It is easy to think that an ATM in a foreign country would operate the same way it does in the at home, but that is not the case. Many travelers have thought this before and end up abroad without the ability to access their accounts and withdraw money—don’t be one of these people. To make sure that you are prepared for your next trip, avoid these ATM mistakes so that you don’t end up ruining your trip before it has even started.
Notify Your Bank About Your Trip
Banks are on top of fraud, and when they see activity that is out of the ordinary, they will usually take the necessary steps to stop that activity such as put a freeze on your account. Although we all appreciate their efforts, it can be frustrating when the activity is simply you trying to access money in a foreign country. It is best to let your bank now that you will be out of the country. Give them the dates that way you can avoid the headache of trying to get someone on the phone at your bank to unfreeze your account.
Withdrawing with Your Credit Card
Imagine that your ATM card stops working, and you are in dire need of money. You decide to withdraw using your credit card instead—stop right there. This situation happened to a woman and was described in the article “Dear Nora: 21 ATM Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling.” Using your credit card to withdraw money does not come without some drawbacks.
First off, you will be charged a standard withdrawal fee, typically $5, but then you will also be charged interest on your entire balance on that credit card to date. Little did this woman know she just racked up hundreds of dollars in interest. If you have to do this, it is best to pay off your entire balance as well as the amount you wish to take out before going to the ATM to avoid the interest charges according to the above-cited article.
Set Up Online Banking Before Leaving
You will be surprised to learn that ATMs abroad won’t provide the same amount of functionality that ones do at home. You won’t be able to transfer money and see where your current balance is at. If you plan on transferring money into your main account while you are abroad, it is best to set up online banking if you have not done so already. That way you can either log in online or download the banking app onto your phone so you can have greater access to your account.
Plan for Something to Go Wrong
The best thing to do is to put in place certain contingencies that way id something does go wrong you are prepared. This can include obtaining a direct phone line and email with your banking representative in the event you need to contact them. You should also set aside some emergency cash just in case you need money but for some reason cannot access your account. By taking these steps, as well as doing your own research regarding the areas you will be traveling, you can avoid any unnecessary headaches and just focus on having fun.