ATM and Currency Conversion Fees: A Hidden Cost of Traveling

ATM and Currency Conversion Fees: A Hidden Cost of Traveling

When travelling overseas you will quickly learn that ATM and Currency fees add up. Here’s what you need to know about these fees and how to avoid them.

  1. Know your bank’s policy: Before traveling, make sure to familiarize yourself with your bank’s policy on ATM fees. Some banks charge a fee for using ATMs outside of their network, while others don’t.
  2. Avoid expensive ATMs: In many regions there are companies that operate ATM machines as their main business. These machines are usually placed in convenience stores, tourist hotspots, or attractions. Rather than being a bank to offer services, they gain revenue by charging extortionate fees to get cash out. When picking an ATM to use, select a reputable banking company.
  3. Use ATMs affiliated with your bank: To avoid ATM fees, try to use ATMs affiliated with your bank. These ATMs won’t charge a fee, and you’ll also get a better exchange rate.
  4. Consider a travel debit card: Some travel debit cards don’t charge ATM fees, even when using ATMs abroad. Consider using one of these cards for your travels to save money on ATM fees.
  5. Plan ahead: Before traveling, make sure to withdraw enough cash to last you for a few days. This way, you won’t have to withdraw money as frequently and will save money on ATM fees.
  6. Select local currency on EFTPOS machines: When using a foreign card to pay for a bill, you may be presented with an option to either pay in the local currency or your cards currency. You may be better off using the local rate. This is because the conversion rate used will be in line with your banks payment card network processor (eg: Visa, Mastercard) exchange rate. If you select the non-local currency, an unfavorable exchange rate will be charged likely in excess of any banks currency conversion fee.

In conclusion, ATM fees can be a significant expense when traveling. By being aware of your bank’s policy and taking steps to avoid ATM fees, you can save money and enjoy your travels to the fullest.

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