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I have a new (renewed) ATM card, and when I tried to use it yesterday and this morning, I got an "Invalid Transaction" message. I telephoned by credit union in the States a short while ago and learned that they are restricting the use of ATM cards in foreign countries to three months. That is, the bank must be noticed that the card will be used abroad, and then it can be used abroad for only three months unless the user has it reactivated. The customer service rep explained that it was a fraud protection measure. Upon learning that I was here indefinitely, she tried to activate it for a longer period of time but was unsuccessful, so I have to call the bank every three months to have it reactivated.  I neglected to ask whether this was strictly a new regulation for that particular bank or a national initiative, but I thought I would alert everyone just in case you face a similar experience.

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Get rid of the ATM card and cash a US check at your local bank.  Works a lot better.

Is this a requirement specifically by your Credit Union or it is some exciting new addition and/or interpretation of the US Patriot Act or is it a newly enacted 'regulation' to protect us from the boogie man?  Do you know?


I'm with Juan Carlos.... tear up the ATM card.

As I said, I neglected to ask them; so I don't know.

Yes, I'm going to start writing checks to my account here and withdrawing from it. Until a couple of months ago, my bank didn't charge for ATM withdrawals. Now they do, and with the additional charge by CLAVE, using your ATM card for withdrawals from your US bank doesn't make financial sense anymore.

Bank of America will only set an out of US arrangement for 3 months, then needs a renewal.  HSBC is 2 years.  Guess Boa is going to get phased out on my personal finances


I don't mind too much calling my bank every three months to reactivate it; I just put it on my calendar to remind myself. What I object to are the ATM fees. It's now $5 every time I make a withdrawal. That adds up. My bank here (Global) doesn't charge for depositing a U.S. check, but it does take about two weeks to clear. I'm just going to have to plan ahead for the deposits. I do like having the ATM for backup, however.

MultiBank in Boquete also doesn't charge for depositing a U.S. check and it clears in 4-5 working days. The requirement is that you can only do this with one check per month per account and it has to be $3000 or less. If you have a checking and savings account you can do two checks.


We use Multibank.  EACH CHECK  must be in an increment below $ $2900.  (There is a $5000 a month total max).   If some huge  emergency were to come up we are told we would need to speak with a bank officer. 


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