South America Drive

ATMs, credit cards and misc in Uruguay

December 11, 2012

“Milk comes in a bag here. Chris says he had this in Wisconsin in the country – I’ve never seen it. Need to buy a special pouring container.”

December 12, 2012

“Glad we left a signature stamp with Nate. Just talked with him, there are a few things that we forgot to do.”

December 13, 2012

“Having problems pulling money from the ATMs in Uruguay. The ATM only lets us pull $200 a day. Before we left we moved our card limits to $1000 a day. We needed to go into the bank to work this out.”

“Still trying to adjust to a 24 hour clock (military time) and the metric system. Why don’t we teach this in the US?”


I guess it makes for less garbage having milk in a bag. There are places we could only buy milk in a box that did not need to be refrigerated. Overall, dairy is more expensive here.

We have had our son Nate use our signature stamp more than we ever anticipated. I would highly recommend leaving a signature stamp with family. Saved a lot of hassle down the road.

The ATMs have a limit in Uruguay of $200. Other countries allowed $400, but never any more. In Uruguay, we would go to the teller in the bank and use my eTrade card. They did not like that it said “debit” on it, but it worked fine if they tried. It depended on the teller we got. Once we had used a teller and proved that the card worked, we tried to use that same person again: not too easy since you take a number when you enter the bank and are called to one of three tellers. When we moved from Montevideo, we had to start all over again.

Before deciding which credit or debit cards to bring, research fees. They vary greatly. Schwab offered one where they reimbursed our ATM fee and our foreign transaction fee. eTrade reimbursed one of these. Wells Fargo charges high fees with no reimbursement. For purchases, US Bank Flexperks earns us dollars toward airfare, but more importantly (recent change) it does not charge a foreign transaction fees. Always let your credit card companies know when and where you are traveling. You won’t be surprised with a block due to it being used in a foreign country. Be glad for all they do to protect you. I still regularly contact my credit companies to make sure things go smoothly. Nothing worse than being in the middle of nowhere and being denied.

Nothing much to say about the metric system other than I wish I had paid better attention the day they mentioned them in high school. Meters, liters, grams…blah! Recipes are a real challenge.

Grams of sugar?

Grams of sugar?


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