Subject: Re: ATM debit versus credit cards
Hi Graziella,

Bank cards are a little different in Canada and the US. I use an ATM card which withdraws the money from my bank account. It can act also as a debit card (in Canada, at least) but I rarely use it as a debit card. My husband has his Visa card attached to our bank account and uses the credit card as an ATM card. For safety, I prefer to use the separate card (I once lost my credit card not long after I had used it at an ATM machine and I couldn't be quite sure I hadn't left it in or near the machine.) My ATM card is safe and secure as long as I don't give anyone the PIN!

I find that the problem is when you have to pay large sums of money at one time in Europe. For example, when I had to pay 3 weeks accommodation in Paris. We brought American Express traveler's checks (in euros) and had to go the Amex office to cash them. Even the local bank wouldn't take them. The currency exchange office wanted to treat them like foreign currency and charge a stiff penalty. Still haven't figured out what to do next time this happens! One suggestion was to pay money into my Visa card and then withdraw it in Europe. Any suggestions?

Frances Toronto, Canada