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Old 04-18-2011, 06:22 AM   #21
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All my European travels in recent years have been either England, Belgium, or Germany. Never had a problem with my USAA debit card at any ATM in those countries.

Last trip was over a year ago, so things may have changed.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:17 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
I'll try and remember Michael. Feel free to send me a PM if I forget. We'll be there between May 6 and 13, returning that day with DD and SIL where they'll spend another 2 weeks in the UK.
That means I'll have to remember as well. What are the odds - DW thinks I'm losing it...
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:28 AM   #23
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USAA now says the following:

Quote:
Please note your spouse has a Maestro card, not a debit card. Due to this, she may not be able to withdraw internationally. She will need a debit MasterCard. Please let us know if we can rush her a card to her current location. In the meantime, we recommend to send funds to her via Western Union if needed.

We value your business and the opportunity to serve all your financial needs.
My response - I thanked them for responding to my Sunday note and mentioned that I did call before DW departed with only one purpose: to specifically assure no issues with ATM withdrawals.

This will not affect DW's trip. She has cash (US$), one hotel took our CC and the other is paid in advance. Her sister is along (european CC) and her other traveling companion lent her some funds from her BoA account.

Edit to clarify: a "Maestro" card is an ATM card.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:29 AM   #24
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I generally take enough local cash with me to cover my needs on the assumption that I will be able to use my credit card for hotels, expensive meals, etc. The meals are becoming a problem with the remote chip sensor devices the staff use. I hope the problem goes away as the devices get upgraded but I am afraid it will get worse as they grow impatient with the US card tech stagnation.
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:23 AM   #25
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Chips. That could explain it. Our experience is mostly Latin America, which is more compatible with US cards. When I call USAA again tomorrow I'll mention that.

A traveling companion is withdrawing successfully from her BoA account. She doesn't have enough funds to finance DW, but hopefully she can get me her account number tomorrow and I can deposit.

Alan, if you don't mind let me know how it goes in Ireland. My brother is going over in a couple of months and he'll be interested (and possibly forewarned).
We have now had a week there with our DD and SIL from Texas and their Chase ATM card worked just fine to get cash from a bank in Cork (I forget which bank but the first one they tried worked).
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:56 AM   #26
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You characterized the problem in the wrong way. It is not a USAA problem.... it has to do with the ATM network being used.

There could be any number of issues. For one thing... Europe has much more stringent security requirements than the states. Bank transactions and Credit card transactions might be handled differently because of legal ramifications or because different rules apply. Plus, there could be a technology incompatibility.


I read that Europe is experiencing an upswing in ATM fraud.

Quote:
The weakness of storing information on magnetic stripe, which is simple to copy and counterfeit, has been partly addressed by Europe’s introduction of European Mastercard Visa (EMV) smart cards, also known as Chip and PIN cards or Chip cards, which have a microchip embedded in the card. “While these cards also have magnetic stripes,” the paper says, “the magnetic stripe alone is not sufficient to allow a transaction to take place at an ATM with a card reader that has been modified to read an EMV Chip…Thus counterfeit copies of these EMV cards cannot be used to withdraw cash from EMV-compliant ATMs.” Most countries in Europe will have EMV-compliant cards by the end of 2010
ATM Fraud Trends in Europe | Security Management



Still it is a lesson learned.... have a backup plan to access money.
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Old 05-20-2011, 02:56 PM   #27
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The only weird thing is when we got Pounds in England, they were different than the Pounds in Scotland. Why is that? Are they different countries, or what? (Sounds like another discussion of the Civil War )...
Yes England and Scotland are separate countries. In England and Wales the Bank of England issues the pounds. In Scotland there are several banks that issue bank notes. Scottish and English notes are accepted all over the United Kingdom. FYI the Scottish legal system is also quite different from that of England and Wales and also Northern Ireland. These differences continued past the 1707 Act of Union and when talking to someone from Great Britain or Ireland it's vital to get their country of origin correct either England, Scotland ,Wales, or Ireland.....if they are Northern Irish protestant/catholic there are whole other identity issues involved too.
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:21 PM   #28
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Yes England and Scotland are separate countries. In England and Wales the Bank of England issues the pounds. In Scotland there are several banks that issue bank notes. Scottish and English notes are accepted all over the United Kingdom.
In 1990, after a couple of weeks spent in Scotland, I stopped at a restaurant in Brighton while waiting for the ferry back to France. I happened to have a few Scottish notes left, so I thought I would use them to pay for my meal. Well, the waiter started howling that I was trying to use counterfeit money and urged the manager to call the police. Thankfully, the manager realized they were Scottish notes.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:31 PM   #29
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USAA now says the following:
Please note your spouse has a Maestro card, not a debit card. Due to this, she may not be able to withdraw internationally. She will need a debit MasterCard.

Edit to clarify: a "Maestro" card is an ATM card.
I prefer to get ATM cards too (rather than debit cards). They don't come w/
VISA or Master Card logos and I have often been warned by the credit unions who offer them that they may not (probably?) won't work overseas. Schwab doesn't offer an ATM card (only a debit card) but apparently they can tune it at your request so that it can't effectively be used for purchases of any significant size.
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:08 AM   #30
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Does USAA charge a fee for using the card in a foreign country?
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:33 AM   #31
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According to their docs, Yes

Foreign Transaction Charge
�� Applies to debit card or ATM transactions with a merchant or ATM in a foreign
country, whether the transaction is originally made in US dollars or converted
from a foreign currency.
1% of the transaction amount

However, they also say they waive this fee for active duty deployed.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:32 AM   #32
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USAA waives the foreign transaction charge for military for 12 months per deployment (they will also extend it past 12 months if you ask for it). They consider an OCONUS tour to be a deployment for this purpose. They won't retroactively waive the fee (I tried), but they gave me a $35 credit for failing to notify me that I could ask for the waiver.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:03 PM   #33
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Got my cc statement. DW took one CC cash advance, for 200 euros. Total fees and interest were $26.90, or 9.4%. She was able to manage all her other needs with the CC (a measly 2%) and some cash her sister lent her.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:23 PM   #34
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Got my cc statement. DW took one CC cash advance, for 200 euros. Total fees and interest were $26.90, or 9.4%. She was able to manage all her other needs with the CC (a measly 2%) and some cash her sister lent her.
Cash advance fees hurt no matter where you are....
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:26 PM   #35
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Cash advance fees hurt no matter where you are....
I see. We've always paid the full balance and never took a cash advance, so even though I expected a substantial charge, this took me by surprise. Lucky for us only one was needed.

I can't believe people do this regularly - it is so much money.
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