Barclays ATMs in England - fee question

Apr 21st, 2014, 07:25 AM
  #1  
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Barclays ATMs in England - fee question

Yet another ATM question.

We will be traveling with a local U.S. bank's debit card (not Bank of America). The bank does not charge an International transaction fee, so we'll have the 1% Visa conversion fee + whatever the ATM bank charges.

This morning in an online chat, we asked a Barclays' customer service person the charge for using a Barclays' ATM. His response was "Since you will be using an American debit card to withdraw cash from Barclays ATM, it will be the American bank, who issued the Card, that will be charging you."

In response to the follow-up question "Barclays wouldn't charge a fee for using one of your ATMs?," he responded, "No, Barclays will not charge any fee."

I'm finding this difficult to believe and I'm wondering if we're just not phrasing the question correctly. Does anyone have personal experience with Barclays ATMs?

Thank you!
jhostage is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 07:36 AM
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All ATMs I have used in Europe for years have had no fees themselves, only what your local ATM-issuing bank charges. Would be shocked if Barclays were any different.
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 21st, 2014, 07:38 AM
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Agree with PalenQ. European ATMs won't charge a fee, your financial institution probably will.
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 07:39 AM
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Thanks, PalenQ. I'm confused, though, because I've read other ATM-related posts and people have responded that it costs ~$5 to withdraw cash from an ATM.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 07:41 AM
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The $5 is a charge my local ATM-issuer charges not the foreing ATM - contact your local bank - mine has a $5 flat fee regardless of amount withdrawn - thus take out as much as you can or need at one time - not in small amounts.
\
Sometimes it is better to use credit cards, depending on your card-issuer charges - some charger 3% but few if any have a flat transaction fee - thus use your card everywhere - at McDonalds, etc.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 07:45 AM
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The problem with using a credit card at a ATM is that the interest is typically at a much higher rate, given that it is a cash advance.

FWIW, my credit union charges me $1 and the FOREX fees come to less than 1% of the xe.com rate; however, my German bank charges me 4.95 Euro for not using a network ATM.

So yeah, be sure to check with your financial institution regarding fees.
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 07:45 AM
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My local bank has told me that they charge only the Visa 1% conversion fee and don't charge a foreign transaction fee, but that the foreign bank would charge for using their ATM.
jhostage is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 07:49 AM
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never use a credit card at an ATM (for reasons given above) - use an ATM card.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 07:51 AM
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jhostage, a European bank isn't going to charge you for using their ATM. They either haven't figured it out yet that doing that is free money to them or laws prevent them from doing it.

I think your bank is lying to you. I'd get their statement in writing so you can get those ATM fees refunded when they show up.
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 07:56 AM
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Thanks, sparkchaser. So, assuming what they've told us is true, all we have to worry about is the 1% conversion fee--no Int'l transaction fee and no ATM fee. I think getting it in writing is a good idea!

For what it's worth, we won't be using a credit card to withdraw money at ATMs--just our checking account debit cards.
jhostage is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 07:58 AM
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UK banks do not charge fees at ATMs, so why restrict yourself to Barclays?

The only ATMs in the UK that levy fees are those not owned by banks. These are found at locations such as convenience stores and fees are clearly displayed.

Any costs associated with getting your money out of your account while overseas from a bank-owned ATM in the UK are levied by your bank. If your bank doesn't do that then your in a win-win situation.

And reading your latest post it's clear you're receiving conflicting information from your bank and Barclays. Who to believe? Unfortunately, your bank is misinformed.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 08:00 AM
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Be sure to tell you card issuing banks exactly what countries you are going to - if not they may IME block transactions as a security thing - I always tell them what countries I am going to be using my cards in and say that is all - none other - too many stories of card numbers being deftly stolen with things like mirrors above machines, etc and charges showing up from Romanian banks, etc.
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 21st, 2014, 08:02 AM
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The only ATMs in the UK that levy fees are those not owned by banks.

That's a really good point. Using a non-bank ATM should always be the last resort. This applies to ReiseBank ATMs as well (they give horrible exchange rates).
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 08:06 AM
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Thanks, everyone.

PalenQ - yes, we've given our banks the travel dates and specific locations so our transactions won't be blocked. I appreciate the reminder.

sofarsogood -- we were interested in Barclays only because we figured they'd have ATMs in the most locations. We won't limit ourselves, but will be avoiding non-bank ATMs. So, I guess the question for our local banks is, "In addition to the 1% conversion fee, do you charge a fee for use of a non-local bank ATM?" Thank you for your help!
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Apr 21st, 2014, 08:25 AM
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<>

Your local bank is ignorant.

European banks don't charge for using the ATMs. If you use an ATM at a private business (e.g., at a pub), the local business itself may charge. That's different.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 08:35 AM
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I live in the UK, but have an American debit card. I have never been charged a fee for using an ATM from any UK bank, and usually make two or three withdrawals each week. I just use whichever ATM is handy: Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, or whatever — it makes no difference.

One thing to avoid: many ATMs will give you a choice of charging the transaction in £ or converting to your home currency. If you let the ATM convert into $ you will pay a higher rate. This is called Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC), and is also offered by some merchants when you make a purchase with a credit card. It may seem helpful to know exactly what you are paying in dollars, but you end up paying more with DCC. Always choose £ and let your bank at home do the conversion.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 08:44 AM
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IME seldom do US bank customer service staff know anything about foreign exchange, foreign ATMs or anything else outside of the 50 US states. One of my personal bankers (a district vice president) has no idea. And she travels a fair amount. And tellers/phone agents know even less.

My banks and credit union variously charge $1, $1.50, $3, $5 and zero. So whether your bank does or doesn't charge isn't definite. Which bank is it? There will be other fodorites who bank w/ them and will know if they charge ATM fees over seas.

And no - machines in the UK won't assess a fee -- if there is a fee, that will solely come from your bank.
janisj is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 08:47 AM
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Janisj has my experience exactly, US bankers struggle with the outside world, I've had too many deals founder over the years because even the large ones are so inwardly focused so I always assume they will get it wrong and have never been let down. A bit like the Portugeuse really.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 09:04 AM
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Thank you, Heimdall, for the DCC advice. Extremely helpful!

janisj, I'm pretty sure no fodorites bank with my banks, both of which are very small, western Massachusetts savings banks. Just in case, though, they're Florence Savings Bank (FSB) and Greenfield Savings Bank (GSB).

Perhaps we haven't been asking the right question, because we've been framing it as an International issue. It may not have anything to do with using a foreign ATM, but using ANY non-FSB or GSB ATM. Thanks to you, bigruss, and bilboburgler, I'll go forward under the assumption that my banks may know even less than I do!
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Apr 21st, 2014, 09:08 AM
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>>It may not have anything to do with using a foreign ATM, but using ANY non-FSB or GSB ATM<<

Yes - what do your banks charge when you use an out-of-network ATM at home? More than likely it will be the same in the UK . . plus the 1%.
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