Money Tips for Travel Outside the United States


Local currency is available from ATMs around the world. Using an ATM is the most convenient and cost-efficient way to obtain cash when traveling. The units are readily available and use an exchange rate that is more favorable than a local currency exchange, hotel or bank in the country you are visiting.

As a precaution, take several payment options when you travel; cash, a debit card and a credit card.

  1. Notify the bank issuing your ATM, Debit or Credit cards that you might be using
    the cards outside the U.S.  They will want to know where and when the card(s)
    might be used.  Otherwise, the automatic fraud safeguards might deny acceptance
    of your card. No transaction, PIN based or without PIN, will be allowed in India.
    All other foreign countries will be limited to $99 without a PIN.
    (Also check with your cell phone provider for use abroad)

  2. Determine what currency is used in countries you plan to visit. At this time, the Euro is the currency used in 28 countries.
    Ask your Travel Agent which countries will also accept U.S. Dollars as currency.

  3. We always suggest that travelers take enough Euros for the first one or two days of the trip until they can get to an ATM to withdraw more. We also suggest that you use all Euros (or exchange them there) and do not bring them back. Rates charged at machines in Europe are typically lower than the rate we charge to purchase Euros.

  4. GSB customers may purchase Euros during regular lobby hours at the main office,
    800 Waukegan Road in Glenview. Cost is based on the current day’s exchange rate.
    Euro amounts in excess of $500 must be pre-ordered.

  5. Even with the international fees,* we really encourage customers to use their credit cards as much as possible as it’s safer. We also suggest they make a photocopy of their credit card / debit card, front and back. Keep that copy separate from your cards. In the event you lose your cards, you will have contact numbers and account numbers to refer to.

  6. Before using an ATM, make sure it displays at least one of the following brand
    marks: MasterCard®, Maestro®, or Cirrus®.  Insert your card and select a
    language. Many ATMs offer a variety of languages, and English is always one
    option on MasterCard/Maestro/Cirrus ATMs.

  7. Funds may be withdrawn only from your checking account with available funds on
    deposit.  Be aware of your daily withdrawal limits in U.S. equivalents.  Exceeding
    that amount will result in a denied transaction.

  8. Enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Follow the instructions
    displayed on the ATM screen to choose your account and the amount you wish
    to withdraw.   The terminal will immediately process the transaction, and money
    will be dispensed in the local currency.

  9. Be sure to take your receipt….it may not print out as quickly as the cash. The
    transaction amount will be automatically deducted from your checking account.   
    Some international ATMs are available only during normal business hours. Hours
    vary from country to country.

  10. If you lose your GSB Debit /  ATM Card, call us (847) 729-1900 as soon as possible so we can cancel the card.  If an ATM “eats” your card, contact the bank or whomever owns the ATM.

  11. Pay special attention to your surroundings and follow the usual safety precautions when
    using any ATM…at home and away.

* Currency conversion rates and ATM fees are determined by the owner of the ATM. In addition, GSB will charge a fee of $2.00 per international ATM withdrawal and pass along the international transaction fee assessed by MasterCard of 1% of the transaction amount of either an ATM withdrawal or a purchase. GSB's fee and the amount of the MasterCard international fee will be itemized on your statement. The conversion rate and any fee assessed by the ATM owner will be included in the amount of the settled transaction.

Additional Information: