Bank ATM questions for England

Jul 18th, 2010, 11:33 AM
  #21  
 
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I generally withdrew 250, but might have withdrawn 200, never anything in between. There is more than one rate when it comes to exchanges. Witness the postings in the currency exchange offices. It is not clear which rate BofA used, but it clearly does not correspond to the rate posted by xe.com for that day.
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Jul 18th, 2010, 11:35 AM
  #22  
 
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"There is more than one rate when it comes to exchanges. Witness the postings in the currency exchange offices.

Exactly - those are the "buy" and "sell" rates I mentioned a couple of times.
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Jul 18th, 2010, 01:24 PM
  #23  
 
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Bank of America imposes a five dollar fee per transaction. Many other banks do not. This is one reason I do not have any interest in Bank of America. I do not want to have to search for partner banks abroad. With my Charles Schwab check card, not only is there no transaction fee, but they refund any fee charged by the bank operating the ATM (which is not an issue in Europe, as the ATMs there do not charge fees for their use by foreign ATM cards).
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Jul 19th, 2010, 07:28 PM
  #24  
 
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Wow, is there a lot of misunderstanding and half truth information in the prior postings except for Janisj. Part of it may be not using the same terms with the same meanings. Lets take it a step at a time.

The rate given by xe and other sources is generally called the "interbank rate". That rate applies to million, billions of currency that change hand every day and that rate changes nearly every second. So a posted rate is often the average for the prior 24 hours.

All debit and credit cards process through a network -- Plus, Cirrus, etc. The network established the first rate and it will be within .oox of the interbank rate. To that rate the networks add a fee of about 1% or a little less and that becomes the basis for the exchange rate for debit and credit cards. For all practical purposes that is the lowest exchange rate that the average person can get. That is the rate you will see reported on your statements. And it should within one percent of the post rates on xe or other sites for that day.

After that it is strictly your card issuer who determines what additional fees are added. You can not, will not receive a "better" exchange rate at one bank over another or a better rate if you are a customer, etc. It is all equal. The playing field is very level when comes to exchange rate for debit and credit cards. Money exchange bureaus and money exchange bureaus' ATMs are free to post any exchange rate that they want to and they do. That is why it is also very critical that you use a bank ATM.
fmpden is online now  
Jul 19th, 2010, 07:50 PM
  #25  
 
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PS ---- There is absolutely no way someone would be charged 23% to exchange money at a bank ATM. Or as someone claimed on another site that she was charge 27% because it was costing her $1.27 to get one Euro. An outside possibility would be a private ATM or an exchange bureau ATM but that is high even for those guys. Second, I have never seen a private ATM but have read reports of private ATMs in England.
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Jul 19th, 2010, 07:57 PM
  #26  
 
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fmpden,

Generally I do not disagree with you, but please explain how I paid 3.51% less than the rate posted on xe.com when the charge normally would be equal to or 1% above that rate because of the Visa conversion charge?
Michael is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 02:20 AM
  #27  
 
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Below is a post trip [Sep09] analysis of the exchange rates I received/paid withdrawing cash from various bank ATMs using my credit union checking account VISA debit card. Since there is no way of knowing what the exchange rate was at the time of the withdrawal, I used the average daily interbank rate from http://www.oanda.com/currency/historical-rates for comparison purposes. You can draw your own conclusions but it appears to me that the exchange rate received/paid was probably the interbank rate at the time of the withdrawal.

Amt ... Amt$$ ... RatePd .... OANDA ... PDvsOANDA
200£ .. 326.60 .. 1.63300 .. 1.63160 .... 0.09%
100£ .. 162.91 .. 1.62910 .. 1.63970 ... -0.65%
300£ .. 489.95 .. 1.63317 .. 1.63970 ... -0.40%
200€ .. 289.31 .. 1.44655 .. 1.44210 .... 0.31%
300€ .. 436.65 .. 1.45550 .. 1.45200 .... 0.24%
300€ .. 435.90 .. 1.45300 .. 1.45640 ... -0.23%
300€ .. 438.32 .. 1.46107 .. 1.45780 .... 0.22%
300€ .. 438.62 .. 1.46207 .. 1.46210 .... 0.00%
300€ .. 441.05 .. 1.47017 .. 1.46870 .... 0.10%
300€ .. 442.36 .. 1.47453 .. 1.47280 .... 0.12%
300€ .. 441.39 .. 1.47130 .. 1.47160 ... -0.02%
freetoroam is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 05:03 AM
  #28  
 
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I cannot help feeling that some people are fretting too much about this, and worrying that they are being charged too much for foreign currency. As the chart above shows, the difference between the ATM rate and the daily interbank rate is really very small. If you travel, you will need to change money one way or another, and the cost of doing that is just one of the costs of travel.

My own experience is that there are usually no problems using an ATM. Sometimes they don't work, maybe just for your card, maybe for everyone's card, including those of locals. In that case, try another machine. Don't let your stock of cash get too low, and if you can arrive in a country with a supply of that country's currency, so much the better.

Bureaux de change may not offer good rates, and may charge a high commission, but if you arrive in Prague with a purse full of Polish Zloty, you have little choice but to change them. They are otherwise souvenirs of your trip, or waste paper.

