ATM Cards (multiple)

I was reading people's posts of take multiple atm cards incase one is demagnatized or something. Do you take multiple ATM cards for the same bank account (meaning 2 ATM cards for my Schwab account) or do you take a ATM card for say Schawb account and the 2nd for say a HSBC account? If you take 2 ATM cards for the same banking account, don't they cancel one when you for a 2nd card? So how do you get 2 cards for the same account? Thanks

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10883 posts

A little of both. We have two cards for toe different accounts - one bank, one credit union - total four cards. Primarily use credit union since that card has no charges. The second card on the same account is back up should the first card be damaged in some way. Obviously if the card is stolen or lost and reported to the card issuer, then the second card is dead. The higher probability is that a card will be damaged rather than lost. Both the bank and the credit cards will issues cards on the same account in both of our names.

Posted by Bruce
Whitefish, Montana
611 posts

My recollection is that if one of our Schwab ATM cards is damaged or stolen, my wife or I can just use the other card without a problem or additional risk. I believe this holds true for our other ATM cards with a local bank. Oh, and I learned via my brother's experience in Northern Europe during 2012 that using an ATM card at a bank ATM dispenser during open hours, it is possible staff will refuse or are unable to retrieve same card if swallowed whole. Therefore, advice to withdraw funds during open hours of banks is not universally worthwhile.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7682 posts

I often travel alone, so I carry two ATM cards from separate financial institutions. One of them is my main credit union, and the other is an online bank. I can transfer funds between the two at a moment's notice, so if one is messed up I can arrange to access all of my travel funds from the other card (I split them about half and half otherwise). Like Frank, I use my credit union card mostly, since it has no fees (the other is 1%). And while visiting an ATM during banking hours might not be an advantage in all cases, at least there is a chance that the bank staff could help if the card is eaten. If it is after hours, there is NO chance.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Robert, I use my Credit Union ATM card as my "primary" card in Europe, but usually also pack along two extra cards with different financial institutions. I also have a Global Payment MasterCard which is usually the first card I try if there's a problem with the CU card (which HAS happened). You'll have to check with your financial institution regarding what action they will take if one of your cards is compromized. If you and your wife both have cards on the same account, I'm not sure if they would cancel both cards if one was lost or stolen? I also pack along at least two different credit cards. Always nice to have lots of "backup". Cheers!

Posted by Allen
Lafayette, LA
194 posts

If you have two cards on the same account with different VISA numbers and PINs, then you can bring both without fear of having both cancelled if one is lost or stolen. I called Schwab about this very issue before my last trip.

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
1841 posts

I am not sure what type of ATM cards all these folks are talking about but my wife and I each take a DEBIT CARD tied to a CHECKING ACCOUNT at different financial institutions. We also each take a credit card from two different financial institutions. We have done this for the last 10 years now and have had to use one of the back-ups only once and that was a US banks mistake. We were glad we had them all.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7682 posts

Mine are debit cards tied to checking accounts, too.

Posted by Hille
157 posts

In October of 2011 the ATM ate my card at a bank in Strasbourg, France. It was during banking hours, but I wasn't able to retrieve my card until after 9AM the next morning. Luckily I didn't need cash immediately, and luckily I was going to still be in town the next day. I always use the credit union card as primary because of no fee, but always carry a backup card, which I've yet to use. I do always ask the credit union to temporarily raise my daily cash limit, though, because of sometimes getting a discount for paying cash at hotels in small towns.

Posted by Allen
Lafayette, LA
194 posts

While the OP's original question dealt with ATM or debit cards, the same situation may not apply to credit cards. Credit cards often have the same numbers and security codes on the back when multiple cards are issued for the same account. In that situation, if one card were to be lost or stolen, then the others would be cancelled.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7209 posts

We always take two cards from different accounts. It's good to have the accounts linked in some way that you can transfer funds if you need to. If a card is demagnetized, another card from the same account is fine. If a card is lost or stolen (including lost in an ATM machine, because some scams work that way), you need to be able to work from another account. The bank will lock the account as soon as you report the lost card - so a second card to that account isn't going to help at all. The normal precautions are to make sure your bank knows your itinerary (so they don't put a fraud hold on your account), order a new card before your trip (to reduce the chance of it being demagnetized or slight bent, from being in your wallet, and sticking in an ATM), and keep the bank's phone number handy, separate from your card (in case the card is lost or stolen).

Posted by Suz
Denver, USA
223 posts

I'm also the two-card, two-account, type. My first-line ATM card (which is also a VISA debit card) is for a checking account I have at a credit union which I keep primarily for travel purposes. If it's fraudulently accessed, the thieves will get my travel money, but will not be messing with my everyday all-purpose checking account. The backup card is for my regular checking account - at a different credit union. So far I've been fortunate and not had to use the backup. (Both are with credit unions and the only fees I've been charged are the VISA 1% foreign currency conversion fee.)

Posted by Irv
Beverly Hills, MI
370 posts

You want two cards for two different banks or CUs. Our experince was that Bank of America failed to properly process my wife's call notifying them of our trip. Her card was rejected in the first time she tried to use it. Contrary to the stuff they say in their printed material, Bank of America would not reactivate the card until my wife appeeared in person at our branch bank after we got home. Bank of America never apologized for their screw up but they did tell her that she should be really happy that their security system worked so well. Fortunately PNC Bank did not screw up my call and we used my ATM card for three weeks. This is why you don't want to put all your trust in one bank.