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ATM worries, UK cards with solo and visa logos

  • laallee

    Joined Travelfish
    27th April, 2009
    Posts: 46

    Hi, we are trying to travel just using our debit cards and emergency cash. We have a real fear of our cards not working at the machines, if this happens can you withdraw cash at a bank counter. We will inform our banks of our travel plans but having so much relying on technology is a concern.
    thanks.
    laallee

    #1 Posted: 17/5/2009 - 03:52

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  • chrispyrolls

    Click here to learn more about chrispyrolls
    Joined Travelfish
    2nd November, 2006
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 198
    Total reviews: 4

    hi,

    the visa debit should be fine as these are universally accepted, also the solo card i have has a cirrus logo on the back, which again is a global brand

    to be sure, as you say, i would give your bank a call, as they may need to activate it for use abroad or may block it after use abroad if you have not told them

    if you are in the sticks then you may find no machines, so get yourself a wad of dong

    cash advances will probably only be available using credit cards and not debit cards

    have a great trip

    #2 Posted: 17/5/2009 - 15:37

  • laallee

    Joined Travelfish
    27th April, 2009
    Posts: 46

    Thanks Crispy,
    half the time my cards dont work in the UK!!
    Lets hope all goes well.
    lee

    #3 Posted: 17/5/2009 - 16:50

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 936
    Total reviews: 2

    If you go to the central Visa website (not your bank), they have a world wide listing of all ATM's that work with their card

    #4 Posted: 18/5/2009 - 02:39

  • brucemoon

    Click here to learn more about brucemoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    lallee

    You actually don't say which brand is on your cards.

    crispyrolls (and others) assume its a visa....

    If it is a visa, then (as daawgon suggests) you can go here to find out where there is an ATM..

    http://visa.via.infonow.net/locator/global/

    My experience is that visa is accepted throughout Vietnam.

    - - - -

    What I've found in SE Asia is that one should NEVER rely on an ATM either being where it's supposed to be, or that it has cash, or the telephone access isn't down.

    Generally, though, there are plenty of ATM's (except in small towns).

    - - - -

    As for cash at the counter, some banks in some countries are OK, some charge a fee for the use of the person, some banks just won't do it for you.

    - - - -

    NOTE, also,

    Every ATM in Vietnam charge a 20,000 VN dong fee to use the ATM. 20,000 VN dong = about US$1.25.

    As well, visa may have an arrangement with your bank where there is a percentage 'take' on the transaction. Explaining this, if you withdrew cash visa might give your bank 2% 'commission' and you will be charged a 'foreign exchange fee' of (2% of (say) US$100 = US$2).

    Some banks have a very low 'maximum' withdrawal limit (eg. DongaBank), most have a limit of about 6 or 7,000,000.

    ANZ in Saigon and Hanoi have a limit of 20,000,000 VN dong (daily withdrawal), though some of its ATM's may be low on cash and are programmed to then give a lower amount - when I incurred that, I moved to the next ATM.

    I found that if I withdrew a large sum, and I carried most of it with my passports and only took with me the amount I needed for the day, I could use cash to barter down Guest House prices (etc.) and not be without the readies. Others don't like doing this.

    Cheers

    #5 Posted: 18/5/2009 - 09:40

  • laallee

    Joined Travelfish
    27th April, 2009
    Posts: 46

    thanks again-bruce, the cards are visa, solo, maestro and link debit cards
    im taking a mixture along with an amex and mastercard c/c's.
    im taking cash aswell!
    can you tell ive been caught out in the past!
    lee

    #6 Posted: 18/5/2009 - 19:41

  • brucemoon

    Click here to learn more about brucemoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    laallee

    Hahahahaha - nothing like being well prepared!!!!

    Just a suggestion. In Australia, I use a single wallet for my cash and credit cards. I don't feel comfortable combining the two when OS, and I detest using bum-bags (an instant turn on to every tout [and probably would-be thief]).

    Instead, I take everything valuable out of my wallet and just use it to carry that amount of cash that I need for the day (or few days) and I store the rest with my passports. I top up my wallet as I need.

    I carry a little zipped 'wallet' that has a slide clip, and I slide-clip it to the inside of my waistband (being male, this is usually strong & firm). The zipped wallet is only a little larger than credit cards in size, and, I put my credit cards inside.

    That way, if I am unlucky enough to be robbed, hopefully I won't be in a position to be stranded.

    Cheers

    #7 Posted: 19/5/2009 - 06:13

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