Subject: Re: ATM debit versus credit cards
Hi Ziners -- Just wanted to point out that with ATM cards, American ATMs give you the opportunity to choose which account you want to withdraw money from (eg., checking or savings), European ATMs automatically withdraw from your primary checking account.

We learned this the hard way. When my daughter went to college in the UK seven years ago, the plan was for her to use her ATM card to withdraw money from her savings account, but it wouldn't work -- which puzzled me because I had used mine there with no problem the previous year. Our bank insisted that it should have worked, as did the banks she went to in London. She finally had to resort to using a credit card with it's large cash advance fees.

We never did figure out why her ATM card was not working until last summer when the young son of a friend went to Europe with an only an ATM card. When it didn't work, his parents learned from their bank that, since he only had a savings account, not a, he couldn't withdraw any money. In this case his parents had to wire him money.

We now make a point of being sure that we have more than enough money in our primary checking account to cover any cash we might need when we are in Europe.

Landra from upstate NY