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Author Topic: can I still use my ATM card from USA  (Read 2541 times)
syd88
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« on: November 25, 2010, 03:41:05 AM »

Instead on doing a wire transfer and getting ripped off by the exchange rate can I still us my debit card for purchases (chase) what are my options.  It kills me when I transfer money and I lose so much.  just exchanged 200 dollars for pounds and lost 75 bucks Sad(((
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ksand24
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2010, 08:15:47 AM »

You can use your debit card for purchases, but there may be a transaction fee or currency conversion fee for every transaction, although it probably won't be that much - a couple of percent of the transaction amount, probably. I believe that if you have a Bank of America ATM card, you can withdraw cash from Barclays ATM machines at no charge. Just be aware though that because UK cards must all have chip and pin now, you may be told in stores that they won't accept your card because it doesn't have chip and pin. However, as many foreign cards do not have chip and pin, there should be an option for them to process a foreign card, it's just that the cashiers will probably have been told that they cannot do it (so if you're told you can't pay with it, I would ask them to check again for you).

Looking at my UK bank website, if I use my UK debit card to pay for something abroad, I will get charged £1.25 for every transaction. Alternatively, if I withdraw money from an ATM, I will be charged 2% for every withdrawal (min. £2, max £5).
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woadgrrl
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2010, 03:57:48 PM »

I always use my US credit union debit card while I'm in the U.K.  It's a fairly good option because my credit union doesn't tack on fees; the only charge is 1% of the total purchase or withdrawal, and that's only because Visa mandates that charge.

However, as ksand24 noted, it can be a hassle simply because the cashiers are often uncertain what to do with my card.  It's not a big deal in areas with lots of tourists, because they're used to it, and I've never had it refused anywhere, but there's lots of ums and errs and fumbling around while they figure it out, then try to find a pen, and I'm getting weird looks from people. 

So it's fine for travel/temporary use, but not the easiest long-term solution

You may want to look at other options for moving your money.  PayPal and XE currency are two online services that would let you transfer money between US and UK accounts.  I'm not very familiar with XE currency, but I know that PayPal does charge a fee, and doesn't have the greatest exchange rate.  However, it might still be better than what your bank is charging for a wire transfer.  It's worth comparing.
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sweetpeach
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2010, 05:53:04 PM »

I have a Chase debit card. I haven't used it in years, because I have UK bank accounts and credit cards, but I did use it to take cash out of ATMs when I first moved over.

Why can't you use it to take cash from an ATM and then pay for your purchases in cash?
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andrea922
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2010, 12:57:49 AM »

Our BA Chase card just stopped charging international transaction fees. You could get a card like that, get a pin, and take money out on it - or pay for everything with it and pay it off with your US bank account.

I have used my non-chip and pin card in the UK for 5 years, and whenever I use it I just say it is a swipe card, and only once in 5 years have I had someone say they couldn't take it, I asked to speak to a manager, and they did take it. I never could use it in train stations though.
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drofnnyl
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2010, 02:30:34 AM »

My credit union back in Texas charges me $1 for taking out up to 300 GBP from the ATM with my Mastercard debit card. That's all. No ATM charges from this end. Before I moved, i added my UK address to my account so that it wouldn't be flagged for fraud. That's the only thing that might happen. If you can contact your bank and add your UK address to your account (mine lets you do this online) then you should be fine.

I have used it in Argos with no problems (without a chip). But, Tesco's and ASDA online will not accept it. It's hit and miss really. But, I've never had a problem getting cash from the ATM and it's a whole lot cheaper than exchanging monies back and forth.
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syd88
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2010, 03:00:56 PM »

hmmmm I will try taking money out of an atm, can I go to any atm?  the exchange rate kills me and I want to exaust all options before a wire transfer, my bank charges $50.  Thanks for all your help.  If theres anything else you can think of, let me know.
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persephone
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2010, 12:27:10 PM »

Which bank do you bank with?  Someone near the top of the thread mentioned Barclays and Bank of America having a deal for cheaper withdrawls from their cash points.  I have an account with Wells Fargo and I can with draw from HSBC paying only a cash conversion fee, which is definitely less than $50 (I want to say around $5 or less so I make it worth my while when I do withdraw money using that card).  Check with your US bank if they have a UK partner.  Then you can hopefully withdraw money and not be stuck with a huge bill. 
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2010, 12:57:47 PM »

I haven't checked this morning, Saturday, but the pound has gone down a lot, relatively speaking, in the last few days. Good time to bring in dollars.

See here:http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/
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ManderW
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2010, 05:43:16 PM »

I would be surprised if you can't use your US card just about anywhere.  Is it a Visa debit card?  If so then you can use it in any ATM that accepts visa, which is pretty much all of them.  Most ATMs don't charge you a fee on their end, either, except those in places like pubs.

I use my US debit card here, and all over Europe, all the time.  I find that I generally get a better exchange rate taking money out via an ATM than I would with something like XE Trade, and my credit union only charges the 1% fee that Visa charges them.   The only time I have had trouble was trying to use it as a debit card in Spain, but that was mainly because my Spanish wasn't good enough to explain that US cards don't have chip and pin. 
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ChillyWilly
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2010, 11:38:52 PM »

I have a Chase in the states now...With the account I have I am charged a minimal % and no per trasnaction fee of $5 since I get 4 withdrawls a month with my account.
It doesnt hurt to ask...

I have chase and use that card for CASH withdrawls (never small amounts but 100 quid min) to make it worth it.  I also pull money from Chase to my paypal account and then plop that into my UK bank account..its takes about 7 days but it costs me 30 cents or something plus whatever the exchange rate is.

Research is key!
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