URGENT! Unable to withdraw cash in Brazil
Replies: 25 - Last Post: Jul 10, 2012 5:17 PM Last Post By: Cachaceiro
Jul 7, 2012 2:35 PM
URGENT! Unable to withdraw cash in BrazilI am seriously struggling. I cant find one cash machine in Floripa which will let me withdraw money. I bank with Natwest in the UK (have contacted them and they said there was no hold on my card). I have tried HSBC, Santander, and local banks but all just wont work. I am about to take an overnight bus (but I will be panicking all night as I am arriving in Sao Paulo with very little money and accomodation to pay for).
I will have to rely on Western Union Transfers from the family but this is crazy! Anyone ever experienced this before?
If so, please tell me what I should do .... not being able to access your money when on the other side of the world is a scary thing!
Jul 7, 2012 2:53 PM
1Its probably a good thing that you are going to a major city as Sao Paulo has many embassies as well as a British consulate. This link will give you there details and opening hours. There you'll be able to use their phones free of charge to phone your bank or home. I'm guessing, they may be able to help you out in terms of accomm for a night if you explain your situation. Its worth giving them a call or dropping by if your card still doesnt work tomorrow. Good Luck. http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/find-an-embassy/south-america/consulate-general-sao-paulo .
Jul 7, 2012 3:03 PM
2Thanks. I couldnt find if there were details for one in Sao Paulo. I shall be there Monday morning if i am not miraculosly able to obtain cash. Thanks again.
Jul 7, 2012 4:53 PM
3Brasil is notorious for problems with foreign cards and ATMs, word of advice: you've probably tried one machine in the bank and when it failed you've figured out that whole network will fail, THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Many times I've tried all of 5 or 8 ATMs in bank lobby only to find ONE working with my card. I have no explanation why, but this is how it is.
Just try every ATM, one after another and eventually one will work.
#4 It's Caipirinha in Brazil ;-) Being low on cash it's easy to get your self whole bottle of cachaca for 5-7 BRL, bag of limes, bag of ice and sugar. I will last for whole night for half of the hostel ;-)
Jul 7, 2012 6:05 PM
Jul 7, 2012 6:17 PM
Jul 7, 2012 6:19 PM
6BTW @OP If you have only one card you can access your founds from you've made HUGE mistake. Cards can be stolen, lost or skimmed, last applies specially in Brazil. If anything happens with your only card then you are lost.
They are best to avoid, as they are mostly subject to skimming, but using only bank ATMs doesn't make it 100% safe either, my card was cloned in one of the banks ATM
That's why if OP took only one card with him/her, it's possible that with a bad luck he/she would have to rely on WU anyway...
I would ask the bank for 2nd card when there is still time and the 1st one is working
Edited by: ban_janti_return
Jul 7, 2012 6:54 PM
7I'm a Natwest card holder and had the same problems. Bradesco was the only bank I could withdraw from in Brazil. If you plan to go to Argentina, please be careful, as I couldn't take money from any of the bank ATMs. Luckily my girlfriend was with me to pay for our month stay.
Inbetween when we had to cross to Chile in the Patagonia region from Argentina, I could withdraw in Chile but when I cross back to Argentina, I couldn't. Good luck
Edited by: emd_two on Mar 4, 2013 9:58 PM
Jul 7, 2012 6:58 PM
8#10 Have you tried Citibank ATMs? They should be no problem since they work on different network, but they have very limited availability. Anyway in those days you should bring USD with you to Argentina.
Jul 7, 2012 8:21 PM
9I hope you're travelling with more than one card with more than one symbol, and from different banks. I don't know what it is, but frequently a bank card won't work, and you then have to try a differnet card, also at multiple banks before you get a combination of US banks, credit card symbols, and Brasilian banks that works. Sometimes it's just an IT problem with bad internet connections, and the card you tried yesterday will work tomorrow, or sometimes it's an IT problem that just can't be overcome, because almost no one has tried to use a card like yours in that particular bank network.
Also, this is the weekend, and sometimes the ATM's just run out of money on weekends. If it's a credit card, you can always go to a bank on Monday morning and request a cash advance.
Jul 7, 2012 11:30 PM
Jul 8, 2012 9:01 AM
Jul 8, 2012 10:25 AM
Jul 8, 2012 12:15 PM
Maybe I'm missing something here....but, if you have a credit/debit card, why not just this to pay for everything? I mean, cash is necessary for taxis, pipoca stands, and assorted tips, but....bus tickets and hotel rooms?
I agree with a previous post concerning using ATM machines at grocery stores. They always seem to work!
Jul 8, 2012 12:41 PM
Reserva Provincial Esteros del IberáBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$240.00 per night
(1 star Hotel)
From US$8.67 per night
Puerto MadrynBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$15.23 per night