A LoyaltyLobby reader send me a question by email about using debit cards at foreign ATMs.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I will be traveling around the world (DXB,SIN,AKL,SYD,BKK,HKG) and have a debit card which I will use from r cash. My debit card (Navy Federal Credit Union) does not contain a chip. Will this present a problem in foreign ATMs?
There could be some ATMs that only work with chips. I haven’t paid much attention to this because all the cards that I use to withdraw cash while traveling do contain one.
The biggest issue could be that the card may get skimmed during the trip because no chip and then money withdrawn from your bank account. You bank will certainly cover this but you would then need to use some other card to withdraw cash.
I am not familiar with this card type but there are some other financial products that would allow fee free withdrawing and would even cover the cost that some ATMs charge for withdrawing cash (I have couple of such as products). I believe that the fee for withdrawing cash in Thailand at any ATM is now 180 THB if not more (I have a local bank account).
I would have other cards just in case that can be used for withdrawing cash at ATMs if something happens with this debit product.
I have always said that people traveling overseas should have several cards with them just in case. Like last year, I had two of my cards compromised in Brazil and/or Argentina during the same trip (read more here) that caused some issues.
I have had an ATM in Tel Aviv to eat my debit card even when the PIN entered was definitely correct. Had it replaced when I was back at my base at the time.
The reader should have several cards to withdraw cash to be on the safe side.