Travel

ATM Fees in Foreign Countries

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 17th, 2019 10:37 am
[OP]
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Sep 14, 2009
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ATM Fees in Foreign Countries

Stack Mastercard doesn't charge for use of ATMs and doesn't ding you on the currency conversion so I thought it would be the ideal solution for me for small cash withdrawls on an upcoming trip. But the foreign bank's ATM may charge a fee. Does anyone know if this fee is common, how much I could expect in countries like Egypt, England, Israel, Turkey...and is there a website that lists which banks don't charge an ATM fee in each country. Thanks!
14 replies
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cardero wrote:
Feb 8th, 2019 2:41 pm
Stack Mastercard doesn't charge for use of ATMs and doesn't ding you on the currency conversion so I thought it would be the ideal solution for me for small cash withdrawls on an upcoming trip. But the foreign bank's ATM may charge a fee. Does anyone know if this fee is common, how much I could expect in countries like Egypt, England, Israel, Turkey...and is there a website that lists which banks don't charge an ATM fee in each country. Thanks!
I’ve yet to use any ATM in the world that didn’t charge some sort of service charge when using a bank/credit card that didn’t belong to them (whether it was a bank atm or independent).

Given your card ISN’T charging you for atm withdrawals and foreign exchange fees that’s already half the battle and $ saved. Does your MasterCard give you a list of banks/atm locations abroad where you won’t be charged?

If you need cash abroad plan your withdrawals- and chalk few $ you will spend on cost of travelling. There really isn’t much you can do.
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Transferwise says that 97% of ATMs in the UK are free to use. Just avoid the white label ones. https://transferwise.com/gb/blog/atms-in-the-uk RFDers have also reported no fees when using ATMs in the UK
18% = GTA residents as a proportion of Canada's total population
97% = chance that an RFDer lives in the GTA when he posts something location specific, without giving a location

Were you hit with surprise customs/import fees on an Amazon.ca purchase?
[OP]
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BrunetteGirl wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 12:15 pm
I’ve yet to use any ATM in the world that didn’t charge some sort of service charge when using a bank/credit card that didn’t belong to them (whether it was a bank atm or independent).

Given your card ISN’T charging you for atm withdrawals and foreign exchange fees that’s already half the battle and $ saved. Does your MasterCard give you a list of banks/atm locations abroad where you won’t be charged?

If you need cash abroad plan your withdrawals- and chalk few $ you will spend on cost of travelling. There really isn’t much you can do.
Appreciate your thoughts and I like your reasoning. Going to several countries, some for only a day or two that would justify trying to avoid ATM fees for a small withdrawl if I may only need a few bucks I can't put on the credit card.
Last edited by cardero on Feb 9th, 2019 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kiraly wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 12:29 pm
Transferwise says that 97% of ATMs in the UK are free to use. Just avoid the white label ones. https://transferwise.com/gb/blog/atms-in-the-uk RFDers have also reported no fees when using ATMs in the UK
Yeah, this is true. For those that have a service fee (mostly found in small convenience stores), there will be a label displayed on top of the cash machine stating that it charges a fee. Locals generally avoid these like a plague.
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May 11, 2008
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From what I've been reading is that Turkey ATM's don't charge a fee but I won't be able to verify until I arrive in May.
Typically most countries I'd been to charge ATM fees to a varying degree.

As for London, you may as well exchange a little be here to take with you.
I found that I did nearly all of my spending by credit card when I was there in May last year.
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cardero wrote:
Feb 8th, 2019 2:41 pm
Does anyone know if this fee is common, how much I could expect in countries like Egypt, England, Israel, Turkey...and is there a website that lists which banks don't charge an ATM fee in each country. Thanks!
You need to research every country individually as it will vary.

I didn't encounter a single ATM fee in China, but then Thailand charges almost $9 per withdrawal. Face Screaming In Fear

Considering the risks of traveling with cash, getting robbed, pickpocketed, etc., it may still be wiser to just pay local ATM fees and consider the extra cost to be 'insurance' against loss of large amounts of physical cash.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
[OP]
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Jucius Maximus wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 10:54 pm
You need to research every country individually as it will vary.

