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Is it cheaper to exchange money via ATM though a debit or credit card?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 19th, 2018 3:41 pm
[OP]
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Jul 26, 2012
1147 posts
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Is it cheaper to exchange money via ATM though a debit or credit card?

Planning to go to China soon. Is it cheaper to exchange money via ATM though a debit or credit card?
I currently have a tangerine debit card and a rogers Rogers Platinum Mastercard.
Which one would be cheaper to exchange? Or would exchanging it at the bank of china be cheaper?
9 replies
Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
18709 posts
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GTA West
I used Tangerine debit in China. Just eat the $2.00 fee as it is still MUCH cheaper than getting RMB domestically. The rate you get at ATMs is excellent.
Don't go to physical currency exchanges in China, it's a huge hassle and takes much time.

Also, get around 1000 RMB in Canada first, just in case you can't find a working ATM at the airport. You never know if they will have technical problems, run out of RMB, very long lineups, etc.

Some people will advise preloading the Rogers MC to avoid interest on the cash advance, and avoiding the $2.00 fee.
Don't do it. If you are a victim of fraud, you aren't covered for overpaid account balances. (And good luck disputing fraud originating in China, when you were actually in China).
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Sr. Member
Mar 9, 2014
639 posts
648 upvotes
Ottawa
I recommend STACK. You can search the thread on RFD about it offering free Netflix for a year too. No ATM fees and no currency exchange fees. Of course, do bring other cards in case STACK doesn't work. You also need to use STACK in Canada at least once before using it abroad, otherwise the PIN won't activate.
[OP]
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Jul 26, 2012
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Jucius Maximus wrote:
Oct 6th, 2018 1:34 pm
I used Tangerine debit in China. Just eat the $2.00 fee as it is still MUCH cheaper than getting RMB domestically. The rate you get at ATMs is excellent.
Don't go to physical currency exchanges in China, it's a huge hassle and takes much time.

Also, get around 1000 RMB in Canada first, just in case you can't find a working ATM at the airport. You never know if they will have technical problems, run out of RMB, very long lineups, etc.

Some people will advise preloading the Rogers MC to avoid interest on the cash advance, and avoiding the $2.00 fee.
Don't do it. If you are a victim of fraud, you aren't covered for overpaid account balances. (And good luck disputing fraud originating in China, when you were actually in China).
Is the tangerine debit card better than the rogers CC?
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taeyang987 wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 7:37 pm
Is the tangerine debit card better than the rogers CC?
Depends on your needs and intended application.

Based on your first post, I say Tangerine is better.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Sr. Member
Jul 30, 2007
972 posts
321 upvotes
BC
Any one have experience with Taiwan specifically? I'm in a similar boat as OP (have Tangerine debit and Rogers MC). On prior trips to other countries, I've just exchanged money before departing, but considering using a foreign ATM this time around as it might be cheaper and/or more convenient.

Does the type of ATM matter in determining the fees? (i.e. convenience store vs. bank-branded)
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schmoey wrote:
Oct 19th, 2018 2:39 pm
Any one have experience with Taiwan specifically? I'm in a similar boat as OP (have Tangerine debit and Rogers MC). On prior trips to other countries, I've just exchanged money before departing, but considering using a foreign ATM this time around as it might be cheaper and/or more convenient.

Does the type of ATM matter in determining the fees? (i.e. convenience store vs. bank-branded)
Most Taiwan ATMs charge NT$100 (~CAD $4) to withdraw foreign currency.
I have been researching this myself as I might do some Taiwan tourism next year.
The CAD is not well recognized for forex in TW, so it may be more efficient to get USD $100 bills at a specialist exchange shop in Canada and then exchange that at the airport in TW.

Edit: This article is pretty helpful, and also identifies Taishin International Bank's ATMs in Family Mart as having no fees:
http://blog.myroomabroad.com/best-way-w ... ey-taiwan/
Last edited by Jucius Maximus on Oct 19th, 2018 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jul 14, 2006
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I've been to Taiwan (Taipei) a few times and can offer the following advice:

Currency Exchange booths exist at both Taoyuan and Songshan airports with reasonable hours. It sucks if you take the EVA flight from YYZ to TPE because it lands at 5am and the booths don't open until 8am. If you're in Taipei, Songshan airport is on the MRT line and can be reached easily. The rate there isn't great, but it's not horrid either.
On the street, the only place you're going to do currency exchange is at the bank branches which are open during normal bank hours and closed on weekends. I haven't used them myself so I can't comment on the rate you get or what fees, if any, are applied.
Corner stores are everywhere so 7-11 ATM is a viable option.

Normally I do the exchange here ahead of the trip, and use my bank's debit card as a backup. If you have a friend that works for one of the banks here the staff exchange rates are pretty good.
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Currency Exchange booths exist at both Taoyuan and Songshan airports with reasonable hours. It sucks if you take the EVA flight from YYZ to TPE because it lands at 5am and the booths don't open until 8am.
[/quote]

Latest info I found is that Taoyuan airport's BoT currency exchange is 24 hours:
Bank Of Taiwan (24 hours Currency Exchange)
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