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post #11 of 15 Old 10-21-2006
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One serious consideration is that the "visa check cards" are pretty vulnerable to draining your account without any real safeguards, if you lose the card, and could leave you in a pretty tight spot. I'd go with a straight ATM Card and then get a credit card from the same bank to use for major purchases. Many ATMs will allow you to do things like fund transfers to pay off your credit card bill.

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post #12 of 15 Old 10-21-2006
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As my first post on this board, I would mention, from experiences, that you be very careful where you use a bank debit card, foreign or US. Places where you swipe the card at the counter, I'm OK with; but restuarants, etc. where they take your card and go to the back, or whereever, I only use a credit card or cash.
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post #13 of 15 Old 10-21-2006
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post #14 of 15 Old 10-21-2006
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"the "visa check cards" are pretty vulnerable to draining your account without any real safeguards,"
First safeguard, a daily limit on the guard and a transaction limit on the card. Those can often be set per your request, not just the bank's maximum.
Second safeguard, some banks actually guarantee you against their theft/loss. How well you want to use that policy long distance...I guess that depends on whether you can trust your bank.
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post #15 of 15 Old 10-23-2006
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An ATM card is your best bet for getting cash in a foreign country. Both Visa and Mastercard exchange the currency at the wholesale rate plus 1%. You can't beat that rate as far as I'm concerned. Some banks/credit card issuers then tack on an extra percent or two. Alot of credit unions don't add any additional fee above Visa/Mastercard's 1%.
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