I would like to know if anyone has had any experience with the VISA Travel Money Card (a pre-paid credit card) in Italy. My bank charges large fees for withdrawing cash at ATMs ($5)and they tack on a 3% fee of my total purchase if I use my debit card. As I understand it, the VISA Travel money card only charges 2$ at ATMs and a 7% fee of the conversion rate (Not total purchase). Any help or suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks
What bank are you using? Bank of America (the big bad bank with all the crazy fees) charges $5 and 1% of the withdrawal. Considering the rate they add the 1% onto is the interbank rate (best available), that is a pretty generous deal - the $5 is nothing if you are taking out several hundred at once. I've read a lot here about the Visa travel money card is a pretty bad deal but I will let those who know more than I do tackle that part of your question.
I bank with Wells Fargo
hmm ok, are you sure they charge 3% from an ATM? because I called around to find out who the best deal would be for me (I'm going for 6 weeks this summer so low ATM rates are really important to me) and they told me that it was the same thing as Bank of America - $5 and 1%. Are you sure the 3% is not for using the debit card to make a PURCHASE (in other words, different from withdrawing cash at ATM - and our debit cards can't be used for purchases in Europe anyway) and for withdrawing it's 1%? Or maybe they are lying to one of us - with these banks I wouldn't be surprised LOL!
You misunderstand. The travel money card charges an additional 7% above the conversion rate. If the conversion rate were one to one they would charge $1.07 for every euro.
They also have a bunch of fees. To get more money out of you they would have to use a gun and a mask.
Sorry I was confusing. Yes, I was told the 3% fee was if I used my debit card, they said they would add on an extra 3% of the total of my purchase. And 5$ is the fee for taking out cash at the ATM. But what is this you say about us not being able to use our debit cards in Europe?
Amber, you have to be clear about what you are using your debit card for. If you use it to PURCHASE something (like in a supermarket or a souvenir shop or whatever), our debit cards will not work because of the technology (they have these chips and all that). It is these purchases that would incur at 3% fee. We CAN use our debit cards for withdrawing cash out of the ATMs, and Wells Fargo told me just the other day that the surcharge for this use was $5 per transaction and 1% - aka, a very good deal (and the same as most of the other banks I called including Bank of America, etc). Maybe she was lying to me, but she seemed confident. Anyway, it seems quite settled here from more experienced travelers here that using the ATM is by far the way to get cash over these prepaid Visas. To buy souvenirs, pay for hotels, and that kind of thing, you want to use your actual credit card (Get a Capitalone credit card because they charge NO conversion fee, unbelievable deal!!!!)
I used my debit card for purchases without any trouble. I use debit cards from credit unions and they do not charge for using the ATM, They do charge a 1%conversion fee when being used for a purchase.
Make sure you have a 4 digit PIN number. not letters and tell your bank where you will be using the card. Also ask what the daily limit will be, mine went from $500(400 euros)/day in Oct. to $343(250 euros) in April/May of this year.
My cousin used a prepaid card last October and only had a $50/per day withdrawal limit. So check to see how much you can take out each day.
We were in Italy for a month just in May . Took a variety of things: ATM card, euros , creditcard, a few traveller's checks, and ,yes, the big ,bad AAA visa money card. I can tell you about them all. The prepaid money card only charges a 2 dollar transaction fee, but a 7% higher conversion fee.. It comes out about the same as if you bought euros in the USA from your local bank-- the reason is Travel Ex is the company that issues almost all the prepaid cards to thebanks or to people like the Automobile Association and the also get the euros for all the major banks.. or a lot of them. I have to say, though, the money card works everywhere and , unfortunately, some places , for some reason, will not take your ATM. I used my ATM in Venice, no problem .Used it in the Cinque Terre, no problem. In Tuscany and Umbria the bancomats would not take my ATM. They did not reject it- it just said this card not valid for international transactions. If I had not had a money card, no money.