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Thread: What to do when Visa debit card doesn't work on the island????

  1. #1
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    Unhappy What to do when Visa debit card doesn't work on the island????

    We've got a bit of a quandary here...my friend's Visa card (which is linked to his checking account in the US) isn't working ANYWHERE here on the island! Horrendous! We weren't able to rent a car, but fortunately I had cash in my wallet and was able to get a cab to take us to our rental.

    Apparently, from what we're hearing, if a person's debit card doesn't have a NYCE or a Cirrus logo on the back of it (which his doesn't, unfortunately), it won't work here unless they can find an ATM machine that will accept cards without that NYCE/Cirrus logo on the back.

    He's quite upset about this (understandably!), and was told by his bank, repeatedly, that his account is fine and that his card SHOULD work here. He spent a great deal of time on the phone on Friday, trying to resolve the issue, to no avail.

    Would anyone be able to help us out? I think he's going to post something on this site as well, inquiring about this issue, with more detail.

    Thanks, all....much appreciated. Aside from that, we've been having a good time.

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Did your friend let the bank know he would
    be out of country?


    QUOTE=Franimal;218952]We've got a bit of a quandary here...my friend's Visa card (which is linked to his checking account in the US) isn't working ANYWHERE here on the island! Horrendous! We weren't able to rent a car, but fortunately I had cash in my wallet and was able to get a cab to take us to our rental.

    Apparently, from what we're hearing, if a person's debit card doesn't have a NYCE or a Cirrus logo on the back of it (which his doesn't, unfortunately), it won't work here unless they can find an ATM machine that will accept cards without that NYCE/Cirrus logo on the back.

    He's quite upset about this (understandably!), and was told by his bank, repeatedly, that his account is fine and that his card SHOULD work here. He spent a great deal of time on the phone on Friday, trying to resolve the issue, to no avail.

    Would anyone be able to help us out? I think he's going to post something on this site as well, inquiring about this issue, with more detail.

    Thanks, all....much appreciated. Aside from that, we've been having a good time.[/QUOTE]

  3. #3
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    Help seriously needed

    I've been in Aruba since Thursday afternoon. After a successful trip back in 2000, I naively thought that my ATM card would work down here (same bank, same account).

    Turns out the last card Citizens Bank issued is a VISA card with no Cirrus, Plus, NYSE, etc affiliation. I cannot get to my funds. I lost the car I reserved over two months ago. I went to the bank and they told me my card needs to have the logos mentioned above to work.

    As a last resort, I called the gentleman who we rented our villa from and asked him if he would be so kind to run my card again for the amount I had set aside for this vacation and give me the cash. He graciously agreed. Now, keep in mind that he ran my deposit back in September and the balance about two weeks ago from the card in question. He came by with transaction receipts all saying "transaction failed." What blew me away is that he reached into his pocket and gave us $700 to get through for a bit. What a beautiful gesture and a testament to the people of Aruba!

    Why would this card, which worked previously, now get declined? Is there a lock placed because I tried it so many times?

    I must have over $300 of international calls placed to my bank. They are saying everything is fine on their end and show no record of all the declined transactions. They are adamant that the problem resides here in Aruba.

    My question is, are there any non-Cirrus, etc ATMs in Aruba? Also, I'Ve thought about hitting a Western Union branch to wire funds to myself, but will my card work there? I tried to do it online but the online option is not available for Aruba.

    I'm kicking myself for not bringing cash or travelers checks. I have a backup card with a small balance, but that,s going toward the car and rationed for meals.

    This is an absolute nightmare and three days in, we're contemplating packing it in and heading back to Boston. Which is a shame as the villa is beautiful!

    Any help/suggestions/possible solutions would be greatly appreciated!

  4. #4
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    Hi, I'm the friend and, yes, I did. I didnt know Fran beat me to the post! Lol! I have a little more detail in the thread I posted.

  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    can u use your credt card for a cash advance?Go directly to one of the aruba banks for
    assistance too. Good luck

  6. #6
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    +1 to Andrea's comment. You should be able to go into any bank and execute a transaction (aka cash advance) with your Visa/Debit card as a Visa credit card.

    You may also want to check the casino ATMs since they may have some that don't require the affiliation. IIRC you can also get a cash advance on the card at the casino as a credit card transaction.
    Aruba here we come!


  7. #7
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    Hi Andrea. I did try that and that's when we found out about the whole Cirrus, Plus, NYSE thing. They would not honor my card.

    I read in another forum that someone had the same dilemma, but found an ATM that worked (visa). He unfortunately did not disclose the location.

  8. #8
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    I thought about the casinos, but will it get declined for the reasons stated above? Keep in mind it was declined as a credit card at the car rental and at dinner on Thursday night.
    Last edited by nofun; 02-11-2012 at 09:43 AM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for your quick response! We will see how it goes.

    At the very least....the weather is absolutely beautiful here, and we can make the best of things.


  10. #10
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    fran did u bring any $ or a credit or debit card?
    (sorry i know it is none of my business)

    but i think if you go to the arubabank and let them fix the issue it is not a lost cause.

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