One guide book advises that Italian ATMs won't show you the transfer-between-accounts option and they won't allow you to withdraw money directly from your savings account and that you must call your bank to move your money from savings to checking. Is this true? If so, what's the best thing to do?
Am I missing something here? If you are still here in the states, simply transfer the antisipated funds from your savings to checking prior to departure.
Carol, the guidebooks are correct. When using an ATM in Europe you don't get the options screen like you do in the US. The debit card has to be tied to a check account. It is not just Italian ATMS. It is all of them. What is the best thing to do? Put enough money in your checking account. Or do you think this causes a problem that I am not aware of?
Hmmmm. This might be interesting of the two bank cards I'm taking with, the one from US Bank is only tied into my savings account because I don't have checking with them. Does this mean I won't be able to access that money in Italy?
I agree with Bob....just transfer the necessary funds from savings to checking prior to departure. If for some reason you desire to keep maximum funds in savings, you can (provided your bank offers internet banking) go online and transfer funds from savings to checking. BUT, be aware, it may not be transmitted immediately. Also, pay attention to your withdrawls as banks have daily limits. Check with your bank, if the daily withdrawal is too low for your needs, they can increase this for you.
Be a little careful of Chuck's advice of transfering funds while traveling. NEVER access sensitive information (bank accounts, pass code, etc.) froma a public computer. You have no assurance of security unless you bring your own computer.
I would call your bank and ask. My experience has been that my ATM debit card (linked to checking) takes it out of checking. You never get an option to move money or pick an account. Do be aware that you probably have a limit of cash withdrawls per day, and it's based on the US dollar value. If it's a $200 per day limit, make sure you only take out the equivalent in euros (about $147 today). I didn't realize this and thought I wasn't able to get money - just keep trying lower amounts until it gives you cash.
By the way, my credit union did not charge a conversion fee for using the debit card to get cash or pay for items as credit, only the $1.50 for using an outside network ATM. I didn't get the absolute best exchange rate, but frankly it was darn close enough for me.
CL is right that your account has a daily cash withdrawl limit. This can be raised simply by calling your bank and asking them to raise it. Preferably before you leave on vacation. :)