I used my 28 degrees card in chile, peru, brazil, argentina and uruguay last year without major problems. It's just a brand of mastercard, so is accepted wherever they normally are.
The exchange rate was good and there were no fees levied by by 28 degrees - but if you want to use it as a debit card for ATM transactions then you have to understand how the card works and keep it in credit to avoid the fees. But there are risks associated with using it this way. Someone has kindly put together this very helpful explanation of how it all works on whirlpool (...
Occasionally it would get denied by an ATM but friends using other cards sometimes had issues too, and most tourist towns had plenty of ATMs so it was easy enough to just try another machine.
Just make sure you carry a backup card of another variety as security.
Thanks kajambe for all that information.
We travel with two 28 Degrees accounts. One in my name and one in my husbands and we use one for normal credit card purchases, hotels etc and I load cash onto the other account just to withdrawal from ATM's and have found it works really well through Europe and Asia.
So you withdrew cash from ATM's in Sth America? Do you know how much the limit was on cash withdrawals per transaction or per day?
Did you withdrawal cash from ATM's at any of the following airports: Santiago International, Buenos Aires Ezeiza International, Rio de Janeiro GIG International, Lima J Chavez International?
I have read that ATM's at Rio Airport are not very reliable or safe but we have to pay a large amount, in cash, for an apartment and the bond when we arrive.
We usually draw cash from ATM's at the local airport when we arrive to pay for taxis etc.
Any other tips would be much appreciated.
Yes, I pre-loaded the card with cash and withdrew from ATMs everywhere. I used it at Santiago and Lima airports. I also used it at the domestic airport in BA (not Ezeiza) but avoided using the ATMs at Rio airport because of all the reports of scams as you noted.
I remember Rio was the one place we did have some hassles with ATMs - I had a couple of different cards and so did my sister, and we found some ATMs wouldn't give us cash, and if they did, the daily limit was low (sorry I can't recall how much, but I just remember it was low enough to be inconvenient!). But it wasn't a problem with the 28 degrees card only.
Different countries of course had different banks, and also different withdrawal fees and limits. Most (but not all) ATMs had an option of english instructions as well as Spanish. On the whole the 28 degrees card operated exactly as advertised and I had no major problems (until I lost it in Peru!).
Oh no you lost it in Peru, stolen by an ATM or you just lost it?
As we have 2 seperate accounts and additional cards on each we travel with four 28 Degrees cards.
Thanks for all your help.
unfortunately just my own carelessness! Enjoy South America :-)
Sorry to hear that.
Did you feel safe in Sth America?
We have travelled independantly through Europe and Asia but Sth America scares me reading about the scams, muggings, robberies etc.
I was definitely more alert travelling in South America than most parts of Europe & Asia, because I too was really worried about the crime - particularly as I was travelling with my 13 year old son without his Dad. That said, I felt very comfortable most of the places we visited, with the exception perhaps of parts of Rio - though the tourist attractions were all fine, and I was probably a bit paranoid (maybe it's possible to read too many warnings on TA!!). I had heard bad things about Lima, but we walked everywhere there and felt very comfortable - in fact I found Peru much more relaxed than I had expected, and never had any concerns (although we did join an intrepid tour for some of our time there, where as the rest of the time we travelled alone).
Words can't describe the full fabulous-ness of our trip, so I do hope yours is equally as memorable Pam :-)
I will be travelling with hubby who has a very laid back attitude to everything where I am the opposite.
Hubby does not do tours, he does not like the regimented routine and guess what I am the one who organises EVERYTHING with our trips, his job is to carry the bags. If he organised things god knows where we would end up and in towns with no beds. I have to be much more organised with all hotels booked before I leave Aus.
It will be interesting to see how we go and now I really appreciate how Europe is so traveller friendly. We hired a car for a week in Italy in 2011 driving from Venice around the North then down to Cinque Terre, it was amazing and fantastic to have that freedom.
I've been living in Santiago de Chile for over a year, and use my 28 Degrees card almost exclusively, for all ATM withdrawals and credit card purchases here. I highly recommend it, has saved me a fortune in the various fees that my regular Commonwealth bank cards used to charge me.
One thing that I discovered recently: always look for a Banco Estado ATM in Chile, they're the only ATMs (that I know of) that don't charge a local ATM fee. With a 28 Degrees card, assuming that you keep your account in credit, local ATM fees are the only fees you're still exposed to. Virtually all other ATMs in Chile charge a fee of approx. $2500-$3000 Chilean pesos per withdrawal ($5-$6 Aussie dollars). Banco Estado machines charge nothing, from my experience so far.
I am currently in Chile and am using my 28degrees mastercard to withdraw cash.
In Peru I had no fees from Scotiabank ATMs.
In Bolivia I had no fees from BNB ATMs (and it is also possible to withdraw US dollars.)
In Ecuador I think I just went into the bank and asked for cash advance to avoid fees. (takes a long time!)
In Brazil I also went into the bank and asked for cash advance to avoid fees. Mostly however I would use my card to pay in restaurants etc without problem.
Now in Chile, I have been (in La Serena) into Scotiabank, Santander and another Chilean bank to ask for cash advance but they say no, and tell me to use the ATM. From the ATM I am charged a fee of 3000-4000 Pesos ($6-$8) which I really want to avoid. Has anyone used an ATM in Chile without the local ATM fee? I see the previous post suggests Banco Estado - I will try and find one!
Also, I want to withdraw some US dollars to take into Argentina (for the blue market). Any suggestions for this?
I will be in Santiago before catching a bus to Argentina.
Advice ASAP would be great. I will be there in about a week....