Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
DW, ATMs abroad, USAA and problems
Old 04-17-2011, 10:42 AM   #1
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,492
DW, ATMs abroad, USAA and problems

DW is traveling abroad with some friends. Her cash needs were to be satisfied with our USAA ATM card but beginning with her stopover in Munich the card won't work. It insists the PIN is incorrect. This happened again in her destination country with different ATMs. Lengthy communication with USAA achieved ATM resets but no cash - the problem continues and DW is now taking credit card cash advances (ouch).

USAA insists there is nothing wrong on their side, imply it must be a user error, although they are polite enough to not say it directly.

This is the first time we have attempted to use our USAA ATM outside the US - but have decades of experiences with other banks with never any problem. Any thoughts or suggestions (or relevant experiences)?
__________________

__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-17-2011, 10:51 AM   #2
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,146
Two years ago in Spain and then France we were on holiday with DD & SIL who were using their US issued ATM card from CHASE to get cash, and it probably only worked in about 50% of the ATM's they tried. We just put it down to the transition to CHIP & PIN cards in Europe. We used our UK bank ATM card during that trip with no problem, and were able to loan them cash until they found an ATM that worked.

We will be meeting up with them in a couple of weeks in Ireland so it will be interesting to see how they get on this time.
__________________

__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 10:59 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Alberta/Ontario/ Arizona
Posts: 3,158
I had problems extracting cash from ATM machines in Turkey last year as well. I attributed it to new chip technology as some banks ATm's worked while others did not.
__________________
Danmar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 11:22 AM   #4
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,492
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).
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 12:03 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
My experience with US ATM cards in Europe has been frustrating. Some ATMs seem to accept them, and some don't. Thankfully, I have a European ATM card with a chip that I can use as backup.
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 12:23 PM   #6
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
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).
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.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 02:48 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,627
Why the need for cash anyways? In Europe most places take a credit card. I've gone to Europe and spent less than 25 euros in cash.
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 02:57 PM   #8
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
Why the need for cash anyways? In Europe most places take a credit card. I've gone to Europe and spent less than 25 euros in cash.
Well, for one thing a lot of local tour guides (which we use for personal tours) don't take Euro's, nor do local shops, .

For instance, we got a bit of local currency in Sweden, England, and Russia last year since we did find they perferred their own currency rather than having to exchange Euro's.

BTW, we normally don't have a problem. Once in awhile we will have a timing problem (since we're drawing cash when our "home bank" is off-line) but we just try another local ATM or at another time. That's also the reason why we carry multiple bank/CU cash draw (debit) cards. Also, we've used our (non-chipped) cards in Ireland with no problem in the past, but things change.

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 )...
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 03:05 PM   #9
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 746
We've used our USAA debit/credit card at several ATMS in Europe and South America. The only problem I had was one time in Italy and I just went across the street to another ATM.

The problem I had with most of the European ATMs (this was a few years ago) was their keypad instructions were not clear.
__________________
East Texas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 03:17 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
....

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 )...
That fight has been going on longer than anyone even knew the Americas existed. Basically, almost anyone in Scotland will probably take your English pounds with no problem; but, some folks in England may balk at the notes from Scotland. Legally, they are exactly the same and both perfectly valid anywhere in the UK; but, old prejudices die hard.

As for the OP: I did not have any trouble getting cash out of ATM's with my USA (non-chipped) bank cards in the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland or the UK this past summer.
__________________
If there's one thing in my life that's missing; It's the time I spend alone
Sailing on the cool and bright clear waters; There's lots of those friendly people
Showin me ways to go; And I never want to lose your inspiration
CoolChange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 03:19 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,020
When I llived in the US, I sometimes had trouble getting a debit card to work despite both my card and the bank being part of the Plus network. I've never had trouble in Europe. I guess it's just the gremlins.....but it does point out the need for a backup plan!
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 03:23 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,567
Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
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, they are different countries with the same head of state. Never had anyone look at the difference between Scot & English pounds when I handed them over in eihter country.
__________________
gerntz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 04:26 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,649
On my last trip I had problems with waiters who couldn't use US swipe cards in their portable readers. Getting locked out of ATMs could be a significant problem. I wish we would convert to chip cards like the rest of the world. Holding out is beginning to be a PITA.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 04:31 PM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
Why the need for cash anyways? In Europe most places take a credit card. I've gone to Europe and spent less than 25 euros in cash.
What does your card company charge you for the currency conversion fee?

