Warning re ATM withdrawals in Portugal

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I would like to alert all travelers to Portugal that there is a very strict limit on ATM withdrawals throughout the country. 400 Euro per day is the limit (which we did not know ahead of time; I guess I missed that portion of the Rough Guide advice) and it MUST be withdrawn in 2 separate transactions of 200 Euro each. On our arrival at the Lisbon airport in May, my husband tried to withdraw 500 Euro. That attempt must have immediately flagged his card because it was frozen from that point on! We then were able to use my card for the next 10 days or so…carefully withdrawing small amounts at a time. Then we tried withdrawing 200 E twice from the same machine and it froze my card!! We then had to switch to using our Visa–only problem there is that everyone there requires a chip and pin card which is still rare in the US. We have had requests for large withdrawals refused at ATM’s in Italy and elsewhere but have never had a bank system freeze our cards — unbelievably, my husband’s card would not even work when we returned home and went to our branch office. We had alerted our bank of our trip, so they knew we were overseas and we have a high limit on the debit card — this was strictly a function of the Portuguese bank flagging our account to prevent fraud. Great idea in theory but this turned into a real pain for us so I am hoping Rough Guides will add this advice to their next Portugal edition.

travelingnana 23/07/14    MoneyPortugal Link Report

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Hi there,

Thanks for letting us know about this. It sounds really frustrating, so we appreciate you alerting other travellers to this issue. We’ll pass this information on to our authors for The Rough Guide to Portugal to take into account when they’re next updating the guide.

Hopefully you still managed to have a lovely holiday, and found the guide useful!

Best wishes,
Rebecca

Rebecca Hallett 24/07/14    Link Report

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