Use of EC debit cards outside of Europe - Germany

Where it's possible and what charges apply

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I've attempted to raise the point with my bank and they suggested it would be possible to use the card abroad but the specifics were left out so I was hoping to get a bit more information about the usability of an EC debit card outside of Europe.

Specifically, would it be possible to use the card in the United States to withdraw money from ATM cash points?

What kind of charges would be involved with such a transaction (there is generally a charge to withdrawn the money and possibly for the conversion from Euros to US dollars)?

Would it be easier or cheap to use a UK debit card to do such transaction (the German card has maestro and the UK has visa electron, the UK card as a CVV2 number on it)?

The German card is tied to a Hypovereinsbank bank account.
I do this all the time in the States (any machine on the Maestro network) with my bank card.
If the ATM in the US has the same symbols (Maestro/Plus/visa etc) as your card then you can use it. The charges can vary, but expect around $5 per transaction
I should think a German Maestro and a UK debit card may well incur similar charges when withdrawing cash, but that depends on the exat banks involved I guess. In theory I see no reason why you shouldnt be able to withdraw cash on a German maestro card
I was not able to use mine while in the UK in shops. I had to end up using my credit card instead. But it did work in the ATM;s there, just not in the shops directly. I was charged only my bank fee (around 4.50 euro I think) for the ATM use.
Owain Glyndwr
If the ATM in the US has the same symbols (Maestro/Plus/visa etc) as your card then you can use it.
you'd think wouldn't you? I've had problems with my card in the UK before despite the symbols being displayed. It was very hit and miss; some places it would work, most it wouldn't. It mostly worked in ATMs, though not always and usually didn't work in stores, though it did sometimes.
The charges vary between 1-3% in the states (usually with a max $value as well), but you get a better conversion rate than taking Euros and exchanging them at the shark counters in the airports.
I used my EC card (Maestro symbol) last week in San Diego.
I have the experience that it doesnt work at some ATMs but does at others.
Hence if it fails once try elsewhere...

Last week I first tried at a Citibank ATM in the wall of a bank & that failed.
Then I tried at an ATM inside a supermarket & it worked fine.
Owain Glyndwr
this is useful info for me. keep the replies about experiences in the US coming!

iirc, the only places i have tried withdrawing cash using my EC-card outside Europe were in Egypt and in Taiwan. both worked ok.
i do this all the time too when on holiday. usually my bank in germany charges me a percentage. on average around 4,50€ since there is a maximum of how much you can withdrawl (in the u.s. at wells fargo, it was a maximum of $600). some banks, if you are not a cusotmer with them, will charge you $1 or $2 just to withdraw cash from their machine. you cannot use it to pay for anything though.

EDIT: I've used both my EC card and my savings account card. Both from Postbank.
Small Town Boy
Er, you've already asked this question and I think the replies are clear enough.

How would getting money in US dollars work? I'm wanting to use my German account for this as that is where most of my funds are. Will it be possible to use an EC card at cash points in America and if not how do I deal with getting money in the U.S (I do have a UK Visa Electron debit card which could be used). I could carry cash across but I'm not keen of carrying a mass of cash around with me and could still need to get some out from a bank.
If you have a Deutsche Bank account then you could use your EC card to take cash from any of Bank of America ATMs without any bank charges. Bank of America and Deutsche bank work together. BOA is all over so you shouldn't have any problem finding ATM location. No, EC cards are not accepted at cash points in the US. Yes, you could use your UK Visa debit card at cash points as long as it says Visa on the card and you have money in your account.
By "cash point" I thought she meant check out point/cash counter in stores. US stores don't accept EC cards. If by "cash point" she means cash machines then like I said, she could use her Deutsche Bank EC/maestro card at Bank of America ATMs without any bank charges.
Yep. I got my DB account for that reason only. I was going to live in the States for a year, and I never paid a cent in charges at BoA ATMs.

For paying in stores I used either the debit/credit card of my American bank account, or my German credit card (or cash).
I used my "normal" German Sparkassen card (its got MAESTRO printed on it) to obtain dollar notes
at a ATM in the foyer of a store here in San Diego this morning. Curiously it didnt
work yesterday evening at a Citibank ATM... At least I dont have to starve this week now...
I am from the U.S. Here is some additional info on Maestro Card.

Yes, some merchants in the U.S. do take maestro and as do some atms. It is just hit and miss.

Here is a tip I found out. If the atm does not take Maestro but takes MasterCard. Choose Primary Credit and your card may work but it will not work at a merchant this way.

Look for atm that won't eat your card. Some machines hold your card while you do your transactions, others you just swipe and remove your card then do the transaction.

You don't want the ones that hold your card. This way your card will not be eaten.
I have a EC/Maestro from Deutsche Bank which works just fine at any Bank of Amerika ATM and I don't get charged for withdrawing money either. Any other EC debit card should work at BoA as well but you may have to pay a fee.
I'd go to a large bank's ATM to get US Dollar cash against my Maestro card for smaller purchases but apart from that mostly use my VISA card in the USA.
Tim Hortons Man
Depending on the amount w/d you are generally better off even with service charges using your bank card, I've checked a few times and you get the bank rate. CCs charge you 1-2 % plus the spread.
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