Does anyone know if the ATM's in Italy give you a choice of which bank account to take out money? Savings or Chequing? And what denominations are given?
ATM's in Italy generally take money out of checking. Don't recall seeing an option for savings, but that may be because I don't look for it. Limit per withdrawl is EUR 250, regardless of your daily limit. If you want to max out your daily limit, you may have to make withdrawls at 2 different ATM's. Denomiations will vary by ATM. Sometimes you'll get 5 EUR 50 notes, sometimes a combination of EUR 50 notes and EUR 20 notes and sometimes other combinations. No way to really know until the ATM disburses the cash. If you get EUR 100 notes, break those when paying for hotel, at dinner or at a store. You can assure yourself of a few smaller bills by picking an odd amount like EUR 240. Not all ATM's have EUR 5 or EUR 10 notes, so you may have to experiment with the amount to get some smaller notes.
They took ours out of checking. If you are looking for more option, you might want a second ATM card from a different bank. Often, this is not practical so you might be a tad limited with one card.
You won't get a choice. Funds will be withdrawn from whatever is tagged as your "primary account," 99.999...% of the time this will be your checking account. The way to be sure is to ask your bank which is your primary account.
Thanks to you all for your quick reply. I will be calling my bank and makinig a transfer to the chequings' just to be safe!
We spent about a month in Italy over the last two summers. Only one time did we find an ATM that would give a choice of savings or checking. It was in Rome and appeared to be associated with what I am guessing was a credit union. All of the others went directly to the checking account which was how we had set it up. So assume you will NOT be given a choice.
As a side note, we never use stand alone ATMs but always use an ATM attached to a bank during office hours. We have an untested belief that if something went wrong with the withdraw, one of us could guard the ATM and the other would go into the bank to resolve the problem. It is untested since we have never encountered any problems in 300+ days of travel over the past 15 years or so. But we keep doing it just in case.
Assume you will not be able to get cash from any account except the primary checking account associated with the ATM card you're using. And you may also want to assume that you cannot get online access to your accounts to make transfers. Therefore, before you depart have all the money you will need to access through ATM's in your primary checking account.
ALL of the ATM's I've used so far have been linked to my chequing account. There were no other options listed on the screen. I can't recall what denominations were dispensed by the machine, but it may vary a bit from one financial institution to another (the largest bill I've received has been €50 / £50, I believe?).
I normally keep a limited amount of funds in my chequing account while travelling, in case my primary ATM card is lost, stolen or compromised. That way both my loss and the bank's loss are minimized. I do have the ability to transfer funds between accounts, either using internet banking, telephone banking or just phoning the call centre during business hours, so can "top up" the cheqing account when I need to.
So far I haven't used the internet to transfer funds while travelling, as i don't trust computers at Net Cafes. Using the call centre is my preferred option, as I know the staff and they know my somewhat distinctive voice, so it's a reasonably safe option and worth a few bucks for the call (I always travel with a Cell phone!). I have used the telephone banking option occasionally (again with my cell phone) with no problems so far.