I have searched online and also called Bank of America's customer service line trying to find information as to which banks they have preferred partnerships with in both the Netherlands and Belgium. I am trying to avoid any additional ATM transaction fees when I make ATM withdrawals in those countries and ensure I won't run into any additional problems trying to use a BoA ATM card in a machine that is not part of their preferred banks network. Several BoA customer service reps I spoke to tried to give me information on preferred banks in "Netherlands Antilles" even though I told them multiple times I was going to travel in Europe, not the Caribbean! Then they told me that they have a preferred bank relationship with Barclay's Bank in Europe (but I thought Barclay's was only in the UK). Have any Helpline members who have accounts with Bank of America been able to find out which are the preferred banks for the Netherlands and/or Belgium? I leave in a few weeks and do not have time to open up a new account at another bank. I already let Bank of America know my travel dates and which countries I will be in during that time so they could notate my account and not shut off my ATM card if they see an attempt at withdrawing money from ATM machines overseas. Thank you for any information you can provide about Bank of America's partner banks in these 2 countries.
I have no idea which, if any, banks in Belgium and the Netherlands partner with BoA, but here's some of the most common banks in those countries: BNP Paribas Fortis, Dexia, ING, Argenta, Belfius, Rabobank, KBC and AXA. Perhaps you can look up each individually to see if they have a relationship with BoA.
BNP Paribas Fortis is in Belgium. This is formerly the Belgian bank Fortis which was taken over by
the French BNP Paribas. Thus, BNP Paribas Fortis.
Except for trying to avoid BofA's per-use and conversion fees, you don't have to worry too much about finding a partner bank. Your BofA card will work in any Visa-branded (or MC-branded, if yours is a MC card) ATM, partner bank or not. You might find the occasional ATM that doesn't work for some reason, but you can just move on down the block and try another one.
Several years ago I spent 3 weeks driving around the Netherlands/Belgium and never had a problem using my BoA ATM at any bank ATM as long as it had a VISA logo on their ATM. Just make sure your pin # is only four numbers.I never had any transactions charges. Have a great trip...... there is so much to see.
The four number pin is myth along with not starting with a zero.
It doesn't look like there is a Bank of America "partner" bank in either of those countries that will allow lower fees. This website is the FAQ about ATMs for them. https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/manage/faq-atm-fees.go. Scroll down to "Using your ATM card or debit card in foreign countries" and there are several questions answered. Countries that have partner banks are listed under "What is the Global ATM Alliance?" It looks like you will have to pay a $5 fee for each transaction plus 1% for dollars converted to another currency when withdrawn from an ATM. The site also says "Your PIN number must be 4 digits because some ATMs do not accept longer PINs". You should be fine to withdraw funds from ATMs that have any of the logos on the back of your card, it will just cost you the standard amount instead of getting a better deal as a partner bank.
The BofA website names their partner banks in Europe as follows: BNP Paribas (France), BNL Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro (Italy), Barclays (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands), and Deutsche Bank (Germany). IMO it also means that if, e.g., BNP Paribas has banks in Belgium, as a BofA customer you would not be charged the $5 fee if you used their ATM. Another example, we've used a Barclays in Madrid and not paid the $5 fee. Hope this helps.
Alas, Galen's IMO is not correct. I have spent time in Belgium, and I can assure you that there is no B of A "Global Alliance" option in that country. For details on that policy, with explicit discussion of countries not listed on the B of A website, please see this recent thread on this board: http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/101174/atms-that-take-a-visa-debit-card-from-bank-of-america.html
Thanks for the information. Not sure if it makes a difference, but just to clarify further, I do not have a Debit Card with a Visa logo from Bank of America. I have an ATM card only. So even here in the United States I only use that Bank of America ATM card to withdraw cash from a bank machine. I do not swipe it at restaurants or stores for purchases. If the card was lost or stolen, someone would actually need to know my 4 digit pin number to use it to withdraw cash from an ATM machine. There is nothing on the front or back of the Bank of America ATM card that shows what networks it is affiliated with. I will also be bringing another ATM card (also not a Visa debit card) from another independent bank which is tied to an entire different account as backup. That ATM card has a logo on the back from "Cirrus" and "NYCE".
Here's the list of partner banks from BofA's own website. The banks listed are no-fee only in the specific countries shown. There are none in Belgium. BNP Paribas (France) BNL Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro (Italy) Barclays (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands) Deutsche Bank (Germany) Scotiabank (Canada and the Caribbean, Caribbean countries include: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles (St Maarten), St Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands)
Westpac (Australia and New Zealand)
Regina, I don't mean to quibble. But some years ago I complained to my NJ BofA that I didn't want my BofA ATM card to be replaced by the "VISA Debit Card" they sent me unsolicited in the mail. Their intention was to switch every account-holder over to the new type of card. I had no intention of using it for debit transactions, and I thought it had the effect of increasing the way a thief could drain my account .... Eventually, the branch manager told me that I could retain the ATM card if I insisted, but the only way to withdraw money outside the USA was to accept the "debit card". I cannot say whether that statement (several years ago) was correct or not. But if your ATM card has a VISA logo on the front (I'm not referring to visible reference words like "Cirrus" on the BACK of the card, I would say that it is a debit card. If not, I suggest you make sure it will be usable outside the US, and please post a report here. One small remark in favor of the debit card: I once had two swipe credit cards refused by the machine at an unattended gas station in Belgium (car return at 7AM). Although the BofA card does not have "chip", it does have a PIN - the one we use at bank ATMs. My card was accepted for a gasoline purchase, saving the day. I am not changing this thread to a discussion of Chip and PIN, only making an observation about a debit card which was definitely not Chip and PIN.