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Vietnam forum

ATM worries, UK cards with solo and visa logos

Posted by laallee on 17/5/2009 at 03:52

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.

#1 laallee has been a member since 27/4/2009. Posts: 46

Posted by chrispyrolls on 17/5/2009 at 15:37


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 chrispyrolls has been a member since 2/11/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 197
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Posted by laallee on 17/5/2009 at 16:50

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

#3 laallee has been a member since 27/4/2009. Posts: 46

Posted by daawgon on 18/5/2009 at 02:39

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 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,151
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Posted by brucemoon on 18/5/2009 at 09:40


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..

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.


#5 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by laallee on 18/5/2009 at 19:41

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!

#6 laallee has been a member since 27/4/2009. Posts: 46

Posted by brucemoon on 19/5/2009 at 06:13


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.


#7 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

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