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.
- 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. (Also check with your cell phone provider for use abroad)
- Determine what currency is used in countries you plan to visit.
At this time, the Euro is
the currency used in 22 countries.
Ask your Travel Agent which countries will also accept U.S. Dollars as currency.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Funds may be withdrawn only from your checking account with available funds on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.
- 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.
- 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. Our $2.00 charge for using a non-STAR/NYCE/Cirrus) ATMs will be itemized on your statement for each transaction. If there are any other charges they will be buried in the rate adjustment from the bank who owns the ATM.
- Many European ATMs are set up for "chip" cards.
Please ask if your card is a chip card.
- 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
- Pay special attention to your surroundings and follow the usual safety precautions when
using any ATM…at home and away.
* A 1% international fee will be assessed on Debit Card purchases and ATM transactions.