Subject: Re: Bank - ATM - Questions
Hi David and Ziners,

I'm still pondering the currency issue. I went to my bank yesterday and asked about ATM cards. They said that as long as the card has Cirrus or Plus on it, then it should work in Europe. I also understood that I could get a 4-digit numerical PIN. So, that seemed alright. I just have to fill out the application.

Then they also suggested a debit card. I asked them what I would need that for. They (two women) said that I could use it to make purchases or if I want to buy something. They said nothing about being able to use it to obtain cash from a foreign bank. I told them no, that I didn't need anything else taking money out of my checking account. Except for the service charge when using an ATM (my local bank doesn't charge here), I can't understand why I'd want to use a debit card instead of a credit card, if I am going to pay the credit card bill when it comes in.

Seems to me that the best deal is to find the cheapest way to get cash and then carry fairly large sums around on one's person in a money belt. When I was in Eastern Europe four years ago, I basically used cash in the local currency after going to an exchange office. I carried fairly large sums of cash, much more than I ever carry on me in the USA! I only used a credit card once; that was in Budapest in making a larger than usual purchase of souvenir handicrafts. Otherwise, US currency got changed into whatever currency I needed and I just carried the cash.

Does a debit card allow you to take out much greater sums of money at a significantly less cost? If so, maybe I should get the debit card instead. I am not sure that I want to be walking around with both an ATM card and a debit card on my person. Any ideas?

Thanks for all of these ideas! I'm learning a lot!

Sincerely, majeba (Barbara) Rawlins, WY