ATMs in Chicago are linked to a
national network that most likely
includes your bank at home. Cirrus
( & 800/424-7787; www.master
card.com) and PLUS ( & 800/843-
7587; www.visa.com) are the two
most popular networks; check the
back of your ATM card to see which
networks your bank belongs to. Use
the toll-free numbers to locate ATMs
in Chicago. When you ask for direc-
tions to an ATM, Chicagoans may
point you to the nearest “Cash Sta-
tion,” our local term (Cash Station is
the biggest ATM network in the city);
almost every machine labeled “Cash
Station” is part of the Cirrus or PLUS
Be sure to check your daily with-
drawal limit before you leave for your
trip. And note that many banks have
begun to impose a fee ranging from
50¢ to $3 every time you use an ATM
in a different city. Your own bank may
also charge you a fee for using ATMs
from other banks. You can also with-
draw cash advances from your credit
cards at any bank (though you'll start
paying hefty interest on the advance
Destination Chicago: Red Alert Checklist
• If you're driving, do you have all the directions you need and
detailed road maps? If you're flying, are you carrying a current, gov-
ernment-issued ID, such as a driver's license or passport?
• Do any theater, restaurant, or travel reservations need to be booked
• Did you make sure your favorite attraction is open, or verify the
dates of any special events you plan to attend? Call ahead for open-
ing and closing times.
• If you purchased traveler's checks, have you recorded the check
numbers and stored the documentation separately from the checks?
• Did you stop the newspaper and mail delivery, and leave a set of
keys with someone reliable?
• Did you pack your camera and an extra set of camera batteries, and
purchase enough film?
• Do you have a safe, accessible place to store money?
• Did you bring your ID cards that could entitle you to discounts, such
as AAA and AARP cards, student IDs, and the like?
• Did you bring emergency drug prescriptions and extra glasses
and/or contact lenses?
• Did you find out your daily ATM withdrawal limit?
• Do you have your credit card PINs? Is there a daily withdrawal limit
on credit card cash advances?
• To check in at a kiosk with an e-ticket, do you have the credit card
you bought your ticket with or a frequent-flier card?
• Did you leave a copy of your itinerary with someone at home?
• Do you have the measurements for those people you plan to buy
clothes for on your trip?