ATM Card

What is your opinion of the Cash Passport Card?

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3063 posts

Go to you local credit union, open an account, get an accompanying debit card and be done with it. So many gimmicky travel cards flood the market with hidden fees and rules - just forget about all of them and get a debit card from your local CU.

Posted by Irv
Beverly Hills, MI
368 posts

The comments on Tripadvisor are mixed. Why would you want to bring a third party into the process. It can only complicate things and add cost since we all know that here is no free lunch. Just get an ATM card from your financial institution and make sure you have enough money in your account. If you have enough time before your trip, you could join the Andrews Federal CU and get a chip and pin credit card and an ATM card both of which have no foreign transaction fees.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2821 posts

My uncensored opinion would have me kicked out for violating the Helpline Guidelines, so here's the clean version: it's very low. Have you looked at a fee schedule? It's difficult because there are different kinds, but here's one: http://www.cashpassport.com/1/Global/US%20Consumer/MC%20Fees%20and%20Limits_chip.pdf Scroll down to page 4. You'll see they charge you to load the card, to use it at an ATM, to close it out, and who knows what else. And they famously use a lousy conversion rate (I've read it's about 10% above the bank rate you can get using a credit card for a purchase or bank ATM card for an ATM withdrawal) The only advantage of these cards is that some of them are Chip and Pin, which is handy if you're going to certain countries and planning to do a lot of transactions at unstaffed machines. France and the Netherlands are places where this can be useful. In the Netherlands, many stores are no longer accepting swipe cards (although hotels do). But despite the scare press, most other European countries still process swipe credit cards without difficulty. The best way to deal with money in Europe is to use your bank or credit union ATM card to withdraw cash from ATM's in Europe, and use your credit card for larger purchases. Details here (read each of the links, and you'll be a pro): http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/money-travel-tips.htm

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
398 posts

I have decided for my convenience that I will stop in a Travelex office in Paris and purchase a chip & pin cash passport card with euros on it - the fee I will pay for the convenience of being able to purchase tickets from a kiosk is worth it to me. I will make sure to zero out the card before I leave. They are currently not selling them in the US.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7671 posts

A few years ago, after I had made several trips using my regular old credit union ATM card (the one with no fees whatsoever), my credit union started offering the Cash Passport Card. I asked the people at the credit union what the benefit of having such a card was, since there was a fee to set it up, and who knows what else. After some hesitation, they said they hadn't realized that I could use my regular old ATM card while abroad. To this day, I still use my regular old card in Europe - and there are still no fees.