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ATM Withdrawal or Bank Currency Exchange in Hong Kong?

ATM Withdrawal or Bank Currency Exchange in Hong Kong?

Jul 4th, 2005, 09:14 PM
  #1  
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ATM Withdrawal or Bank Currency Exchange in Hong Kong?

Is it better to withdraw money using a U.S. debit card from a Hong Kong ATM machine or to go to a bank there to exchange U.S dollars for Hong Kong dollars? Any advice would be welcome, thanks!
vrite is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 02:17 AM
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There will be a service charge when you withdraw money from ATM machine in HK. However, if bank of your debit card has branches in HK, charge will be waived (in general) when using their machines. You need to check with your bank in U.S.

To exchange currency in banks of HK, there is no service charge. However, when the exchange amount is over US1000, you need to pay service charge. So, you better check with the service desk before queuing up. Hope this help.

sk_whong is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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Not sure which is the better method. But as with most banks around the world, the banks in HK DO charge a fee for exchanging money.
BigJim is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 08:56 AM
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I find it easiest and most convenient to use an ATM. None of the HK ATMs I used charged a fee, but my own bank charges US$2 for each use of a foreign ATM. Thus, I try to take out a week's worth of cash at a time. Some banks charge nothing for using a foreign ATM, others charge US$5 or more. Check with your bank.
Kathie is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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Thanks all for your advice! My US bank is a credit union that does not have a Hong Kong branch and they told me they charge 1 percent from foreign ATM withdrawal if I use my debit card. Will the Hong Kong bank whose ATM machine I use also charge a fee?
vrite is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 12:54 PM
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vrite - The bank in Hong Kong will not charge you any fees for using their machines. Your only cost will be from your own credit union.

Overall, it's definitely cheaper to use an ATM than exchanging money from a live person.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 02:04 PM
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Thanks rkkwan! Do you know what is the maximum HK$ amount that a Hong Kong ATM will allow you to withdraw at one time? Is it advantageous to withdraw this max amount at one time or it really doesn't matter if you withdraw using US debit card a little at a time? Also, do you know which ATM (that is compatible with PLUS or STAR) is the most convenient to the YMCA Salisbury Hotel (that's where we're booked first week of August)? Or is it OK to use the airport ATM at the airport arrivals area? By the way, rkkkwan, thanks also for your Hong Kong posts and replies which has helped me plan for this trip!
vrite is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 08:26 PM
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Vrite - what city do you live in? The reason I ask is that one of the major banks in HK called HSBC has many branches here in the U.S. What someone recommended to us was to open an account there, and then when we're in HK, withdraw as much as we want with no charge!
BigJim is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 08:38 PM
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I also bank with a Credit Union and the ATM did not work for me in Hong Kong.I changed money at the bank and was charged a very hefty fee. The Bank clerk told me to go to American Express next time which I did and did not have to pay any fee.
Peteralan is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 09:03 PM
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vrite - I don't know for sure the maximum amount one can get out of a ATM each time, or for each day, in Hong Kong. I think I've heard of something like HK$8,000 years ago. That's about US$1,000.

There are ATMs everywhere in Hong Kong, including ATMs of several major banks at the airport - Standard Chartered, Hong Kong Bank, Hang Seng Bank, etc. Both standalone ATMs as well as actual branch. On both the arrival and departure levels. Around YMCA Salisbury, I bet you can find 50 ATM machines within a half-mile radius.

There are two main ATMs system in Hong Kong - one run by Hong Kong Bank and its affiliate Hang Seng Bank. The other is the JETCO machines from basically all other banks. All safe to use. I haven't had problem getting cash with my various ATMs or checkcards in the past - most have the Cirrus or Plus logo on their back, but newer ones are Visa/MC checkcard.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 11:55 PM
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Thanks again, everyone! BigJim, unfortunately, there is no HSBC here in Honolulu. My credit union's debit card is also a visa and they verified that there is a 1% charge for each use in a foreign ATM machine. I have not done any ATM withdrawals in all my past foreign travels --- just currency exchange --- but I heard that it may be better to do ATM withdrawals abroad and wanted to get some advice! Rkkwan, before I read your post, I was told today that there is a HK$3,200 maximum per ATM withdrawal. At this point, I'm not sure if that is too much or just right for 4 nights in HK where I intend to use credit cards for most purchases anyway. If I decide to go the money change route at other times and when necessary, I hope sk_whong is right and there is no bank service charge but I'll make sure to ask!
vrite is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 06:11 AM
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vrite - I actually don't know the exact limit of ATM machines, and I don't know if there's another limit set by your credit union or VISA.

But unless you need to pay for your hotel with cash, you'll be alright with a HK$3,200 daily or per use limit. Credit cards are accepted at many places, though merchants often have a HK$100 or HK$200 minimum CC use.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 11:11 AM
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rkkwan, thanks for alerting me to credit card minimum purchase amount in Hong Kong! I checked with my credit union and was told that the only ATM withdrawal limit is their limit: US$600 per day using foreign ATM. We'll see when I get there... although I don't want to carry that much cash!
vrite is offline  

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