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

  1. #11
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    i NEVER use a debit card for regular purchases in aruba or out of the USA. we only use our atm/debit (which has a visa logo) at the ATMs at the bank machine if we are running low on funds.

    there is could be much difficulties if that card is compromised and the thief could wipe out your checking acct (hence the nanme debit).

    i caution folks never to use a DEBIT card out of the usa or whereever your home is.....
    do not use it for car rentals, meals, shopping etc.... use it at a bank machine for cash withdrawals.
    do not use it for everyday out of your home country purchases.

    if there is fraud on that debit card and your account is emptied by a crook you are up that old creek. if there is fraud on a regular credit card, the credit card co will do everything that can to catch the thief and delete most of not all fraudulent charges that went thru.

    cash, trav checks and credit cards (not debit) are the way to go.

    fran and nofun, i hope one of you has at least a regular credit card with you.

  2. #12
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    Hi Andrea!

    Actually, I DID bring cash...at the last minute, before I left the US, I decided to withdraw some from my bank account, just in case we needed a cab or wanted to leave tips (thank goodness I did!).

    We did go directly to an RBTT branch yesterday, and they told us that, because my friend's card does not have a Cirrus/NYCE logo on it, they cannot access his money at all.

    We'll inquire at ArubaBank too. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. #13
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    We do have a small credit card with us, yes.

  4. #14
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    Hmmm that's odd. Sounds more like the bank is denying the transaction due to it being out of country. Your card should work anywhere as a "credit card" (not debit card) wherever Visa is accepted.

    You've probably already done this, but I would call your bank to make sure they know that you are in Aruba.
    Aruba here we come!


  5. #15
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    I would go to a casino and get a cash advance. The "whole Cirrus, Plus, NYSE" 'thing' should only apply to debit cards, NOT CREDIT cards.

    A cash advance on your credit card is being BILLED TO your credit card account.
    A debit card, for which they require the "whole Cirrus, Plus, NYSE" 'thing' is a withdrawal from your checking account.

    IF you cannot get a cash advance on a credit card it is a problem with your credit card issuer.

  6. #16
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    Thanks for all the replies folks!

    My visa debit card is linked to my checking account. It is not a credit card per se but has worked as a credit card in the states. I'll try the casino on Monday as my property owner thinks it might be temporarily locked here by MCB and RBTT because I tried so many times. I did not try Aruba bank and have not run by a visa ATM yet.

    Again, my property owner has drawn my villa deposit and balance from this very card as a credit card transaction (through RBTT) last September and at the beginning of February without a problem. He tried drawing funds five times yesterday and all transactions failed (he even brought over the receipts), however, my bank shows no such transactions took place.

    As I stated earlier, my bank knows I'm here, is aware of the problem, but says the card shows no signs of activity. Not even the denied transactions. They are stumped and think it is a problem here on the island.

    I think I may have a work-around with my MasterCard, but it's just not a hassle-free situation. Regardless, it has alleviated some stress and we are just trying to make the best of the situation from here on out.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Have you talked to your bank about possibly doing a wire transfer to have money to enjoy your vacation? International wire transfers can be costly but may be worth it to enjoy your vacay.
    Not sure when, but we will be back

  8. #18
    Senior Member arubabob's Avatar
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    We dont even have a debit card. Cash, checks or credit cards is all we ever use. Since we pay the balance on the credit card each month it is the same as paying cash except we get the frequent flyer miles. I have(linda has) enough trouble balancing my checking account without a no paper trail card being used. Also dont like the thought of someone getting into my account and draining it. With the credit card Im a lot safer.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nofun View Post
    I think I may have a work-around with my MasterCard, but it's just not a hassle-free situation. Regardless, it has alleviated some stress and we are just trying to make the best of the situation from here on out.

    I think I would just call Mastercard and explain the situation. Ask them to temporarily allow you to have a larger limit and just use your credit card.

    With respect to using ATM machines outside of North America, it is not uncommon to have issues. My gf used an ATM machine and came home to find out funds had been taken. Since she was on holiday she didn't have access to check her account until she got home (this was a few years ago before online tracking was a common place). I would say that in general, when traveling it is a better solution to use a credit card than a debit card. My DS had set up his debit card, prior to traveling abroad, to ensure that he would have access to it but for some reason it wouldn't allow him to take out funds. Luckily he had a credit card and did a cash advance.

    Once we are talking about all of this, I might also mention that we all carry two credit cards. Like so many people we have had our cc compromised or there was a potential that the credit card might be compromised so the company canceled the card and sent another one. Twice this happened just prior to an Aruba trip so luckily we had another one to use. This also just happened to my university aged son this trip one week prior to leaving for Aruba. He had a second card, thankfully, as he was traveling down alone and needed to overnight. Things could have been tricky without that second card. Unfortunately, compromised credit cards and debit cards are becoming all to common these days.
    Last edited by Randi; 02-13-2012 at 09:38 AM.
    happiness is going to Aruba with your adult kids because they still want to come with their parents

  10. #20
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    Very sorry to hear about your problem but a good WARNING to all others bring back up when traveling anywhere. I always bring 2 credit cards, travel checks, cash, and wife has her own credit card too. You never know when a card will not work out of the country.
    And every now and than on one of the many Aruba BB's you hear where someone used their card and a few days later their's won't work because someone got their # and used it. Yes you protest and get the charge or debit removed but how long does that take.
    >>> "Also dont like the thought of someone getting into my account and draining it."
    ------ Me too. Only use my Debit card at my Bank drive through ATM. And that is at a Mall with security and lots of people around.
    Last edited by TomFrederick; 02-14-2012 at 12:41 PM.

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