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Giantfan13

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I have read that some people use their debit cards in Europe. Have any of you done this, and did it work out okay? Any info is appreciated.:)

 

I have used my debit card in at least 7 different European countries (and in Egypt) with no problem. Be sure you have a 4-digit pin, know what your withdrawal limit per day is (from your bank), and be sure to let your bank know that you are traveling so that they don't "freeze" your account due to potentially fraudulent activity. Also, it helps if your debit card is part of one of the large networks (Plus and Cirrus), which increases the chances of finding a compatible ATM machine.

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I have used my debit card in at least 7 different European countries (and in Egypt) with no problem. Be sure you have a 4-digit pin, know what your withdrawal limit per day is (from your bank), and be sure to let your bank know that you are traveling so that they don't "freeze" your account due to potentially fraudulent activity. Also, it helps if your debit card is part of one of the large networks (Plus and Cirrus), which increases the chances of finding a compatible ATM machine.

 

Excellent suggestions from Cynthia. Like her in many countries in 2007 and 2008, things worked fine for us following these tips and steps. We used our debit card as their charges were more reasonable this way than through the credit card. You need to check with your banks to see which works best, where the charges are more reasonable. Don't assume the best "deal" a year or two ago is still the best. Banks are looking for way to jack up fees and things can change from year to year.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

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Based on my experience:

 

 

  1. Credit cards and ATM are usually the best way to pay or to get cash, especially when there are no extra charges. However, your credit cards or ATM cards may not work in some cases. (I didn't encounter any problems using ATM; however, I do have friends who went to Europe to find out that their ATM cards from credit union did not work.) Therefore, some backup plans will be good (e.g., bring some cash to convert).
  2. We had no problems using credit cards shopping or in restaurants. However, we could never use our credit cards to buy train tickets from a machine. We always ended up buying from a person at a window.
  3. You usually need local currencies for local public transportation. In most cases, taxis will accept credit cards, but buses will require local currencies (or even coins). The canal cruise we took in Copenhagen only accepted Danish krone.
  4. If you need to use public transportation, you will have the following options: (a) get various "cards" like Oslo Pass, Stockholm Card that cover all public transportation; (b) get local currencies from ATM -- however, ATM only gives you bills not changes; © convert a small amount of local currencies on the cruise before you get off; (d) get local currencies from your bank in advance.

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If you use an ATM machine you will get the local currency and it will not show you the conversion from dollars to kronor or whatever. . The machine will offer you choices of how much of the local currency you want, just like a US machine, i.e. 50, 100, 200, etc. That's why it's important to have an idea of how many kronor or whatever you get for a dollar. If you ask for 100, it can turn out to be only $15 US. On the other hand, if you are in the Eurozone, 100 Euros is more than $100 US. You can check exchange rates on line before you go. You don't have to worry about the exact rate, just the general idea so that you don't take too much or too little out of your account. Your bank probably charges a fee for each transaction, so it's best to have an idea of how much you want to withdraw before you put your card in the machine.

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If you use an ATM machine you will get the local currency and it will not show you the conversion from dollars to kronor or whatever. . The machine will offer you choices of how much of the local currency you want, just like a US machine, i.e. 50, 100, 200, etc. That's why it's important to have an idea of how many kronor or whatever you get for a dollar. If you ask for 100, it can turn out to be only $15 US. On the other hand, if you are in the Eurozone, 100 Euros is more than $100 US. You can check exchange rates on line before you go. You don't have to worry about the exact rate, just the general idea so that you don't take too much or too little out of your account. Your bank probably charges a fee for each transaction, so it's best to have an idea of how much you want to withdraw before you put your card in the machine.

 

As of today, 1 USD equals about 5.8 DKK

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