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ATM Machines

California
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ATM Machines

I'm leaving for Madagascar in a week. I am arriving a few days before scheduled group tour, so will have to cover meals and sightseeing for those days. (Hotel is already paid.) Even once the tour starts, most meals are not included so must be bought individually.

I read on some website (Lonely Planet I think) that the only kind of card you can use in ATM's are Visas. My credit card is a Master Card. I do have a Visa that's a debit card. Does anyone know if it's true that only Visas can be used, and if so, can a debit card be used? Otherwise, I am going to have to carry all cash. (I will buy Euros before leaving.) Any advice most appreciated.

California
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8 posts
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1. Re: ATM Machines

Sorry - it's me again - who posted the question. I'm not thinking quite straight on this. Of course the machines must take debit cards, right? That's what you usually use since a credit card would charge you interest to loan you the money, rather than a debit card giving you your own money back, although often for a fee.

The debit card I normally use when traveling either in US or out is from State Farm Bank, because they rebate all fees imposed by the bank that owns the ATM machine. However, I doubt I can use the State Farm card in Madagascar, since it isn't a Visa or even a Master Card. It does have the following logos on the back: Plus, Pulse, NYCE, and Star. Does anyone know if it will be usable?

Thanks!

Tauranga, New...
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2. Re: ATM Machines

Hi, we have a Visa Debit from Westpac New Zealand. It had a Plus sign on it. We used it in the ATM at Ivato airport and in a lot of towns down the RN7. But ATMs are difficult off this route, eith don't exist or don't work.

You can withdraw up to 200 000Ar at a time.

We also sent a cash withdrawal card to a friend and she can withdraw money at the ATM from our account.

There are ATMs at the Western Union banks in bigger cities.

California
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3. Re: ATM Machines

Thank you so much for the information. I will load up some funds in the bank with the Visa debit, and some in the other debit card.

Michigan
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4. Re: ATM Machines

Hello

We just returned from Madagascar and loaded up on cash at the airport currency exchange desk. There is no need to change US dollars to Euros and then change to Ariary in Madagascar. They will gladly take US dollars and exchange to Ariary. We planned (for 1 person) $300 for water, incidentals, souviners, and daily lunch for 10 days. This was a good amount of money to exchange. Our tour included breakfast and dinner each day. Our guide also offered to stop and exchange cash mid-way through the trip. Please note at one park we met a guy from Ohio that was having a hard time getting cash from an ATM. I think he tried 7 banks in one city and finally gave up. He even had a hard time with his travelers checks. Things are cheap in Madagascar. I hope this helps.

Toronto, Canada
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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5. Re: ATM Machines

Which other cities are easy to use atm's or exchange us dollars or euros. I plan on getting local currency at the airport but if i need more what towns likely to be helpful.

We doing north and south areas, wondering about Nosy Be, Antsibrae, Tulear or ????

Can I exchange Ariary back to Euros or $US or even South African Rand?

Michigan
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6. Re: ATM Machines

We exchanged money at the airport and did not need additional money later in the trip. Though, I do remember our tour guide offering at other cities. but don't really remember which city. You will be able to exchange Malagasy money back to US dollars at the airport when returning home before checking in and going through security. Please note that once you enter the terminal and pass security the concession stands and small shops at the airport do NOT accept Malagasy money. I saved a few Ariary to purchase a beverage and they would not accept it. I guess I will consider those ariary part of my souvenirs.

Bischofszell...
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7. Re: ATM Machines

All ATM's in Madagascar take VISA and ATM's from the BNI Bank takes MASTERCARD (available in all bigger towns or tourist destinations). The Mauritius Bank takes Maestro Cards as well ( Their is more than one ATM in Tana, also in Tamatav, Diego, Antsirabe) Many shops also take MasterCard.

Toronto, Canada
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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8. Re: ATM Machines

During my trip i used cash all the time, i could have used visa in a few bigger places but i would plan on using cash. I exchanged at airport twice and it worked well.

Washington, DC
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9. Re: ATM Machines

I withdrew money with a Cirrus ATM card at several locations including at the airport.

At all ATMs I paid about US$90 for 200,000 Ariary except at the airport where I paid US$99, so the airport is not the best place to withdraw money.

Washington, DC
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10. Re: ATM Machines

SORRY; PLEASE IGNORE MY PREVIOUS POST. I confused withdrawals in another country with my Madagascar withdrawal.

In December I paid about $90 for all withdrawals of 200,000 Ariary in Madagascar at all ATMs, including at the airport. So the airport is a fine place to withdraw money.

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