Great 'Countries you can't use your plastic in' Hunt



  • avvy6
    avvy6 Posts: 3 Newbie
    We have been going to Austria for a number of years and have had the same problem - again as someone else said - even when I checked with the bank! I tried to use my bank debit card (Visa) but have been unable to use it and my credit cards both Mastercard and Visa. SHops often have the Mastercard logo but it means something else and is for a Maestro Debit card - which I have been told by the post office and bank in the UK that Maestro cash card is being phased out in UK!

    I noticed last year that the petrol stations will now take credit cards as will Maxi Markt suprtmarket but many others won't. As another blog says - it's the same as Germany - people don't use credit cards - if they don't have the cash - they don't buy it!
  • ivor888
    ivor888 Posts: 9 Forumite
    They only use some local pre-paid cards in very few places and don't accept any other cards.
    Travellers cheques are only accepted after a 2 week wait too so these aren't any use & technically the currency, Naira, is not exchangable but in reality this isn't an issue (although I had no need to).
  • I have to agree with the Germany comment. I'm living here at the moment and it is basically a cash economy meaning that ATM's are rare and everyone pays in cash. A lot of ATM's wont take your credit cards and shops CERTAINLY won't. Basically you are meant to carry large sums of money around with you. I use my Caxtonfx card around with me as it is accepted at pretty much any ATM and doesn't charge even at ATM's which have charged my German card up to 7€. My advice would simply be take the money you need out when you can.
  • cubehopper
    cubehopper Posts: 41 Forumite
    edited 18 March 2011 at 2:12PM
    Japan's ATM's generally don't accept foreign ATM cards, and Japan is predominantly a cash society. It's not uncommon to carry £300 in cash at a time in your wallet. Fortunately it is very safe to carry cash as the level of crime is extremely low, if not non-existent.

    7Eleven stores have 24 hour ATMs which accept foreign Visa cards but only dispense 10,000Yen notes (about £80)

    JP Post Office and Shinsei Bank ATMs accept foreign Visa/Mastercards but have limited opening hours. 9am-9pm Mon-Fri. Even hole in the wall ATMs.

    Don't expect shops or restaurants to accept cards. If you're visiting Tokyo, get a Suica pre-paid card free from any train station. You can use it for public transport, and it's widely accepted in stores.
  • cubehopper
    cubehopper Posts: 41 Forumite
    Similar to Japan, most ATMs don't take foreign cards. There are ATMs in some 7Eleven stores that take foreign cards, but they charge a fee of about £3.

    There are a few 'global' ATMs at the airport which do not charge a fee.
  • alisonannk
    alisonannk Posts: 11 Forumite
    This is slightly off topic but a related issue so I felt it was worth mentioning here.

    About 4 years ago I was in Milan with my OH and we took Thomas Cook traveller cheques (had always done so in the past for trips to 'package resorts' but this was the first we had done so for a city break).

    Unfortunately, we had serious problems getting these exchanged in the banks recommended as those which would change them for us. After numerous calls to the helpline and no luck in each bank suggested we finally had luck in bank number 6 and the vast majority of one of our days had been wasted (we did fit sightseeing of convenience in based on bank locations though!). So just a word of warning that while you may be assured that changing money/using cards abroad is fine it is not always so simple! Thankfully the bulk of our spending money was in cash and the cheques were for day 6 and 7 so it could have been more inconvenient.

    I also hear thomas cook now offer travellers cheque cards that they say 'works the same as a mastercard but with pre-loaded money so you can use it everywhere'. However, this was refused as payment by a friend of mine in a shop in the canary islands. Obviously some shops don't take mastercard so she had some cash but a novice traveller may not know this and will assume spending abroad may be the same as here were pretty much everything you need can be bought in a shop that takes mastercard. So beware of using that kind of plastic abroad!

    My tip is to always take enough cash for at least 24 hours and figure out exchange/withdrawal/spending using other methods as soon as possible to avoid timewasting during your holiday! Better still....speak to someone who has already been (guide books may cover it but they didn't for our Milan situation and I speak Italian so language wasn't the barrier either!) and don't trust the provider that their payment method will actually be accepted!
    This time last year - 3 credit cards and 2 overdrafts maxed out. This year - no overdrafts and one card with reasonable balance! It's strangely satisfying getting them cleared!
  • Venezuela
    ATMs do not work with UK debit or credit cards.
    US dollars in cash is the best way to get local currency (Bolivars).
  • HSBC in Manila was the only place I could use my card successfully in an ATM when I lived out there. Most other towns only have PNB (Philippine National bank) ATMs which don't seem to work with UK or French (my OH is French) -issued cards. Be prepared for this if you head out of the capital.
    My Visa debit card worked in the PNB machines in Manila. It was the Banco de Oro machines (the ones that tended to be in the malls) which rejected it. My bank cancelled my card whilst I was in Manila because it is a Country prone to Bank card fraud. So I was forced to withdraw on my Visa Credit card. The only machine to accept that was the HSBC bank in Makati province!
  • richardw
    richardw Posts: 19,458 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post

    Some brazilian banks ATM's don't accept UK cards, some HSBC in Brazil do though.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • Very few ATMs in Libreville and Port Gentil plus they are often not working or do not like our cards. Gabon is still a cash and personal cheque economy.
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