Accessing money from a US account while outside it

Finally, we managed to get money from our US account into our UK account.  The best advice our US bank gave us was to use our Visa card to get a cash advance against our US account.  It worked, although the manager seemed a bit skeptical.  Was she suspicious that we were trying to run off with someone else’s money?  It’s our money, in our account, and we have ID to prove who we are.  Granted, the initial advice to initiate an international wire transfer from the receiving end was dud advice, but that wasn’t our fault.[ad#ad-1]

One of the reasons that we had such difficulty is that we are transferring money internationally, which meant dealing with the currency exchange.  Another reason, and probably the bigger reason, is that the US cards do not contain a special chip that the UK ones do.  We can use it to draw money from ATMs, but there are daily limits and you need to know the exchange rate, etc.  However, you may not use it as a debit card at any place here.  That’s because they have a special card reader that reads the chip.  At some places, they may be able to swipe it and use it as a Visa.  There’s no guarantee that it will work.  Our card has been rejected at several places.  Some places cannot even manually input the card numbers.

My question is, is this chip technology required in the EU?  Do all European countries implement it?  Will the US follow suit?  How much revenue is or will be lost if the UK shops cannot accept US cards?

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4 Comments on “Accessing money from a US account while outside it

  • I never had my US card rejected outright since it could always be swiped through as a credit card, you just had to have the patience of the shop-keeper or restauranteur about how sorry you were for giving them a non-chip card. I also found I could take £300 a day out of my cash account in the US even though in the US I could only take out a few hundred bucks a day… fortunately I only did that when I first moved here!

  • Patience is a virtue, which we sometimes lack, especially when there’s a long queue. We hate it when people keep the line up, so we try to avoid that if possible.

  • Yes although usually people are pretty happy if you are spending money in their shop or restaurant! I’ve never ever had anyone complain, I smile and apologise in advance and they’re always kind.

  • I have just found that if I apologise for for it being an American card and remaining patient they are more amiable. I have never had an American card rejected though. Also when in doubt ask for the manager.

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