Chase ATM/Travelers Checks

Hi,Just wondering if anyone has used the new Chase Bank Debit Cards in Europe? We just got ours and I noticed that it does not have the usual Star or Cirrus logos on it, and Im not sure if it will work at ATMs in Europe. Our card only has a Blink and Paypass logo. Also has anyone used Travelers checks recently.Im thinking more for use at Banks to get cash rather than
stores,etc.We have had bad experiences with our Washington Mutual Debit card on past trips (getting cut off even when we informed them of when and where we are going) and are trying to figure out alternatives for getting cash while we travel.Any advice or experiences that you have had would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. Martin

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10888 posts

Some people advocate using TCs as backup but the point is that TCs are very difficult to cash and the exchange rate even at a bank will be poor. I now just carry a couple hundred dollars buried in my shoe as back up. I think you need to check with Chase to see which network they use. The Star network is not available in Europe. We carry two debit tired to two different accounts. During 15 years of usage we have never had a problem. Worse case backup would be cash advance on a credit card, if necessary.

Posted by Martin
Livermore, Calif, U.S.A
9 posts

Thanks Frank, So you think TC's hard to cash even at Banks? May ask which banks you use for your debit cards?Heard people say they had problems with BofA too. Do you think Visa vs Mastercard makes a diffrence ie: Visa better?

Posted by Tyler
San Francisco, California, USA
446 posts

I just Googled "Chase Debit Card" and found out that Chase is sending some customers new debit cards marked "Leisure Rewards". It's an attempt to sell some new rewards program, and the new cards come with a $25 a year annual fee!

Maybe you should consider changing banks. . .

Posted by Michele
San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
12 posts

I went to my bank and they no longer use travelers checks. instead they said that the new way to go is a travelers card. you just give your bank the amount you want on the card and they load it for you. you can use it at any ATM and any place where visa is accepted (the card has a visa logo on it). this is what im planning on doing unless I can find another option. ...check with your bank. they might have it.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10888 posts

The problem with TCs is the fraud issue. Anyone with a computer and a color printer can print TCs. Recourse with TCs is non-existent so nobody wants to deal with them. A bank might be better able to detect fraud but is a pain to process TCs so they want a good fee to do that. I use a VISA debit card issued by US Bank. I carry two debit card. My son used a Washington Mutual card from Japan to Germany on a five month honeymoon through the far east last year and had no problems at all. About one time in ten it will not work in a particular ATM -- but always works in the next one. First time it happen it was a real panic, now I know it is something that happens. We happen to use VISA but I don't think it makes any difference.

Michele -- what is the fee structure on the traveler's card? That is extremely important to know. Remember debit/credit cards full under banking regulations and pre-load cards do not because they are considered gift cards.

Posted by Michele
San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
12 posts

yeah, thats good info for me to learn before i go i guess. the bank didnt give me any literature...not until I actually get the card. i guess ill need to continue to look into my options. I leave in 2 weeks, so not much time left.

Posted by Martin
Livermore, Calif, U.S.A
9 posts

Same here Michele, not really sure what to do.We had such bad luck with our WaMu card (8 trips no problems.last two trips in a row we couldnt get money out) getting a little panicky. A friend said she used her Chasecard in Switzerland and didnt have any trouble. Its an awful feeling being so from home with no access to your money

Posted by Michele
San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
12 posts

I know. I think this is actually one of my biggest stressors with my trip. I bank with a small, local bank, so I know there isnt one overseas. and as far as my credit cards go, I have small spending limits on them, so I cant use them. and since I only have 2 weeks left till i leave, its too late to apply for a new debit card (if i open a separate checking acct).

what about the prepaid credit cards you can buy at the grocery stores? would those work? has anyone used those??

Posted by Michele
San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
12 posts

the prepaid credit card? not sure. ive never used one before.

if the travelers check (visa) card doesnt pan out, then I really dont know what to use! I guess I should have been looking into this way before now!!

Posted by Martin
Livermore, Calif, U.S.A
9 posts

Yes, I was hoping when Wamu went to Chase things would be better, just wish I knew if it would work before i go. The clerk at the Bank said it SHOULD work. You might be able to get some cash exchanged into Euros at your bank (US you said?) Just make sure you wear a money belt.I was told USbank will change money for customers

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3511 posts

Michele,

I have used my ATM card from Union Bank all over the world and never had a problem (well, once in St Petersburg, but I think that was because it was about 1 am in CA and the bank was offline then). They take $5 per transaction and the maximum cash out is $500 in 24 hours, though some places in Europe (notably Italy) have lower maxes.

You should still have time to open an account and get a card before you leave - there is a branch in san luis obispo!

Posted by Frank II
USA
4377 posts

Martin....two things to consider...

1) Have you been able to use your Chase card at ATM's in the U.S? If no, look at the magnetic strip on the back to make sure it's not too scratched. If yes, proceed to number 2:

2) Did you alert the bank prior to your last two trips that you were going overseas? Many banks now will block ATM card use out of the country if they are not informed. They are concerned about theft and unauthorized use.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6841 posts

I just received one of the new Chase RFID (Blink/Pay Pass) debit cards. The card will work fine in Europe. The reason the Star/Cirrus logo has been removed is because on RFID cards the hologram is placed on the back of the card so there is no room for the logos.

Posted by Debbie
Galesburg
3 posts

AAA had an international card. You load it, I believe it is a Visa (I think it is a Visa) so you can use it where Visas are, use it as a debit and at ATMs. My AAA waives the $4 in August with $1000 put on it. I will also take some case and possibly some travelers checks for a backup. I heard you can cash them on some cruise lines. I will also take some Euros for tips before I go.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10888 posts

Debbie -- read the fine print. In the past the AAA prepaid debit card has carried fees as high as 10 to 12% for its usage. Remember they can bury fees in a prepaid card that have to be revealed with a debit/credit card.

Posted by Audrey
Keizer, Oregon, USA
577 posts

Travelers checks (imho) are obsolete. They are in the same category as VCRs, casette tapes, 3 1/2 floppy disks, instamatic camera, camera film, and low priced gas! Forget them. They are not part of a traveler's life.

Posted by Tyler
San Francisco, California, USA
446 posts

While it's a pain, really, the best strategy is to carry at least two debit cards from two different banks, plus two credit cards. Make sure you know what the PIN is on your credit cards because, in an emergency, you can use them to get a cash advance from an ATM in Europe. Sure, you pay some interest and fees for the cash advance, but it's better than not having any fallback if for some reason your debit cards don't work.

I've personally never had any trouble in Europe with my Bank of America debit card, but as they say, "your mileage may vary."

My point is, don't worry excessively or anticipate trouble, but make a contingency plan, using backup cards, just in case.