I am an American, and I have an American Visa debit card with "PLUS", "NYCE", and "AFFN" written on the back.
Several months ago, I traveled out of state to California and was surprised to have my card rejected at all ATMs there. (It still functioned as a debit card at shops however.) After I got back, I called and complained, and was told that I should call them before travelling.
Although no bank had ever obliged me to do so, I did so -- I called them beforehand to tell them I would be on the road throughout February and March, and asked them to not do any fraud protection for these months. However, my card was refused again.
I went to my local bank branch to complain -- they confirmed that I had called them beforehand, and that there was a note on my record -- and they were unable to explain what had happened. They told me to call some second number. (The one listed on the back of my card.) The person who answered my phone told me that my card "should have worked", but things would "work better" if I called this second phone number instead in the future.
Is this a common experience? Should I have any reason to believe that if I call this second number, that my ATM card will work in the future? Or should I take this as a sign that I should get an account with a second (perhaps bigger) bank?