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Using ATM's in the UK

Kula, Hawaii
2 posts
1 review
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Using ATM's in the UK

We are about to leave for a British Isles cruise and I need to find out if you need a chip-and-pin card to use ATM's there. I have a credit card that has the chip, but my debit card does not and I will want to withdraw local currency while we are there. Does anyone have this information?

London, United...
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3,568 posts
76 reviews
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1. Re: Using ATM's in the UK

Most ATMs have magnetic stripe readers, so you should be ok.

You do need to ensure you know your numerical PIN as UK PIN pads do not have letters on them.

Baton Rouge
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677 posts
9 reviews
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2. Re: Using ATM's in the UK

Yes, you should be OK. I'll warn you that some ATMs will offer to do a currency conversion for you and give you a receipt in dollars. The ATM in the lobby of our hotel offered that option, when I withdrew some £s. It said the dollar total would be about $219 for £120, but by saying no to that option, leaving it in pounds and letting my bank do the conversion, it cost me $202 and change.

Edited: 30 April 2014, 17:46
Redlands, California
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5,556 posts
52 reviews
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3. Re: Using ATM's in the UK

I believe it also needs to be a 4 digit PIN. And tell your bank(s) that you are travelling so they don't suspect fraud and freeze the accounts.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
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32,992 posts
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4. Re: Using ATM's in the UK

4 digit as in 4 numbers, not the first four letters of your dog's name - outside the US ATMs do not have letters on the keypad

Kula, Hawaii
2 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Using ATM's in the UK

Thank you so much for all your speedy replies. We do have a numerical pin and I will be sure not to choose the currency conversion!!!

San Antonio, Texas
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47 posts
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6. Re: Using ATM's in the UK

I wish I'd seen this topic yesterday! We just arrived today and went to an ATM at Heathrow. We were exhausted and stressed trying to get to Kings Cross with the tube strike. My brain froze when I saw the conversion option. As soon as I did it, I realized my mistake. Now I know - that was an expensive mistake!

Suffolk, United...
Destination Expert
for Cephalonia
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10,472 posts
89 reviews
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7. Re: Using ATM's in the UK

Just beware that some ATMs, usually in small stores or petrol stations, make a charge. They display a notice to this effect before you commit yourself. The ones outside (or inside) banks and supermarkets usually do not. Your bank may well make a charge.

Birmingham, Alabama
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39 reviews
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8. Re: Using ATM's in the UK

Just use an atm from a UK bank on the street and you will be fine. Most don't charge fees (and say as much) and most don't offer you a conversion option to worry about. The ones that offer conversions are catering (or ripping off) tourists. Especially watch the airport ones! The ones that charge fees are usually in "convenient" places like small stores (like if you used one in a gas station at home). Surprisingly moat British banks do not charge the out of network fees that our banks charge.

PS I visit Kula fairly often. Have friends up there! Lovely place... spent some of the holidays there last year...love waking up in the cool weather in Hawaii :)

Sofia, Bulgaria
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14 posts
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9. Re: Using ATM's in the UK

Some UK shops do not accept cards without chip. I didn't know this was important until I was refused to pay with my debit card at Tesco. Luckily my credit card had one.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Berlin
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10. Re: Using ATM's in the UK

Stryer, that sounds like poor training of the cashier. There is no reason for any shop to refuse a magstripe card.