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Swipe type bebit cards

There is an awful lot of information here about using debit cards in ATMs in Europe. Without searching through all the posts, will someone tell me if a debit card with a mag stripe work in the ATMs in Paris? I recently received a debit card from USAA that has a mag stripe, no chip. USAA told me they were going to reissue debit cards with chips in November, which is too late for me. I'm concerned it may not work for cash withdrawals from French ATMs. Is my concern legitimate?

Posted by
26014 posts

yes, no problem

You have a valid concern, but it is unwarranted.

Posted by
318 posts

Your card will work. I just came back from Paris about a month ago and my simple ATM card from a local community bank worked at every ATM I tried. Make sure you notify your bank about your travel plans.

Posted by
17 posts

Worked in the ATMs. Not in some of the grocery stores.

Posted by
6059 posts

We used ours at ATMs there in July - no problems. If you do have a problem, it might be because you are asking for more than the max available from that machine, not because of the card.

Posted by
2514 posts

It will work at the ATMs and most places where there is a person at a cash register. Where it won't work is at automated machines, such as ticket machines for trains or attractions, automated gas pumps, that kind of thing. If, for any reason you run into an ATM where it won't work either ask for less money (sometimes there is a limit, and it resets each day on US time), or find another ATM.

Posted by
18021 posts

I can't speak for France, but in Germany, I've never encountered an ATM withdrawal limit other than that imposed by my bank. On a recent trip I was withdrawing 500 euro (almost $700) at a time (with a swipe card).

Posted by
244 posts

We just returned from the UK. Our ATM card with the chip worked fine. We withdrew money at ATMs with no problem. However our son's card did not have a chip and he could not withdraw cash from ATMs. He went into the bank, they tried, didn't work. She sent us to the post office to get cash. I ended up exchanging US dollars for pounds with my son. I would at least take one card with a chip, if you want to withdraw cash. He had no problem using his card for purchases, just getting cash from the ATM.

Posted by
3554 posts

Okay, pfresh3, I'm a little confused and concerned because I plan to go to the UK in May. What confused me was that you said your son could use his card fine to buy stuff, but not to get cash at an ATM.

Was your son using his credit card to try to get a cash advance? Was he using his debit card to pay for things?

I have used my ATM/Debit cards (one MasterCard branded, one Visa branded, both with mag strips) all over Europe, including the UK with no issues when I got cash. I do not use my ATM/Debit cards to buy anything, because the possibility of fraud is higher than paying with a credit card.

Likewise, my Visa branded credit card without a chip and only with a mag strip has worked fine for charging things in most places. I have had a pin for this card for 8 years, but I have never used it to withdraw cash, i.e. get a cash advance charged to the CC.

With both kinds of cards, I have hit brick walls like those already mentioned, but I haven't had the problem you described. Did you call the card company's number on the back of the card to try to figure out what was going on?

As others have listed, there are so many variables that could cause his request for cash to be rejected. Was your son using a CC to get a cash advance and forgot his pin? Did he even have a pin for it?

Did he forget his pin for his ATM/Debit card? Did he have enough money in his account to make the cash withdrawal? Was he asking for more money than the machine could give him?

I could go on with the endless possibilities. It would be useful to find out what happened there. If it could happen in the UK, it could happen in Paris or anywhere as we tardy Americans arrive late to the better card security party.

Posted by
244 posts

He was using his debit card to get cash out of his account not his credit card. He had plenty of cash in the acct. For some reason he could not get money out of the ATM. He went inside to the bank teller. She tried. Didn't work. She told him to go to the post office. Instead, I just gave him pounds and he gave me dollars. We did not go to the post office and try to withdraw money. I just thought I'd mention the problem we had. Not everyone will have that problem of, course. My daughter banks at the same bank as her brother, however her card had a chip. So she had no problem getting cash. He knew his pin and had informed his bank. He purchased items using the same card. They swiped, he signed. No problem. Only problem was withdrawing cash from the ATM. Btw, he tried at least 3 - 4 different ATMs. Again, others may not have this problem. We were in England and Scotland last week. Just trying to share our experience.

Posted by
26014 posts

Unless we were looking over his shoulder we probably can't guess what was happening.

My totally off the wall guess is that he somehow managed to enter his pin number 3 times in a row which will lock the card for further withdrawals until reset.

He wouldn't have needed the pin for the swipe.

ATMs don't only rely on a chip - the swipe strip is read when the card is taken in and cards with only a swipe strip should be fine....