Barclays ATMs in England - fee question

Apr 21st, 2014, 09:12 AM
  #21  
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Thanks, janisj. I think my brain is beginning to understand this. One of our banks doesn't charge any fee for ATM use out-of-network as long as we meet certain requirements each month (e.g., # of debit card transactions, a direct deposit, etc.). So the question becomes whether that will be any different when we're in England. I'll report back when I know that answer.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 10:39 AM
  #22  
 
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There is a difference in bank ATMs and commercial ATMs. The former will not charge you. The latter - which will be marked and found in public places DO charge - since this is a business and that is their profit.

So just know which type of ATM you are using.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 11:59 AM
  #23  
 
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The answer to this should be no. Out of network is out of network without regard to the situs of the ATM terminal. If you get a different answer, please tell us.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 02:07 PM
  #24  
 
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When I wrote "let your bank at home do the conversion" I didn't mean to imply that someone from the bank customer service staff would sit down and work out the exchange rate for your £ withdrawal. This is all done automatically, and I can check a few minutes later in my online account to see what rate I was charged.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 03:37 PM
  #25  
 
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Some of these questions come up all the time. In one of the few decent things the shared teller networks of cirrus and plus have done is to prohibit banks from charging debit or ATM cards issued out of country any fees on their part. Thus Barclays in the UK or Lloyds or RBS or National Westminster or whatever will not charge an American credit card any fees for use of your card intheir machines. However, your bank might. For example, Bank of America will not charge a fee if you use Barclays as it is part of their preferred network but will charge a $5 fee for cash withdrawals (they might give 1 free a billing cycle although I'm not sure) at say a Loyd's. Bank of America has also recently instituted a 3% ftf (foreign transaction fee) on cash withdrawals, even from Barclay's on their debit or ATM cards. As with so much else, many local credit unions have low or no fees for these withdrawals.

Now while indeed it is conventional wisdom that you don't use a credit card for a cash withdrawal from an ATM because interest accrues from the moment the cash hits your fingers, the interest while as high as 18% to 24% is computed on a daily basis and in a pinch, if you withdraw $100 equivalent say if your ATM card suddenly gets swallowed or is compromised and you have no choice and you repay it when you get home at the end of the month, the interest would be something like $1.50, a small price to pay if you're desperate. The problem with cash advances on credit cards in a pinch is not the interest; as noted it is manageable. It is the fees and if you read the fee structure, it might be as much as 5% or more of the amount advanced in addition to the interest. That's where it can become somewhat more expensive. I was just checking today and I believe Andrews FCU, a very popular card, has no additional fee if you are forced by circumstances to use its credit card for a cash withdrawal. Moral of the story, while conventional wisdom is correct that usually it is very expensive to use a credit card for an ATM withdrawal, every bank has different policies and there are some that actually have somewhat benevolent policies for their cutomers.

Also while it is conventional wisdom to notify card issuers of your plans, that is no guarantee you won't get a phone call or find your card has been blocked. Some banks are now telling their customers not to bother notifying them that the notificatons have no effect on their programming and when they see a change in your charging practice, some action may be initiated by the bank's computers. Other banks insist you call before hand.
xyz123 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:39 PM
  #26  
 
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Should have said the British banks will not charge an American debit or ATM card if used in their machines in the UK. Sorry.
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 07:31 AM
  #27  
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Thank you all for your advice, support and patience. Both of our banks insist that we will be charged no fee other than the 1% Visa/Mastercard fee for using our debit cards at out-of-network ATMs. Although both charge non-customers for using their ATMs, they don't charge their own customers for out-of-network ATM use.

If this is true, and UK banks don't charge non-customers for ATM use, we should be all set!

For anyone who remains suspicious (as I do), we have responses from both banks in writing.
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 07:36 AM
  #28  
 
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>>If this is true, and UK banks don't charge non-customers for ATM use, we should be all set!<<

Even if they ARE wrong - no big deal. Any fees are likely to be very small ($3 or less) and in the grand scheme of things nothing really. Great if they don't assess fees . . . Totally OK if they do. Now relax and enjoy your trip
janisj is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 08:12 AM
  #29  
 
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As an ordinary customer of a British bank, I can confirm that I can use any cash machine (what we call ATMs) operated by any bank in the U.K. and will not be charged a fee. That is the arrangement that the banks have made between themselves.

That is the context in which U.K. banks work, so it would not be unusual if they applied the same policy to cards from other countries.
chartley is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 09:33 AM
  #30  
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Thanks, Janis. I'm bringing a notebook so I'll be able to repay the kindness of fodorites with an exhaustive trip report.

Chartley, thank you for the confirmation. UK banks seem very civilized compared to ours!
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:20 AM
  #31  
 
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Don't worry they make their money in other ways - they're banks not charities!
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Apr 28th, 2014, 10:51 PM
  #32  
 
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Many banks in the USA don't charge the nuisance $2 to $3 for European cards used here. (None of them used to, but I think some have broken ranks.)
drlaz is offline  
Apr 29th, 2014, 12:47 AM
  #33  
 
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Bank of America and Barclays are partners so there is no fee charged for either. You will pay foreign conversion fee unless your B of A card dos not charge for conversion. Mine does not!
Avalon2 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2014, 12:49 AM
  #34  
 
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not reading carefully this early. Sorry your card is not B of A!!SORRY!
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Apr 29th, 2014, 01:00 AM
  #35  
 
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I would double-check that as BoA has recently changed how it deals with partner banks.
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Apr 29th, 2014, 01:49 AM
  #36  
 
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sofarsogood -- we were interested in Barclays only because we figured they'd have ATMs in the most locations.>>

not necessarily. in Cornwall, Lloyds seems to have the most coverage in out of the way places. but any of the "Big 4" - Lloyds, HSBC, NatWest, and Barclays plus co-op, RBS, TSB, will all oblige.

have a great trip!
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Apr 29th, 2014, 06:49 AM
  #37  
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Thank you, annhig! I hope to stop obsessing over every detail once we're on the plane!
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Apr 29th, 2014, 07:06 AM
  #38  
 
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Bring both debit cards, maybe each of you carry one. And avoid Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) ATMs. One of those kept my card last year -- for no known reason. I had to make a long-distance call to cancel the card.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 29th, 2014, 07:41 AM
  #39  
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Thanks for the warning, Mimar. We'll arrive well-equipped with cards and avoid RBS!
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Apr 29th, 2014, 11:10 AM
  #40  
 
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drlaz...If a transacion with a European card used in an American ATM clears through PLUS or CIRRUS, then no fee is supposed to be charged as these two shared teller networks prohibit banks from charging fees on ATM withdrawals using out of country cards. However, some banks are now clearing these withdrawals through other networks which have no such prohibition.
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