ATM fees - $2 + 2% - Is this the norm?

Oct 10th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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ATM fees - $2 + 2% - Is this the norm?

I did not read all the posts about the ATM fees before I made the trip to Europe last month because last year I was charged $2 per withdrawal. This year, they charged me 2% of the amount of my withdrawal plus $2 per each withdrawal except the first two which were free.
georgiegirl is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 06:32 PM
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We just returned from a 3-week trip to Germany & Austria. Our bank, Chase, charges 3% + $3 per ATM transaction. It sucks, but most credit cards also a charge 3% fee.
bettyk is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 07:39 PM
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Henry is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 09:47 PM
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I pay $0.00 per withdrawal and 1% foreign exchange fee through both BofA and my local credit union.

To get $0 fee with BofA I use partner banks in whatever country I'm traveling.
J62 is online now  
Oct 10th, 2007, 10:28 PM
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It really depends on your bank. "The network" (Visa,M/C, Cirrus, Plus) charge 1% to pay the European bank in Euro and collect from a US bank in $. However, they charge a little less (0.8%) just for the transaction entirely in Euro. So, large banks, like Chase or Wells Fargo, which have foreign currency operations, pay the 0.8% "cross border transaction fee" and then charge you 3% for the currency exchange (thiefs).

I use a local Denver bank that has no foreign currency op. They pass on the 1% network fee - that's it. On Oct. 9 I paid $492.49 plus $4.92 for €350.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 12:17 AM
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I asked my bank just yesterday the same question. The Suntrust bank here in Fl, (it's in Wash.D.C. too) charges $2.50 per transaction, not a percentage-just straight fee.
virgi is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 12:35 AM
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We are in France now and are using our SunTrust ATM card and they are charging $5.00 for international transactions. They have no bank with whom they have reciprocity like B of A has. I asked before we left. So you might recheck and see if you were given correct info. However , we have a longstanding account and are charged no other fees so its basically a free checking and ATM services so it's hard to complain when they just charge an international transaction fee. We therefore just make larger and fewer withdrawals. In April they only charged $2.50 for each transaction. It may also depend on what kind of account you have with your bank.
Laidback is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 04:29 AM
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Compass Bank - free checking, no ATM charges, 1% visa foreign curr trans fee. for ATM withdrawals (2% if used for purchases).

Credit card (not for ATM use) - Capital One Mastercard, 0% foreign curr trans fee
Travelnut is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 04:51 AM
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HSBC: No charge for withdrawals, but their 1% conversion fee will be increased in a few days to 3%--just in time for my trip!
ellenem is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 05:07 AM
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I'm leaving on Sunday. I get Euros before I leave..acceptable exchange rate from my bank. I acquired a Capital One credit card to use with no fees. I take other credit cards with me, but will use the Capital One at least most of the time.
gracejoan3 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 05:34 AM
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Thank you Henry. There is no Bank of America in my city. I have banked with this institution since 1971. Wachovia took over last year. They told me that Visa made them charge the customer this 2% fee. I am wondering whether if one has a debit card, not check card, one might pay just $2 per withdrawal. However, nowadays, the bank automatically issues check card with either visa or MC logo. Since I don't travel overseas but once a year, I will have to accept these fees.
georgiegirl is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 05:50 AM
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My daughter is studying abroad in Spain. (Well she's traveling and having a blast and, oh BTW, also attending some classes .) We just switched her bank account from Wachovia to our local credit union. The ATM fees from Wachovia amounted to 3.6% and the credit union fees are under 1.3%. It pays to shop.
kareng is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Hi G,

My bank charges only 75cts/withdrawal.

ira is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 06:30 AM
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Lucky you, Ira.
Another option is to open an account at the credit union in my city about 6 months before I travel. When I retired in 1998, I closed the account there because they have few branches and the one nearest to my home is not convenient.
georgiegirl is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 07:09 AM
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Yes, credit unions usually just charge you just the 1% over the bank rate. With no fee for withdrawal. I actually have 2 credit union accounts for travel. So 2 ATM cards and 2 credit cards, accepted everywhere.
Mimar is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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OK, I guess one important point that has been overlooked here is the actual rate that you get from your bank after all the charges are added. Obviously, some banks may not charge you a percentage or transaction fee but there actual conversion rate may stink.

From my account at Chase, where I was charged 3% as well as $3 per transaction, I withdrew 1500E over a 3 week period beginning 13 Sept and ending on 1 Oct. With all fees, my average rate of exchange equalled 1.459.
bettyk is offline  
Oct 11th, 2007, 08:44 AM
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This is a timely post as I am having some issues with my own bank on this, much to my surprise.

I don't think the rate is really that different, and I don't think the bank sets the rate, but the international network they use -- which is usually VISA, I believe.

My bank doesn't charge me any flat fee per withdrawal, but this summer I found out they were now charging me about a 3 pct add-on (to the interbank rate). This was new, I didn't think they ever did this before and I checked my prior bank statements and it used to be only zero to one percent addon up until this year. I don't do it enough to know exactly when it changed, but it was sometime between Aug 2006 and this summer.

I checked my records and was sent no notice of this whatsoever; I did get a notice they were raising VISA debit card foreign transactions to plus 3 pct in May 2005. I don't have a debit card, only an ATM card and there was no notice on ATM cards. Also, I know it didn't change on my card in May 2005, only this year.

My bank swears up and down that they are not doing this 3 pct charge, that "it's the other bank" and "we aren't making anything off this." I don't believe them from everything I've read on here, as well as the fact that it never used to be on there. Also, it doesn't make sense if they sent a notice about the Visa debit cards to say for ATM cards, they aren't doing it. If anything were true, I think it would be that the network is doing it, not the other bank. I think it is still a VISA network on the ATM cards, PLUS, doing the transaction.

I suspect it's the PLUS network and they negligently (and perhaps illegally) did not notify owners of ATM cards, only the Visa debit cards. It's not itemized on my banking statement, either, it's in the exchange rate. Before I go further with them, does anyone know if there could be any truth at all to their statment that it's the other bank doing this? Or even if it's the Visa network doing it. Everything I've ever read has said that Visa only charges one percent, not 3. I don't know what happens when it isn't a Visa debit card but just the PLUS network.
Christina is online now  
Oct 11th, 2007, 07:16 PM
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I came up to $1.45 per euro also. Basically, I used 1.50, in my head, to calculate the price. In conclusion, a lot of things were cheaper in Europe, in my standard. Still, a question to experts, you don't think it is cheaper to oreder euro in advance from your local bank before leaving the country? I might test it one day by calling the bank up pretending to order some euro to go. I will report back.
georgiegirl is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 04:46 AM
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Hi C,

>...does anyone know if there could be any truth at all to their statment that it's the other bank doing this? <

I doubt it.

As best I know, when you take out money from an ATM in, say Italy, the bank only knows that you want to withdraw X Euro.

The Italian bank's computer tells your bank's computer of your request. If your card is legitimate, the Italian bank gives you your money and tells your bank's computer that it did so.

Your bank then debits your account Y USD.

How it arrived at Y from X is solely the policy of your bank.

If you weren't notified of the policy change, I think that you have a nice class action law suit.

You will get about $10,000. All of the other people in your class will get about $1.25, and the lawyers will get $20,000,000.

ira is offline  
Oct 12th, 2007, 04:53 AM
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Pardon my stupidity, but what is the difference between a credit union and a bank? I see them everywhere, but have never banked with one.
girlonthego is online now  

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