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Capital One ATM card usage

I have a Capital One Debit Card that I just use in ATM's that I got over 10 years ago to use in Europe. It is tied to a Cap One Directing Banking account that is technically a savings account. I have used it on over five trips to Europe and it worked fine. I see where in one of Rick's latest guidebooks he says that ATM's in Europe with only dispense cash to cards that are linked to a checking account. If this is the case I am wondering if my Capital One card with still work over there. Does anyone have any recent experience with trying to use such a card in Europe. We are going to the UK in a couple of weeks.

Posted by
15857 posts

My most recent experience is February 2019. I use a credit union debit card tied to a savings account and I had no problems.

Posted by
1635 posts

Hi.

Sorry I can't help with that information but you are probably aware you should take an extra card or two as a backup just in case.

Posted by
299 posts

When I travel in Europe I use a Capital One Debit Card that is tied to my Capital One 360 checking account. Normally I have all of my money in the Capital One money market interest earning savings account. When I am ready to travel I transfer funds from the savings to the 360 checking account to make them available to the debit card. It's worked flawlessly for 6 years. After travel is done I transfer the remaining checking account funds back to the savings account. We also have redundancy with cards for our credit unions, etc.

Posted by
2123 posts

We use a Chase Sapphire card for purchases, as they charge no transaction fees. For withdrawals, we use a Schwab bank account and Schwab debit visa card. Schwab is part of the Plus network or used to be. I looked at the card, and don't see the Plus logo on the card which is rather new. Schwab has always been a good card. I highly recommend the Chase Sapphire, which does charge a yearly fee but is very helpful and responsive to questionable items on the monthly statement.

Posted by
78 posts

I have a Cap One 360 Checking debit card. That is all I used in France. I went to the ATM the first day we were there and got out 300 euros. Cap One did the currency conversion and 300 euros was dispensed. They do not charge a foreign transaction fee or ATM fee. Be sure to let them know where you are traveling to so they make note of that, otherwise your card will be declined.

Posted by
5763 posts

Ken, where exactly did you see Rick say that? What I have seen is ATMs over there not letting you access your savings account (as in transferring money between accounts) or make other banking transactions through your card.

Posted by
2589 posts

If your account is a savings account, simply open a Cap One checking account. Easy to make transfers between the two, no FX fees or other charges. I have a checking account and money market at Cap One and recommend them highly. Great customer service, user friendly app and website. Their credit cards also have no FX or other user fees and totally integrate with the app and website. I have been a very satisfied customer since 2007.

Posted by
2186 posts

Capital One is undergoing some revisions to their accounts, I have received literature that explains most of it. I am planning to call them regarding any changes to the use of my ATM card - which is ATM only and not a debit card - abroad. I would suggest that, rather than asking here for people to hypothesize on what may be, that you also call them and ask directly regarding your account and card. Their customer service has been excellent over the years, and I am certain that you and I can obtain the direct answers we need.

Posted by
4526 posts

he says that ATM's in Europe with only dispense cash to cards that are linked to a checking account.

I don’t think that is exactly true. The issue is that European ATMs do not give you a choice between checking and savings; rather the money will automatically be withdrawn from the primary account.

For most people in the U.S. who have both checking and savings, the checking axcount will be the primary account associated with their ATM card. Thus, when they use their card at a European ATM, the money will come from checking. I believe that if you only have a savings account tied to the ATM, then savings will be the primary account and when you use the card the money will be withdrawn from your savings account. Note that I do not have a Capital One account so cannot offer personal experience. I suggest you call them. You will need to put a ”travel notice” on your card (i.e., report your planned dates of travel with countries) anyway.

Posted by
149 posts

We have used our Capital One 360 debit card exclusively during our last two trips to Italy, replenishing the account seamlessly from our checking account (not Cap One) as needed. No foreign transaction fees, no issues ever. We also use our Cap One Venture Visa internationally as well. Always great customer service, and while we’ve never had a fraud issue with the debit card, Cap One has always sent an immediate alert if anything looks weird on the Visa.

Posted by
3518 posts

What did Capital One say when you asked them? As a former customer, I remember the operation as eager to explain their wares.

PS: Act quickly, if you decide to change cards before leaving "in a couple of weeks." And it is safer to carry cards for several different companies.
(I left them because they changed some of the rules for their Canadian branch.)

Posted by
2186 posts

As a matter of fact, I just spent some time on the phone with CapOne, including a 20 minute wait as they are rather busy due to their changes.