Most places we prefer to pay with cash, and that's even if we're not negotiating.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 04:32 PM   #15
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolChange View Post
That fight has been going on longer than anyone even knew the Americas existed. Basically, almost anyone in Scotland will probably take your English pounds with no problem; but, some folks in England may balk at the notes from Scotland. Legally, they are exactly the same and both perfectly valid anywhere in the UK; but, old prejudices die hard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerntz View Post
Yes, they are different countries with the same head of state. Never had anyone look at the difference between Scot & English pounds when I handed them over in eihter country.
In the main tourist areas in England, or the border regions, I've never had a problem in them taking Scottish notes. Problem is with the areas in England that rarely see Scottish notes, as there are several Scottish banks and the notes are different from each bank, so it is easy to pass off forgeries.

There is quite a difference in the laws between England and Scotland as we discovered during our two house moves. An English lawyer cannot practice in Scotland and vice versa.

I listen to a weekly podcast from the BBC called Moneybox, and whenever they are discussing things like pensions, benefits, wills, Estate law, trading laws etc, they always have a Scottish expert in the studio to give the Scottish versions of the laws.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 04:40 PM   #16
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
On my last trip I had problems with waiters who couldn't use US swipe cards in their portable readers. Getting locked out of ATMs could be a significant problem. I wish we would convert to chip cards like the rest of the world. Holding out is beginning to be a PITA.
I've been stung like this several times and twice, on business, had to get the folks I was supposed to be buying lunch for to pay.

The same happened once when taking my Dad and siblings out to lunch, and had to borrow the money from him.

This last couple of years I've always made sure I had enough cash or enough money in my UK bank account to use my CHIP & PIN card at an eating place.

A good guide is to ask if they take Amex, even if you don't carry Amex. If they do, then they will have a US style card reader so your VISA or M/C or debit card will work.

PS - I do like a CHIP card because it never leaves your posession.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 11:20 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,304
I have more experience in Asia then Europe, but have found that in general, the atm's at the airports will work. Other than that I have found that the international banks will usually work (HSBC, Citibank, ...etc.) or the 'countrys national bank' (Bank of England, Bank of China, Bank of Taiwan, ...etc.) will usually work too. The local S&L's or farmers banks usually won't work.

So get some local currency when you get off the airplane is the best bet. Locate an HSBC or Citibank atm in the locale.

Hope this helps.
__________________
Life is GREAT!
megacorp-firee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 11:32 PM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by megacorp-firee View Post
I have more experience in Asia then Europe, but have found that in general, the atm's at the airports will work. Other than that I have found that the international banks will usually work (HSBC, Citibank, ...etc.) or the 'countrys national bank' (Bank of England, Bank of China, Bank of Taiwan, ...etc.) will usually work too. The local S&L's or farmers banks usually won't work.

So get some local currency when you get off the airplane is the best bet. Locate an HSBC or Citibank atm in the locale.

Hope this helps.
This probably explains why I haven't had any problems: Basically, I won't put my ATM card into a machine unless I recognize the name of the institution. These are almost always large international banks or major banks in the country (Bank of England when I was in the UK, Bank of New Zealand a few hours ago, etc.).
__________________
If there's one thing in my life that's missing; It's the time I spend alone
Sailing on the cool and bright clear waters; There's lots of those friendly people
Showin me ways to go; And I never want to lose your inspiration
CoolChange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2011, 12:37 AM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
thefinancebuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 262
Have her go into a bank branch and do a withdrawal against the debit card in person. She doesn't need a PIN. They will run it as a credit card cash advance but since it's a debit card, there won't be interest or cash advance fee. Just sign the slip. They will probably want to see her passport as identification.
__________________
thefinancebuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2011, 05:15 AM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 354
I used to run into this problem occassionally in China, when ATMs were just starting to gain popularity. The problem was usually that the Chinese ATM was programmed to only accept a 6-digit code -- the standard here -- but my US-based ATM card had a 4-digit code.

I recently was travelling with a colleague back in the city I used to live, and found that machines for some banks would give us an error message even if they were supposed to be on the PLUS or Visa/Mastercard networks. It is a smaller city, and I think some of the banks probably didn't pay the extra fees or whatever to be hooked up to the international networks. We had better luck with large branches and at Bank of China or the international banks than with local banks.

lhamo
__________________

__________________
lhamo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
retire abroad Stevewc Health and Early Retirement 54 09-29-2009 08:49 PM
Buffett abroad Nords Stock Picking and Market Strategy 15 03-05-2008 09:44 PM
Studying abroad happy2bretired Other topics 20 03-20-2007 03:27 PM
living abroad mosaic Young Dreamers 14 07-31-2006 03:25 AM
Retirement abroad? dory36 Life after FIRE 73 01-28-2005 12:08 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:19 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.