Maestro Cards in the USA

I changed my bank accounts recently from Barclays to First Direct. When I was with Barclays I could withdraw cash from ATMs in the US no problem and for a very reasonable exchange rate. However Barclays debit cards are Visa and First Direct cards are Maestro and so I think there maybe a problem. I’ve had problems booking US hotels over the phone using the Maestro (I ended up using my Amex). So what I was wondering was if anyone could confirm (or deny) that Maestro cards work in US ATMs.

– Andy

I have absolutely no idea m8. One of our US team mates might have the answer. I know my VISA debit & credit cards both worked fine in Canada.

Yeah you shouldn’t have a problem. Visa and Maestro are like rival companies in a way so they are similar in their uses.

/edit I read your thread the other way round - thought you had switched to a Maestro. Although the answer is still the same.

Maestro was brought in to replace Switch as Switch couldn’t be used overseas. During the switch over, if people were going abroad and only had a Switch card, they had to get it replaced at the bank to a Maestro. I worked for a bank at that time.

AFAIK Maestro is the European name for Master Card (has a wider franchise but has the same logo - interlocking orange and red disks or red and blue disks) and that worked fine in the States, most Maestro cards also have Cirrus (interlocking blue disks) which is the cash dispensing system , also works in the USA , or did four years ago when I was on assignment there, no reason to think it has changed .
Check out their website.

I went by one ATM on the way to work, and it did support Maestro. I’ll check a few others later today. The symbol for Maestro was interlocking blue disks.

I have a friend visiting who works for first direct, I’ll ask her when she gets back to confirm it for you :slight_smile:

Okay… here’s what I’ve found: ATM’s provided by larger banks appear to support Maestro. Smaller banks and stand alone ATM’s don’t.

Washington Mutual Bank (large): Mastercard, Cirrus, Maestro
Wells Fargo Banks (large): Mastercard, Cirrus, Maestro
Smaller local bank (small): Mastercard, Cirrus
7-11 convienince store (stand-alone ATM): Mastercard, Cirrus

So, we are batting about 50%. The larger banks are probably tied into a larger ATM network, and therefore support more cards. Smaller outfits are probably limited by the cost of the large ATM networks, and thus support less.

OK, I’ve spoken to the friend she says they will work. But be aware there is a charge for using them.

from http://www.maestrocard.com/questions/faqs/

Where can I get a list of ATM locations where I can use my Maestro-enabled card?

Maestro is a member of the MasterCard/Maestro/Cirrus ATM network, which is the largest in the world, giving you immediate access to cash wherever you go. To locate an ATM in a particular place, try our ATM Locator, or, within the United States and Canada, call 1-800-4Cirrus (1-800-424-7787). Outside the United States and Canada, contact your financial institution.

It would seem that any ATM that is on the Cirrus network should work with the Maestro, regardless if the machine specifies Maestro or not.

EDIT…my above statement appears to be wrong…
from http://www.maestrocard.com/cgi-bin/wheretouse.cgi?country=102&region=02&Select+a+country.x=81&Select+a+country.y=9

Experience the many worlds within the United States.

When you have Maestro with you, you can see as much of the United States as you like. Whether you’re seeing a show in New York City, backpacking through the Rockies, or strolling the Pacific beaches, you’ll want to have your Maestro card handy whether you’re stopping for gas or stopping to shop.

Please note we are currently working to expand the number of merchant locations where you can use Maestro in the United States. Look for any of our 370,000 ATMs (Nilson Report) in the United States that display the Maestro acceptance mark to withdraw cash in local currency.

Find ATMs in the United States

Maestro is widely accepted throughout the United States at merchants in the following categories:
Car Rental
General Retail/Department Stores
Hotels
Petrol Stations
Restaurants
Souvenirs
Tourist Attractions
Travel Agents

Maestro cards work at BMO banks in Candada AFAIK

Hi…

In about three weeks, i’m going to Boston.
I have a Mastro card, and was just wondering, if you guys believe there will be any problems using my card in Boston?
I would’nt want to go around the city with alot of cash on me.

I hope you can help.

Syke from Denmark… :slight_smile:

FD Maestro works fine all over the Philippines, and thats pretty much Americas 52nd state, so i suppose the US should be fine. I know Canada accepts it widely too.

As a Canadian expat, living in London at the mo, I have a UK bank account which happens to have a maestro debit card attached to it.
I also regularly travel to the USA and back home for both business and pleasure and I have had no difficulty accessing my funds in the USA and Canada. My bank even gives me free withdrawals abroad as part of my account package.
The simple trick here is that most Maestro cards issued in the UK also bears the Cirrus symbol at the back of the card. That is what you need to look for when using machines abroad (ATMs). Cash machines that take Mastercard would normally take Maestro. If these two are not displayed, check whether they accept Cirrus.
Also I would suggest using your credit card for purchases and only use cash as back up. Using Amex or Diners Club attracts points and is more secure than carrying cash. There is no charge levied except for the currency exchange commission around 2.75% which is very minimal compared to cash withdrawn abroad which is charged plus currency exchange losses is also a factor.