US issuing banks is a real problem. I solved this by opening a Schwab Investor Checking account - no fees at all. And a Fidelity cash management account as a backup - 1% foreign transaction fee, but reimburses all other ATM fees.

I used quite a bit of cash in Europe. The credit card was used for larger expenses like hotel bills, the more expensive meals, museum entrance fees/souvenirs, and large purchases. Most other items, less expensive meals, local transport, etc., it was simply easier to pay cash.

I never use my debit cards at other than an ATM.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:04 PM   #453
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This is encouraging. We will be in the UK and Italy in September.
In the UK I have a UK bank account, so I can't confirm if a stripe only ATM card will work but I very much expect that it will.

In 2013 I used my US stripe only ATM card for cash in France, Iceland and Norway so I'm pretty confident you will be okay in Italy.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:44 PM   #454
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In the UK I have a UK bank account, so I can't confirm if a stripe only ATM card will work but I very much expect that it will.

In 2013 I used my US stripe only ATM card for cash in France, Iceland and Norway so I'm pretty confident you will be okay in Italy.
In 2013 I used our debit card (mag strip) in the UK. Just hoping it's the same now.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:36 PM   #455
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A number of expats in Mexico use Xoom - set up from home bank at first and one can send money to oneself in many foreign countries. Many daily withdrawal limits are $800-$1000 or even $1500 with a $4.95 transaction fee. People say they get a better rate than the bank ATM rate. It is more than I would want to pay for a fee but if I needed that much cash quickly it is another avenue and does not involve a debit card.

I'm in Mexico now for 2 weeks and am about to use my new Schwab debit card. I have a Capital One 360 account as well and that debit card has NFT fees but Visa might charge their 1% fee. That's my back up debit card.

DH has had an HSBC Premier credit card for years although we no longer have an HSBC account and I have a Capital One credit card. Both have NFT fees as far as I can tell.

All our cards have chips but so far it has been chip & signature for the credit cards.


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Old 07-14-2015, 10:15 PM   #456
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We live in Canada. We have had chip and pin cards for a number of years...at least four. We use them in Europe regularly....ATMs, ticket machines, whatever. Never a problem.

There is definitely a difference in Visa cards in Canada. If we use either of our usual bank issued VISA cards, a fee of 2.5 percent is tacked on to each foreign transaction. The fee is bundled so that the only thing we see is a line item charge. TThis fee is only identified in the Visa agreement that few people read but everyone has to agree to.

However, we use a Chase Bank Canada Visa card (Marriott, Sears, Amazon) for foreign transactions. To my knowledge they are the only Visa card in Canada that does not charge any admin fee on foreign transactions. The charges come across within 2/100 or 3/100ths of 1 percent of the market FX rate. The only variance is the time of day that the transaction hits. We have checked the exchange rate numerous times with at six different currencies. This card saves us a fair amount of money because we usually travelling outside the country for five months each year.
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:25 PM   #457
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Problem with using ATM is the low daily withdrawal limits in some countries. Besides, my bank/credit union charges $6-10 per out of country ATM withdrawal which coupled with the low withdrawal limit pretty much offsets the lower rate at a bank/money changer. I never use my debit card for making purchases because 1) better rewards with credit card and 2) better protection with credit card. I know you're not liable for fraudulent transactions with a debit card but that's still your money that's temporarily gone from the account while you're disputing transactions. At least with credit cards, it's the bank's money.
You need to switch credit unions.
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:29 AM   #458
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This is encouraging. We will be in the UK and Italy in September.
Just got back from Italy and no problem using mag strip debit mastercard. Used extensively in Rome and Florence at both ATMs and restaurants. The ATMs required a PIN and the restaurant used signatures.

Have fun…I'm jealous as I'm suffering post vacation blues.
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Old 07-15-2015, 02:04 AM   #459
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When we looked at the video on how to use the card they basically said that unattended locations would require a pin... but you could go to the window and buy from the person....

Sounds like you found out the hard way....

BTW, why did you not get your pin?
I did get my pin.

And it did work.

I was not prompted for my pin - just for signature - until I was at a machine purchase site. In my case it was the Berlin Dome tickets and later Amsterdam GVB transit 24 hour passes. In both cases, using the machine allowed me to skip a long line.

It did not work on the Berlin kiosk on the S-bahn platform... but that was due to them not taking Visa - only Maestro. We paid cash instead.

+100 on the Schwab Checking ATM card.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:44 AM   #460
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I did get my pin.

And it did work.

I was not prompted for my pin - just for signature - until I was at a machine purchase site. In my case it was the Berlin Dome tickets and later Amsterdam GVB transit 24 hour passes. In both cases, using the machine allowed me to skip a long line.

It did not work on the Berlin kiosk on the S-bahn platform... but that was due to them not taking Visa - only Maestro. We paid cash instead.

+100 on the Schwab Checking ATM card.
I got an invalid card error on a DBahn machine in Munich, and I thought they showed VISA as an option. I chalked it up to not accepting foreign cards, which is often a problem from what I read, depending on where you are. But not always, fortunately. The Vienna Metro machine happily accepted my card and prompted me for the PIN. In the DBahn case I used cash - that machine accepted bills up to €20 which made it easy.

The Amsterdam GVB machines are notorious for only accepting coins, so it's good to know the PenFed Visa works there, and I'll definitely use it next time.
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