Monday, April 11, 2011

The ATM Machine

I had to get money from the ATM machine today. I always dread that because I am afraid something will happen. Once my bank in the States sold out to another bank and canceled everyone's ATM cards. Of course I didn't know that. The machine said there was no money in my account. It was late on a Friday, too late for me to call them from here because of the two hour time difference. I called my mother in the States and asked her to call the bank for me to find out what was wrong. Did someone steal my identity and take all my money? They refused to tell her ANYTHING. So I had a terrible week end, worrying. I called on Monday and they told me that they had sent everyone letters saying that our cards were canceled but of course it was to my address in the States. The bank in San Blas Mexico, where  I was living at the time wouldn't cash my Traveler's Checks. They find any excuse not to cash them. Like my middle name being on my passport and not on the Traveler's Checks. Fortunately I had some cash.

So every time I have to get money from these machines, I get nervous. I have also heard of the machines taking cards and you can't get them back. You have to contact your bank in the States and have a new one sent down. That could take months or never. I remember hearing about a man who lived in the motel where I was staying. He had this problem. For some reason he had to keep contacting the bank and several months later he still hadn't gotten his card and he was broke. Then he killed himself in the room. I doubt if it was just because of bank problems but sometimes I think of this man when I am shoving my card into the ATM machines and holding my breath in fear.

Today I heard the door rattling behind me. I was getting nervous. Was someone trying to get in to steal my money that I had just gotten out of the machine? I turned around and there was this little boy---smiling at me.....  What a treat......


  1. Call me paranoid but I always have more than one type of ATM card when I travel. I open an account a few months before I travel, make sure the card works and keep it in reserve. I keep pinned credit cards as well, most of my withdrawals are on the credit cards. The fees are higher but the risk to my funds are less. It can be as much as a week before I am in an area where I can check my account. I only have to have one checking account cleaned out to make the credit fees a good bet.

  2. Thank you Norm for your comment and suggestion. I have three ATM cards from three different banks, just in case...... Patricia

  3. Patricia, we opened a Bancomer account just so that we can have a local ATM card & a local checking account. No fees to use either. And Bancomer has conveniently located ATMs. We just make sure we take some $$$ out of our USA bank every month, by writing a check on the USA account, & put the $$$ in the Bancomer account to live off of. Is working well for us. Carolina

  4. Hi Carolina, Thank you for your comment. I should do that. Also, since the value of our money is going DOWN, it will be good to have it in the Mexican account. Patricia