ATM Withdrawal Question

Getting ready for a trip. I have a couple questions about withdrawals in Italy. 1)when you are at the ATM machine, do they have a english button similar to the trenitalia kiosks? 2)Will the ATM machine show your current bank checking balance? If so would that be in Euro or USD? 3)After the withdrawal does the receipt just who you that you taken out say 500 Euro or does it also show you that it's say $620 USD.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

1. Usually. Maybe always, I'm not particular about languages. 2. No. Neither. 3. Euro only.

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

1.Look for the British Flag...that will be the English version. 2 and 3, not really sure, but from memory, everything is in Euro, and I don't remember ever seeing the balance of my checking account on a receipt.
We always keep every receipt of every transaction while in Europe. And, I'm sure you know to contact your bank and give them dates and places of your travel before you leave the US. (same with all credit cards)

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5761 posts

Yep, Ed's right. Also, be sure to have a non-800 number you can call from Italy in case there's a problem with either your ATM card or your credit card. 800 numbers don't work from Italy. The bank should give you a US number and tell you to call collect.

Posted by rick
Bellevue, WA
256 posts

If you don't see British flag. Look for CHANGE LANGUAGE.

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

My experience is that only my bank's ATMs in the US show the checking balance. If I use someone else's ATM in the US then it is just a local receipt showing withdrawn amount. The same in Europe. In Europe you always have multi language choices.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8755 posts

Ed's right. It just sounds good... I agree with the above. It has been my experience that as soon as you put your card in it realizes that it is a foreign transaction so then either presents a button for foreign transaction (don't be afraid to push it) or not, but then always offers various languages or switches automatically to English. That's with me using a British card on a US bank. Also ... often the ATMs are in the building and you have to swipe or your card for the door to open into a lobby, or you need to get around the Agent 86 Get Smart type of round door by a similar process which may, during the day, involve buzzing to be let in. Don't try to fit anything else besides yourself through the funny door. You will barely fit, let alone any stuff (leave with 2nd person or wear messenger bag). More also ... many Italian ATMs won't issue a receipt eith because they are out of paper or the printer is bust or they offer you the option of not printing...

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3337 posts

Ed is 100% right. I might add that I've never seen a Bancomat (ATM) in Italy that didn't have a choice of languages (including English). Therefore the answer to question 1 is probably YES, ALWAYS.

Posted by Robert
Tampa, FL, USA
271 posts

Thanks All. When you swipe your card to go inside the building to use the ATM, you just swipe correct. You don't need to enter you pin to enter?

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

That is correct. Just a swipe and the door unlocks. However, you will not always find an enclosed ATM. Our experience is only about a third were enclosed. We do make a point of only using ATMs either enclosed or attached to the outside of a bank. We absolutely avoid any stand alone ATM.

Posted by Robert
Tampa, FL, USA
271 posts

Thanks Frank. That is one thing I try to do in the US too. Just use a BANK ATM and not the stand alone ones on the street or at a store. I was planning on doing that on my trip and saw sevearl others in different posts put someting simiilar.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

Some small points to add: 1. Don't worry if you don't see English on an ATM screen before you your card. Once you in-sert your card, you will get the choice of language screen. 2. Be sure to go to http://www.xe.com/ and figure out your dollar withdrawal limit in euros. Since you have enter euros on the ATM, it's handy to know your limit (particular when you arrive, jetlagged, and are still "thinking in dollars"). Then, get an "odd" amount so you get some smaller bills. If you can take out €450, ask for €430 instead, so you will get at least one €20 and one €10 bill. 3. If your ATM card is tied to both a checking and a savings account, you can't choose which account to access and you can't transfer money between accounts. It will pull from checking only. So, be sure there's enough money in that account.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

Actually it won't pull from checking only. It will pull from either account only. You may designate with your bank which account that is.

Posted by Robert
Tampa, FL, USA
271 posts

Thanks Harold. I fogot about the Odd Amount. I remember reading that someplace and didn't put it in my notes. I'm taking a small pocket notebook with me with some stuff written down. I added the Odd amount to that. This way I have something to reference when I land.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7209 posts

I'll add a couple of thoughts for anyone who isn't used to using an ATM in Europe. 1. Make sure it's an ATM. This sounds silly, but nowadays, especially in airports, there are unmanned exchange booths posing as ATM's. You can tell the difference in the name. If it has EX in the name, it's safer to assume it's an exchange booth and too expensive to mess with. If it has Bank/Banc or some form of that in the title, it's safe to assume it's a regular ATM. 2. Some ATMs have transaction limits that don't relate to the daily limit on your card. Your bank sets a daily withdrawal limit on your account (normally around $500 or roughly 375 euros). I'll often withdraw something around 330 euros. Occasionally an ATM will have a 250 euro transaction limit. It can be the reason your transaction isn't completed - and has nothing to do with your card or your bank. 3. Anytime a screen comes up asking if you want the transaction in dollars or euros - ALWAYS choose the local currency. What they aren't telling you is they will charge you extra (and your bank will still hit you with a foreign transaction charge). This is true at hotels, restaurants, etc. as well. 4. For security, I like using indoor ATMs (inside banks, grocery stores, building lobbies, etc.). There are scammers that target ATM machines. It's much easier for them to alter an ATM on the street than one that is inside. Banks often have locked rooms with ATMs. I can normally swipe my ATM card to get in (don't have to be a customer of that bank).