I didn't encounter a single ATM fee in China, but then Thailand charges almost $9 per withdrawal. Face Screaming In Fear

Considering the risks of traveling with cash, getting robbed, pickpocketed, etc., it may still be wiser to just pay local ATM fees and consider the extra cost to be 'insurance' against loss of large amounts of physical cash.
Yikes about Thailand (going there in June so will make note of that $9.) Makes sense to think of the cost as 'insurance'.
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cardero wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 11:00 pm
Yikes about Thailand (going there in June so will make note of that $9.) Makes sense to think of the cost as 'insurance'.
If you use bank of China (limited ATM) you will pay no fee. AEON ATM's still charge 150b per transaction.

In my opinion, if you are going for a short time (one month or less) it's best to bring cash and exchange at super rich booths. The ATM insurance isn't really any insurance since you will be most likely withdrawing the maximum amount of money and carrying it around anyway because of high ATM fees.

A lot of places take a credit cart too. Rogers 4% cash back works great for me here. Amex almost never works.
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Oct 19, 2010
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For Scotiabank (and Tangerine too) customer - Global ATM Alliance

No fee with ATM runs by those banks that are as part of this alliance.

Tangerine only charged me $2 fee (cheapest) with Cirrus network bank machines in Asia that is not part of this bank alliance.

https://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/person ... iance.html

I hope this helps someone.
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BigBadPandaBear wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 11:09 am
For Scotiabank (and Tangerine too) customer - Global ATM Alliance
The "no fee" espoused by the Global ATM alliance is a bit of a misnomer. All it means is that the ATM operator in the foreign country won't surcharge you. You still have to pay Scotiabank's $5 foreign ATM fee plus Scotiabank's terrible foreign exchange rates. If you're in the country like the UK where almost all ATMs are surcharge-free anyway, Global ATM Alliance isn't helping you at all.

Stack prepaid Mastercard is king for foreign ATM withdrawals. Pay only Mastercard's ~0.2% markup over mid-market, and the ATM operator's fee (if any). If you can find a surcharge-free ATM you are getting just about the best FX deal possible.
18% = GTA residents as a proportion of Canada's total population
97% = chance that an RFDer lives in the GTA when he posts something location specific, without giving a location

Were you hit with surprise customs/import fees on an Amazon.ca purchase?
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Kiraly wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 12:35 pm
The "no fee" espoused by the Global ATM alliance is a bit of a misnomer. All it means is that the ATM operator in the foreign country won't surcharge you. You still have to pay Scotiabank's $5 foreign ATM fee plus Scotiabank's terrible foreign exchange rates. If you're in the country like the UK where almost all ATMs are surcharge-free anyway, Global ATM Alliance isn't helping you at all.

That's not true. If you withdraw from a Global ATM Alliance with a Scotiabank or Tangerine card, there is no fee charged by Scotiabank. The FX fee is the standard 2.5% surcharge over Cirrus's rates, which is what most everyone charges (except TD, which charges a whopping 3.5%). But it's not as high as what they'd charge you to buy foreign currency at an exchange bureau or bank at home. The kicker is that these Global ATM machines can be hard to find, they don't exist in all countries, and occasionally (like in Mexico) they won't work as advertised.

I agree that Stack -- if you can get it -- is a good option for most. But OP was asking about fees charged by the foreign bank machine operator, not fees charged by the home bank. Stack doesn't help with that. (Also, it's not available in Quebec, so 1/4 of Canadians can't get it. But I digress.)

This thread may be of interest: https://forums.redflagdeals.com/list-ca ... s-2180593/
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aznrsx1979 wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 8:35 pm
From what I've been reading is that Turkey ATM's don't charge a fee but I won't be able to verify until I arrive in May.
Typically most countries I'd been to charge ATM fees to a varying degree.

As for London, you may as well exchange a little be here to take with you.
I found that I did nearly all of my spending by credit card when I was there in May last year.

I can confirm. also some of the lowest spread on exchanging cash. great country for traveller.
currently in South Africa and have been "quoted" rates of 5-12$ by ATM
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Nov 8, 2017
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I get charged 3$ from BMO in Spain , the UK, I haven't noticed any other charges. In Morroco it was 5$.

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