If you are in Britain, you will find private ATMs that charge a fee - usually a flat rate under £2. These ATMs are in places lime pubs, convenience stores and motorway service stations. Don't use them unless you have to.
chartley is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 06:53 AM
  #29  
 
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.....but please explain how I paid 3.51% less than the rate posted on xe.com .....

Probably unexplainable IF that truly happened. There could have been error in the base exchange rate but mostly likely some type of reporting error with XE. Have you compared XE rate on that date with another exchange sites? I could almost guarantee that no bank is going to lose money on an exchange conversion. Even the above chart of rates should the problem with trying to determine the exact exchange. The percentage markup should be uniform and it is when it is applied. But it literally applied hundred of times each day and it is always possible that it was applied when there was a spike up or down on the exchange rate.

The bottom line stays the same -- A debit card at an ATM will always give you the lowest exchange rate possible at that given moment. It is the easiest and most convenient way to obtain local currency when traveling.
fmpden is online now  
Jul 20th, 2010, 08:07 AM
  #30  
 
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I gave the relevant figures. You can test it yourself.
Michael is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 11:06 AM
  #31  
 
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"I gave the relevant figures. You can test it yourself."

Sorry if I have my doubts -- but you also stated you aren't sure how much you withdrew. 'Could have been €200 or €250 since they are the only amounts I ever withdraw'. You could just as easily double clicked the 2 for €220 (or €210 or any amount since you do not have the receipt)

It is like trying to do a math problem when the teacher left page two in the printer . . . . .
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Jul 20th, 2010, 12:21 PM
  #32  
 
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Possibly, but I doubt it. For one thing, anything above 200€ must be entered manually, and if I thought I withdrew 250€ but actually withdrew 220€ or 230€, it would be proof that I am losing my mind (which is a possibility, but somewhat remote) because all 6 transactions for the month of May reflect the same anomalous 3+% less than the xe.com posting.

All I was trying to say, with figures on hand, is that it appears that withdrawing cash from a partner bank ATM is more advantageous than other "zero" cost offers. Generally I am not a fan of BofA and what I consider its usurious practices, and do not use its ATM card except at a partner bank ATM.
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Jul 20th, 2010, 12:35 PM
  #33  
 
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I am sorry Michael but you need to repeat sixth grade math.

In your own words ------
,,,,,,,,On May 10 I withdrew 250€, for which I was charged $318.19. This represents a -3.51% fee (a May 7 withdrawal is similar).,,,,,,

The May 10th withdrawal - $318.19/250E equals $1.27. According to XE the Euro closed that day at $1,28. On May 7th, the Euro closed at $1.26. So where are you getting a -3.5% or the idea that you should have been charged $337.40 or $1.35. Using your own references I cannot get close to what you were reporting.
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Jul 20th, 2010, 12:42 PM
  #34  
 
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I am a little lost here - someone is going to travel and pay maybe £500 for a ticket but lose sleep over which bank to use in order that they save £3.50 in conversion rates.

In think fmpden answered the question first time round.
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Jul 20th, 2010, 01:04 PM
  #35  
 
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yanumpty

Go to the ATM 6 or 7 times and yoiu have saved enough money for a decent meal in provincial France if not in England.

fmpden

I was using xe.com charge calculator because I could not find their listing of the exchange rate for a previous month, and there they list the mid-market euro to dollar rate at 1.349, not 1.26. The percentages are theirs according to what I "paid" in euros and what my bank charged me in dollars. I may be weak in math, but in this instance I only supplied the raw figures and did no calculations.
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Jul 20th, 2010, 01:26 PM
  #36  
 
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Have no idea what the mid-market rate means but cannot be 1.35 in May unless it was May 09. Before you start quoting numbers and jumping to conclusions you should make sure your numbers are correct.

During May 10 the Euro ranged from a high of $1.33 on May 1 to a low of $1.22 on May 19 and closed at a $1.23 on May 30. This is all from your reference site -- XE.
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Jul 20th, 2010, 02:10 PM
  #37  
 
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fmpden,

I'm embarrassed and you're right. It's not my math, but my clicking. I think that working on my April trip while posting about May prices led me to click on the wrong month. I did report it as an anomaly and should have known better since a few years ago I compared BofA withdrawals and Credit Union ATM card withdrawals from the same BNP branch within minutes of each other and the charges were just about the same.
Michael is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 05:09 PM
  #38  
 
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That makes some sense since it was a $1.35 on April 10. But I am also suspicious of your claim for a 23% charge on a later withdraw.
fmpden is online now  
Jul 20th, 2010, 05:16 PM
  #39  
 
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I was not claiming 23%, but rather saying that it might be that if I withdrew only 200€, leaving the issue in doubt. But then I thought this impossible, and that if the BofA actually had such usurious rates, I would have read about it.

Here's my original statement:

The alternative (I did not keep by French withdrawal receipts) is a charge of 23.63% on a 200€ withdrawal. As bad as BofA is on tacking on excessive fees, I doubt that they would charge that much
Michael is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 07:17 PM
  #40  
 
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OK -- bad clicking, bad math, and questionable syntax

I guess we can safely put this issue to bed. I only hope we haven't hopelessly confused girlonthego . . . .
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