A good thing I called, the ATM cards with our Hi-Yield Money Market account are now useless for our purposes, as they will incur the dreaded 3% Foreign Transaction Fee on ATM withdrawals, along with a 2 or 3 dollar hit from CapOne for out-of-network ATM fees.

However, they had me open a CapOne 360 checking, which will include an actual chipped debit card (as opposed to simply the ATM card), with NO Foreign Transaction Fee for ATM withdrawals and no CapOne surcharge for out of network activity (nor for POS usages although we do not need it for this as our CapOne Quicksilver credit card is no FTF and 1.5% cash back). CSR even stepped me through the process, which included adding my wife as an additional account holder- necessary so that we each get a separate ATM card. Great customer service as he stayed with me about 10-15 minutes to go through the steps including a redundant new web i.d. for her. Cards should come in about a week and we can then set our usual PINs. Interesting in that he was unaware that most bank ATMs in Europe do not impose fees. Can close out the Hi-Yield Money Market account anytime as it is now redundant, don't really care about the pittance of interest.

Posted by
83 posts

I have been able to use my credit union debit card, which does not charge foreign transaction fees to get local cash.

Posted by
3453 posts

ATMs can only charge to one account by default. Since most people have their checking account as the default account this means that is the account to be charged and it is not changeable in European ATM machines. If you do have the default set to savings, that is the account that will be charged. This can be confusing.

If it worked in the past (charging the account you wanted), it should continue to do the same going forward, checking or savings. You just can't have it bill one account one time (savings) and a different account (checking) the next time.

EDIT: Which is exactly what Laura said. :-)

Posted by
3453 posts

Interesting in that he was unaware that most bank ATMs in Europe do not impose fees.

Most bank employees in the US have no idea how International banking works. The are only knowledgeable about how things work at an ATM in the US. (Nothing wrong with that, it just isn't where their knowledge is focused.)

Posted by
80 posts

Thanks for all your comments. They were helpful. Although, based on the comments, I think my card (and my wife's) should still work as it always has, but it looks like we will need to get the Cap 1 360 Checking in order to save the Foreign Transaction Fees. We are house sitting in England for six weeks and then travelling for another six, so I really want to be sure I'm not going to have problems getting cash. I have a backup card but it charges FTF's also. We plan to use a credit card for most purchases but I know we will need cash for a few things.

Posted by
87 posts

Ken, Thanks for posting. From the sounds of it, I have the same type of Capital One account/card as you. I also received a notice that the account was switching over to something new. We opened that account years ago to avoid foreign transaction fees on ATM withdrawals. Sounds like I need to give them a call an switch to something else. Thanks for the heads up.

Posted by
299 posts

Ken I should mention that I've always had a Capital One 360 checking account which I access with the Capital One Debit card when I travel. I always give it a local test first but it's always functioned flawlessly.

Posted by
18423 posts

"Interesting in that he was unaware that most bank ATMs in Europe do not impose fees."

Alas, in my experience this is not necessarily true. It would be interesting to have actual statistics. I've run into fee-charging ATMs in many European countries since 2016, and it's my impression the percentage that charge fees is increasing. I didn't observe fees in France (maybe that country's banking regulations prohibit ATM fees), but I certainly did in Spain, Poland, Hungary, Czechia, Ukraine and the UK.

Also expanding rapidly is the effort to get the customer to accept dynamic currency conversion so the ATM operator can use an egregiously bad conversion rate to make a big profit on each withdrawal.

Posted by
5048 posts

I think the advice in the guidebook is the same standard advice that has been around for years. It is true for typical bank accounts where you by default have a checking and savings account, and the checking is primary. In short, it is not new advice, and there has been no "change".

If your Cap One card worked before, then it likely still works, since that is the only linked account, it does not have to "choose" an account.

I would not worry about it...but as always, have a back-up.

Posted by
5763 posts

On our last trip (Italy, 2019) every bankomat we used (multiple people, multiple banks) charged a flat 5€ fee per transaction.

Posted by
2186 posts

Italy has been allowing Italian banks to charge ATM fees, as has been Spain for their banks. If you find a bank there based in a foreign country, e.g. Deutsche Bank from Germany, the ATM does not charge a fee as per their home rules. As for ATM machines that are not owned by a bank but privately operated, these have always been able to do whatever they wished, just as here in the U.S.

And unfortunately more attention must be paid to cryptically worded explanations to induce you to accept Dynamic Currency Conversion when it is never required.