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Old 06-01-2014, 06:56 PM   #1
Anne MN
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Debit Card for Europe

Don't know where else to ask, the DIS knows everything

My youngest DD will be going to Europe- England, France, and Germany.

I do not want to send cash or travelers checks for spending money/lunch. (breakfast and dinner are included)

School uses EF tours- not much in brochure, I have emailed her teacher

what will be the least amount of hassle?

I would like to have a pre-paid (load monies on before she leaves and if she runs out be able to re-load) I am NOT willing to add her to my credit card or open a new checking account

she is 13 will be gone for 12 days

thanks for any advice/ guidance
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:03 PM   #2
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If you want her to have a card for purchasing, the way I understand it, it must have a chip in it. American cards do not have chips - they have the magnetic stripe on the back instead. When DS went to Holland and Germany with a group this spring they all just did ATM withdrawals there. We had an account that we put money in as he needed it, and everyone else did it the same way. Worked great.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:13 PM   #3
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American express has a debit card, my friend sends them over seas to her daughter that lives in spain.

Not sure about fees or expenses.

https://www.altra.org/ this credit union says they have them with the chip.

Did you call who ever you bank with?
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:14 PM   #4
ez
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My daughter is in London right now, she is mostly using a credit card that we added to our acct. Its just a normal American type credit card so i dont think it has a chip in it but she has been using it with no problem. We just had to notify company of dates she would be there. She also has her debit card with her, its from a Florida bank, we just had to notify them and she has been able to use that too to get money, but mostly she has used the credit card.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningGirl View Post
If you want her to have a card for purchasing, the way I understand it, it must have a chip in it. American cards do not have chips - they have the magnetic stripe on the back instead. When DS went to Holland and Germany with a group this spring they all just did ATM withdrawals there. We had an account that we put money in as he needed it, and everyone else did it the same way. Worked great.

You are incorrect about the cards with the magnetic stripe, while European credit and debit cards do have chips, every place I have been in the last 4 years I have used my US cards (both debit and credit) with no problems The countries I have visited are italy, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Turkey and France.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne MN View Post
Don't know where else to ask, the DIS knows everything

My youngest DD will be going to Europe- England, France, and Germany.

I do not want to send cash or travelers checks for spending money/lunch. (breakfast and dinner are included)

School uses EF tours- not much in brochure, I have emailed her teacher

what will be the least amount of hassle?

I would like to have a pre-paid (load monies on before she leaves and if she runs out be able to re-load) I am NOT willing to add her to my credit card or open a new checking account

she is 13 will be gone for 12 days

thanks for any advice/ guidance
I just researched all my options on this very subject. DS17 is leaving for France on Tuesday.

I got him a Travel Money Visa Card from AAA. It is a prepaid card that can be used world wide. I opened it at our local AAA office with me as the primary user and got him 2 authorized user cards (needed his SS# for this). It took about 15 minutes. It costs $4.95 for AAA members and $9.95 for non members. I loaded it, using my debit card, with an initial balance and can reload it for him as needed. He can use it in stores and at ATM machines.

A few of the parents who travel extensively for work highly recommended it. Hope this info helps.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:51 PM   #7
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Another vote for the card available through AAA. You don't have to be a member. My daughter has been on three school trips to Europe and the teacher in charge has always mentioned that the AAA card is a good choice.

My dd used a debit card in Europe. She had a student savings account at our local bank and we were able to deposit additional money in the account as needed.

Another thing I recommend is getting some euros before your dd leaves for her trip. The kids always end up buying snacks or trinkets from street vendors in Europe and they'll most likely need to pay cash for those type of items.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katelly View Post
Another vote for the card available through AAA. You don't have to be a member. My daughter has been on three school trips to Europe and the teacher in charge has always mentioned that the AAA card is a good choice.

My dd used a debit card in Europe. She had a student savings account at our local bank and we were able to deposit additional money in the account as needed.

Another thing I recommend is getting some euros before your dd leaves for her trip. The kids always end up buying snacks or trinkets from street vendors in Europe and they'll most likely need to pay cash for those type of items.
Excellent point about getting some euros to have on hand. We did that too. Ordered them online from our bank - Wells Fargo. They came Fedex a couple of days later.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:11 PM   #9
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Does the AAA debit card also have the high fees associated with it like a charge card? The exchange rate fee on each purchase is like6% on a credit card I believe.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tozzie View Post
You are incorrect about the cards with the magnetic stripe, while European credit and debit cards do have chips, every place I have been in the last 4 years I have used my US cards (both debit and credit) with no problems The countries I have visited are italy, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Turkey and France.
You are correct. I got flamed earlier for saying the same thing however. My daughter has been going to school in the U.K. and traveling across Europe since September. Her non chipped ATM and Credit Card has worked just fine for her.
Only issue in Europe is, your pin for your ATM card can only be 4 digits. The European ATM networks are not set up for longer PIN numbers.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zurgswife View Post
Does the AAA debit card also have the high fees associated with it like a charge card? The exchange rate fee on each purchase is like6% on a credit card I believe.
Those fees kill me when I go... well, you know what I mean.

I called Chase, and they told me my Disney Visa is 3%. If the AAA debit card is less, then that might be the way to go.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by zurgswife View Post
Does the AAA debit card also have the high fees associated with it like a charge card? The exchange rate fee on each purchase is like6% on a credit card I believe.
My DD just used this on a school trip to Canada and we will reload it soon for her trip to China. There was a 3% fee each time she used the card. It worked well for her. We also did not want to make her an authorized user on any of our credit cards and she doesn't have her own credit card, so this was a great compromise.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:09 PM   #13
Mrs. Ciz
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Originally Posted by Arkansan View Post
My DD just used this on a school trip to Canada and we will reload it soon for her trip to China. There was a 3% fee each time she used the card. It worked well for her. We also did not want to make her an authorized user on any of our credit cards and she doesn't have her own credit card, so this was a great compromise.
Yep...I just got out my paperwork to look.

Fees on Visa TravelMoney card:
ATM Domestic - $1.50
ATM International - $3.00
Over the counter cash advance - $5.00
Charging at store with signature - no charge
Charging at store with pin - no charge
Forgein Transaction Fee when you obtain funds or make purchase in non US currancy - 3%

Plus you pay a currency conversion rate to Visa on top of the 3%

Still, I'd much rather DS have this card with a limited balance than one of our credit cards or a debit card attached to our checking account. It was also easier to get him a Travel Money Card than to open his own bank account.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:31 PM   #14
Tozzie
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For anyone who is interested, Capital One credit and ATM cards don't charge foreign transactions fees, zip zilch zero, I have a bank account at captial one and I got a credit card when I started traveling to Europe.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katelly View Post
Another vote for the card available through AAA. You don't have to be a member. My daughter has been on three school trips to Europe and the teacher in charge has always mentioned that the AAA card is a good choice.

My dd used a debit card in Europe. She had a student savings account at our local bank and we were able to deposit additional money in the account as needed.

Another thing I recommend is getting some euros before your dd leaves for her trip. The kids always end up buying snacks or trinkets from street vendors in Europe and they'll most likely need to pay cash for those type of items.
This is what I did, except I didn't use the AAA card. I went to Italy and Greece through EF Tours. I used the EF Tours debit/travel card without a problem, and my parents just added money to my account when I needed it. I also carried some euros with me because not every store/vendor I went to had the option for me to pay with a debit card.
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