Safeguard Tips for Using an ATM*

*Information on this page was taken directly off We feature MasterCard® as our sole credit card provider.

Your ATM with the MasterCard®/Maestro/Cirrus logos provides you with a fast and convenient way to get cash worldwide. Follow these tips when using your card in the U.S. or abroad.

Getting Cash with Your ATM/Debit Card

  • Be sure the ATM displays at least one of the following logos: MasterCard®/Maestro/Cirrus.
  • Insert your card and select a language. Many ATMs offer a variety of languages, and English is always one option on MasterCard®/Maestro/Cirrus ATMs.
  • Enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Follow the instructions displayed on the ATM screen to choose your account and the amount you wish to withdraw.
  • The terminal will immediately process the transaction and money will be dispensed in the local currency.
  • Take your receipt. The transaction amount will be automatically deducted from your checking/savings account.

Protecting Your ATM/Debit Card

  • Keep your card in a safe place to avoid damage.
  • Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Never write the PIN down on anything in your wallet or on the card itself.
  • When selecting a PIN, avoid numbers and letters that relate to your personal information. For example, don’t use your initials, birthday, telephone or Social Security number. If you have such a number, contact your bank and get a new PIN issued.
  • Immediately report a lost or stolen card to your financial institution.
  • To help guard against fraud, keep your ATM receipts until you check them against your monthly statement.

Common Sense Usage Tips

  • Observe your surroundings before using an ATM. If the machine is obstructed from view or poorly lit, visit another ATM.
  • Take a friend with you – especially at night.
  • Have your card out and ready to use.
  • Shield the screen and keyboard so anyone waiting to use the ATM cannot see you enter your PIN or transaction amount.
  • Put your cash, card and receipt away immediately. Count your money later, and always keep your receipt.
  • If you see anyone or anything suspicious, cancel your transaction and leave immediately. If anyone follows you after making a transaction, go to a crowded, well-lit area and call the police.
  • When using an enclosed ATM that requires your card to open the door, avoid letting strangers follow you inside.
  • When using a drive-up ATM, make sure all passenger car doors are locked and windows are up.
  • Do not leave your car unlocked or engine running when you get out to use an ATM.
  • While many ATMs are available 24 hours a day, some may be open only during local business hours. To be on the safe side, plan your transactions ahead of time.
  • Check with your financial institution to determine the daily limit of funds that can be withdrawn.

Tips for U.S. Cardholders When Traveling Abroad

  • International ATMs may save you money. Withdrawals are dispensed in local currency and are debited from your account in U.S. dollars based on a favorable exchange rate.
  • All MasterCard®/Maestro/Cirrus ATMs feature easy-to-read instructions in English and the local language.
  • Some international ATMs are available only during normal business hours. Hours vary from country to country.
  • Most international ATMs do not permit transactions involving multiple accounts. Most likely, your transaction will be routed to your primary account.
  • Four-digit numeric PINs are standard in most countries. If you have an alphabetic PIN, translate the letters into numbers before leaving the country.