Tips for Using Debit Card at Bank ATM in Europe


If you about to embark on a trip to Europe, you need to know the regulations that come with using the US-based debit card. Generally, the main goal is to ensure that you can easily access your funds without any additional problems.

One of the most important considerations is to determine the type of debit card that you own. Generally, if you have MasterCard or Visa, you can rest assured and use it all across the EU with ease.

On the other hand, you should check out other symbols that your debit card has such as Maestro, Cirrus, or PLUS. Therefore, when you are using the ATM, you should check out whether the machine is compatible with the type of card that you own.

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  •  Contact Your Bank


Before you embark, it is essential to contact your bank so that you can let them know that you are going outside of the country. You can share with them your departure date as well as a return so that they can avoid putting your card on hold. 

Keep in mind that in some cases, banks will automatically consider all international transactions as frauds, which will cause the issues to your enjoyment in the EU. 

Since there is a time difference between the USA and the EU, it will be challenging to contact them when you reach Europe.

That is the main reason why you should do it beforehand.


  •  Determine the International Transaction Fees


Most people nowadays have access to their balance on a smartphone or official website of a bank. That way, you will be able to check out all fees that come with using the card outside the US for both withdrawing from the automated teller machine and for direct purchases.

Most banks will charge the fee for converting dollars into euros or other national currency you wish to get. Generally, the Euro is most used across the EU, but in Britain, you will have to convert into pounds, while in Swiss, you have to convert into Francs.

You should enter here to learn how to use the card while traveling Europe. 

Generally, most ATMs come with taking the percentage of the transaction or flat fee, which is why you should determine which one is the best for you. Also, consider the foreign transaction fees so that you can handle your balance with ease.


  •  Determine Your Daily Withdrawal Limit


It is essential to have cash with you in case you wish to purchase something in areas that do not accept card payments. Besides, that will prevent paying the currency exchange fees for each transaction you make.

Another important consideration is to check out your daily withdrawal limit so that you can determine how much you can withdraw each day while in the EU. You can also ask your bank to raise your limit during the trip, and you can lower it down when you get back.


  •  Use 4-Digit PIN


Most ATMs in the EU will not accept the cards that have PINs that are shorter than four digits. Therefore, you need to make sure that you set the pin to have at least four numbers before you embark. 

Even though you can withdraw cash by using a credit card that you own, we recommend you to use only debit one to avoid additional fees and expenses.


  •  Buy Things by Using Local Currency


It is challenging in some areas to use the US dollars for buying, which is why you should have a local currency always at hand. Even though it would be easier to use dollars, it will be more expensive than local currency.

Merchants will have their exchange rate, which will usually be higher than the one you would get at a bank. You can find currency exchange calculators online that will help you determine the right amount you should be based on your location.


  •  Bring Backup Debit Card


Finally, if you wish to avoid the potential issues that may happen, you should bring an additional debit card just in case. Leave enough money inside to handle the return and other expenses and remember that it is always better to be safe than sorry.