I need to withdraw money from my Korean bank account from ATMs in Las Vegas (foreign national living in Korea, going to the US for a personal visit),

I am trying online searches but most results are about withdrawing money from Korean ATMs using a US bank card, and it's hard to get information from Korean bank websites.

I have an account with a local bank, and they said they can make a card for me that can be used to withdraw money from specific ATMs in the US, but the staff weren't really clear on whether it will work in the US or not (that's what they told me, if there are specific ATMs that work with Visa cards, I might be able to withdraw money in US using my Korean card).

So I have two questions:

  1. Would it be better to make an account with Citibank (since that's where you have to deposit the US visa application related fees, I'm assuming they can allow me to make withdrawals in the US using my Korean card) or another international bank? I'm not sure how easy or difficult it is, or if they charge more than the current bank I have an account with, making it not worth it.

  2. I transfer money to my home country using a special account set up in my current bank, and I have heard before that they only allow international transactions to only one other country at a time from Korea. Is this true, and is it something I need to watch out for if I go ahead and make a card that possibly works in US? I still need to be able to send money normally to my home country using this bank.

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    Have you asked your Korean bank if you can use your bank card overseas? Many banks are part of "alliances" and networks to facilitate the use of their cards through other banks' infrastructure. Dec 15, 2017 at 1:00
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    They weren't really clear. They told me they will issue me a new card that I can use at what they call "Global ATM's" that allow transactions with Visa, but I will have to go and search for them myself, and not every ATM machine will support this. They said that foreigners have been able to withdraw money from their foreign cards at this bank's Global ATM here is Korea, so the Korean card should work at a Global ATM abroad as well
    – user67149
    Dec 15, 2017 at 1:12
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    Do you have any ATM network symbols on the back of your Korean card? For example, my non-US bank card has a "Cirrus" symbol on the back, which means it works with Cirrus network ATMs (which is associated with Mastercard). Dec 15, 2017 at 1:15
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    it has some kind of logo with "PLUS" written on it, and I just realized it also has "Valid for overseas ATMs (must register for FX transactions) but invalid for overseas purchasing merchandise" written on it. However, when I visited the bank they looked at my card and specifically said they need to issue a different card capable of being used in ATMs abroad.
    – user67149
    Dec 15, 2017 at 1:26
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    I've dealt with Korean banks during my time there (14 years) and one rule of thumb when you want to have definite information is to go to the bank's HQ. Not a branch. Branches are most often useless when it comes to foreign transactions. Second, get a bank account with a foreign-owned bank (HSBC or else). They'll have better overseas services.
    – user67108
    Dec 15, 2017 at 3:17

1 Answer 1


When I lived there (2007-2012), KEB was the bank to use for a debit card that allowed foreign transactions. As far as I recall, even Citibank did not issue cards for foreigners to use outside of Korea- it was only KEB. It was a card you must ask for, and depending on the branch, the bank might be able to create one for you while you wait. Most importantly, getting the debit card you desire is largely due to the type of visa you carry. F (family) series visas will likely get you approved while the E-2 visa will likely get you denied. dda mentioned in the comments about how you should visit the HQ and get reliable information, as your local branch may not have an adequate English translator. If they do, they might be less likely/willing to help you engage in foreign financial transactions other than a plain remittance.

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