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credit cards and atm's in London and Paris.

texas
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credit cards and atm's in London and Paris.

We will be going to London and Paris soon. Staying in each about a week. How much money of each in Euros and BP should we take from the US initially. Are the ATM's easily available? Will our normal Discover/Bank of America/AmEx cards work in them? Can we get money from a local bank for spending money?

Hampshire, England.
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1. Re: credit cards and atm's in London and Paris.

Pretty sure "Discover" won't as they're unknown over here.

Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: credit cards and atm's in London and Paris.

Discover and Am Ex not so much. What is your BofA card, Visa or Mastercard?

ATMs are easy to find and, except for a few large purchases on the Matercard credit card, that's all I used on our last trip to London.

Edited: 03 August 2013, 20:00
texas
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3. Re: credit cards and atm's in London and Paris.

BoA is a VISA. Do I need to get another just in case. I only get 40-50 offers a week...might as well make use of one or two of them I guess.

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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4. Re: credit cards and atm's in London and Paris.

Use your bank card to get money out of an ATM. Alert your bank to your travel plans (and do the same for your credit card company) so they won't put a fraud hold on purchases/withdrawals thousands of miles away from your home.

Ask your bank if it has a relationship with any banks in the UK. My bank charged less at one bank's ATM than another's.

Make sure your pin for your ATM is numbers, and not letters. There are no letters on a keypad in the UK or Europe.

It is usually a good idea to use your bank card, not your credit card, to withdraw money--only withdraw what you will use for that day.

Dallas, Texas
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5. Re: credit cards and atm's in London and Paris.

Should you get another credit card? Might not be a bad idea, consider one of these with no foreign transaction fees: cardhub.com/credit-cards/…

More info here: www.cardhub.com/edu/currency-exchange-guide/

The reason I used my ATM card was the foreign transaction fee was just 1% (they have recently raised it to 2%) and my credit cards charge 3% foreign transaction fee.

Tonbridge, United...
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6. Re: credit cards and atm's in London and Paris.

Amex is not widely accepted.

Visa and Mastercard are both fine.

I have never heard of Discover, so assume it won't be accepted unless it carries a Visa or Mastercard symbol.

Never use a Credit Card to get cash from an ATM... it will cost you far too much. Use a Bank card (Debit card) connected to your checking account.

Notify all card companies of your travel plans before you depart.

Liverpool, United...
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7. Re: credit cards and atm's in London and Paris.

"Are the ATM's easily available?"

No, we have cash machines over here. ;-)

Dunfermline, United...
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8. Re: credit cards and atm's in London and Paris.

You won't be able to use Discover in Europe, nobody has heard of them in Europe

Bring around $100 worth of GBP and EUR just to tide you over until you get to an ATM

Bank of America have an agreement with Barclays Bank in the UK and BNP Paribas in France whereby you can use the BofA debit card in any of their ATMs without charge

Bring a VISA or MasterCard credit card for larger purchase, preferably a Chip and PIN card, but we understand the US hasn't got these rolled out yet so vendors will be able to swipe your card.

Inform your bank/card issuer you will be using the cards abroad and get a four numbered PIN number for the ATMs

Fredericksburg, VA
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9. Re: credit cards and atm's in London and Paris.

You will find ATM's literally everywhere. I have to say that this time we arrived with slightly less than 10 GBP in our pockets, so headed for an ATM after arrival and used our credit union debit card. Just be sure your PIN for a debit card is numbers, not letters.

We used credit cards for most bigger purchases. Chase issues chip and signature cards, and that's what I mostly used. I also understand Amex Platinum cards can be chip and signature. However, we used our regular swipe cards at several places in London and they had no issues. But I understand that if you are planning to use unmanned kiosks, at train stations for example, they will only work with chip and pin cards. No personal experience with that, though.

As for the Chase chip and signature, you put your card in a card reader unlike anything I've seen in the US, but exactly the same thing the European chip and pin cards use. But instead of just inputting a PIN, the machine spits out a paper receipt for you to sign. So there's no swiping, but that's about the only difference between the chip and signature and a regular US card. Nobody seemed to bat an eye, although several cashiers had to scramble to find a pen for me to use - I started carrying my own!

texas
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10. Re: credit cards and atm's in London and Paris.

I assume that it will be the same in Paris??