ATM in Budapest -PLUS system??

Will arrive in Budapest at Ferihegy and need cash. We use a CapitalOne ATM card, linked to moneymarket account. Card is marked on "PLUS" system. When I checked other countries via the VISA PLUS locator last year, had no problem finding the necessary ATMS, including airports. But although I can get a list of over 100 ATMs on PLUS in Budapest, the locator says "There are no airport ATMs in this country." Now I know there are ATMs at Ferihegy, and I was able to find out that they are owned by "OTP Bank". OTP Banks and ATMS show on the list of PLUS locations in Budapest. So--will we be able to use our ATM card immediately, or will we need to carry euro and get in tot he city the hard way (my B and B advised they can pay for shuttle or taxi and add it to my bill). I find it kind of hard to believe that I would not be able to use the card at the airport. Could this just be some fluke of the lisitng?
Thanks

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

We have a small amount of euros left over from our last trip, that would surely get us transport by bus/metro into town, where I know we can use the card. Credit card is not an option, that immediately costs 3% plus a bad exchange rate, interest as it is a cash advance, not a withdrawal. The ATM card is CapitalOne (with a PLUS logo and nothing else on it), no fees for using other ATMs, and their exchange rate is barely 1/2% under the published exchange rates, which puts this over 5% ahead of the card that I've had for many years with what was once our local bank and has now morphed into Wells Fargo, and along with PLUS has the VISA logo, although we do never use it as a check or credit card (also Interlink and NYCE logos). Call us cheap if you want to, but we see no reason to put that amount of our money into the banks' profit column.
So again--the issue is whether or not the card will work at the machine owned by a bank that is otherwise on PLUS system, even though this does not show on their web listing.

Posted by Mike
Tampa, FL, USA
417 posts

I did use my ATM card at the airport with no problem, and also around the city. However, it is Visa with my local bank and not Capital One. By the way, you mentioned Euro, Hungary uses the Forint. Euro are accepted in places, but you will get a bad rate. Better to use your credit card and local currency.

Posted by Sarah
Chicago (formerly St. Louis), IL, USA
1311 posts

Hi Larry. I have a US Bank ATM card which is also on the PLUS system, as well as a few others. When I got the card, the personal banker told me to look for ATMs with the PLUS symbol or other symbols on my card. I was in a college town in Germany this summer and looking for an ATM with any of these symbols but found none. I went into a bank, tried the card in an ATM, and it worked. Not sure how important the PLUS is, but at least in my case the absence of it didn't seem to matter (and the fees were the same as when I used an ATM with the PLUS symbol earlier on my trip).

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
3577 posts

Larry, although I can't help you with your original question, DO carry a credit card in your moneybelt. It's your Emergency Plan should anything go wrong. And things DO go wrong.

Posted by Tom
Chicago
2876 posts

I don't remember any problem finding an ATM when we went through the Budapest airport and our Visa-branded debit card worked fine. If you have problems with the ATM's, there's a currency exchange you can hit as a last resort. I think if your card is Visa-branded, you'll be fine. I agree with Mike. Use forints, the local currency. Everyone is sure to accept these.

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

Thanks all. I did receive a reply from OTP Bank, they say all their machines will work, which is what one would expect as after all it is the bank itself that is on the system, not their individual machines.
And yes, a credit card is carried for emergency only, and we always use the local currency, the 20 r so euro we can stick in the money belt is also for contingencies only, such as not immediately finding an ATM but needing to purchase transportation tickets.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7185 posts

Plus is a pretty big syndicate. If you have a Visa logo (meaning you have a debit card), virtually any ATM will work for you. If at all possible, get a debit card; it makes things much easier.

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

The CapitalOne card IS a debit card. PLUS logo only, no VISA indicator on it.

Posted by David
Fremont, California
17 posts

I have flown into the Budapest Airport and there IS an ATM in the airport and it dispenses Hungarian currency. The ATM is located on the main floor just around the corner from the Information Counter. I have traveled to 54 cities in Europe in the last five years and have never had a problem with using my ATM cards anywhere. I use a Mastercard from the USAA Bank in San Antonio, Texas or a VISA card from an Omaha, Nebraska bank and never bother to check first whether the European ATM says anything about "Plus" system or any of the other systems. Either card always simply works. I hope this info helps.

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

Exactly what I needed to hear!
Last summer in Prague we planned our withdrawals carefully, and used up all but the final 7 kr of coins on a snack at the airport, leaving a souvenir of the trip equivalent to 34 cents. I am sure we can do the same in Budapest, and of course the hotel bill is getting paid in cash. In fact we are booked at the recommended Bellevue B and B, and they don't take credit cards. As the wonderful owner Judit explained in our back and forth (I had brought up this situation to her), she is a private business and is not allowed to accept credit cards in Hungary by their law.

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

The last couple of replies and the logic are great, and I am certain that my card will work. BUT the link posted in the last reply is what started this thread. The VISA PLUS locator does NOT bring up any the ATM in the BUDAPEST airport. In fact, if you use its advanced search method "Airport ATMS", it will, tell you that there are no airport ATMs in Hungary. Which cannot be, since their largest bank, OTP, which is known to be on PLUS, has ATMs at the airport. This is not an issue of this tool only listing banks as, for example, it lists the ATMs in Prague's airport, which are machines only and not banks.
Clearly, there are bugs in the system

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7185 posts

Can you use your card to pay at grocery stores and gas stations? If so, then I guess your plus card is a debit. I've never heard of a debit that didn't have either a Visa or MC logo but I guess it's possible.

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

I have not tried. But not an issue, as this account and card are solely for getting cash abroad. Otherwise, I use my local (haha to "local"--it went through several national several takeovers over the last 20 years) bank's ATM card locally for cash, and my 1-2% cash back credit cards for all purchases (EXCEPT when abroad). Perhaps someone else knows whether the CapitalOne cash card (not credit card) can be used for purchases. I suspect not, since it only has PLUS, and not also VISA.

Posted by Tom
Chicago
2876 posts

A PLUS card without a Visa logo is probably an ATM-only card, and therefore not usable for POS purchases. (No Visa logo means no access to the Visa signature network.) But check with Capital One to be sure.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3496 posts

I flew into Budapest in May and got forints from an ATM with my Capital One ATM card (like yours linked to a mm a/c). I did it while I was waiting for my suitcase to appear on the carousel - i.e., before clearing customs. The machine only issued very large denominations so I got one changed at the f/c counter. I had no trouble getting more cash from ATMs in Budapest and the bills were small denominations. Tip - I used my "left-over" forints toward my hotel bill when I left.