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Foreign ATM use - what does your bank charge.

Foreign ATM use - what does your bank charge.

Old Aug 30th, 2005, 08:13 PM
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Foreign ATM use - what does your bank charge.

After I got home from Ireland in 2002, and found that each time I used the ATM there was a $4.50 charge from my bank, I decided to to some more research before my next Europe trip.

I have accounts at 2 diff banks. :
USBANK - which I have found out charges $1.50 per trans PLUS 2% of the amount. So for a $300 usd withdrawal, I would be charged $7.50 !!

Northshore Bank (I think local to Wisconsin only) has a flat $5 fee for a foreign ATM use, regardless of amount.

What banks do you use? What fees do they charge?

With these fees being so high, I am seriously reconsidering the VISA TRAVELMONEY card for getting cash.

Thanks for any input you may offer.
Debbie
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Old Aug 30th, 2005, 09:43 PM
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USAA Bank which charges the correct fee for the first 15 transactions at an ATM each month namely $0.00 like in free; nobody should be charged to access their money.

The nice thing about the USAA account which would not apply to European ATM transactions is they will rebate the nuisance fees US banks charge on US cardholders for having the audacity to use their machines.
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Old Aug 30th, 2005, 09:48 PM
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"charge" = amount deducted from account minus forein amount * "bank rate"

natwest and hsbc, uk - about £9-10 for a typical equivelent of £250 withdrawal. natwest itimises both the fixed fee (about £3.75-£5) along with the difference with the ex rate charge (about £5). HSBC has a similar charge structure but they do not list the ex rate charge. therefore, your charges appear to be less with HSBC but they are not.

BTW, if you travel for business, it is helpful if your bank lists the ex rate fee so that you can easily claim it.
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Old Aug 30th, 2005, 10:29 PM
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Regional bank in SF area, WestAmerica, has never charged us a cent for any foreign ATM withdrawal.
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Old Aug 30th, 2005, 10:48 PM
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Bof A charges $5 unless the cash is withdrawn from a member bank--BNP in France. My credit union does not charge anything.
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Old Aug 30th, 2005, 11:22 PM
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Apples and Oranges! 'ATMs' charge a fee for their use. The fee is the same regardless of the size of the transaction. House ATMs may not charge their customers this fee. Machine banking is an attempt to eliminate labor costs. Bank conversion rates vary. They are a percentage of the transaction amount. Currency values fluctuate. They are set daily. You can determine your net conversion rate. Add the amount charged in your local currency to the ATM fee and the fee charged for the currency conversion. Divide this amount into the foreign currency amount and you will have your conversion rate on that date. You can compare this rate with posted valuations. You can also check you charge card bill to get conversion rates. Note the price in the foreign currency. Note the billing price. Divide the foreign price by the billed cost. You will then have the conversion rate. Chances are different dates will yield different answers. Use this information to assess different card sources. I also suggest that you query your card company. Simply ask as to how much you will be billed in USA dollars if you draw "X" money in pounds or euros in 'whatever' country. Remember small banks will usually charge more than large banks. These services are unfamiliar to them. There is a special "bank" service that operates between the east and west. Money is deposited with a local operator. Money is drawn from a foreign operator. A really 'savvy' traveler might make contact with a foreign counterpart. You supply local currency without fees when he visits and he supplies you with his currency when you visit! Exchange will be at some agreed basis. It is usually that day's bank rate.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 05:58 AM
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I am not sure my question was clear.
I know and understand the rules for using ATM's while here in the States.

My question was - Is there a Bank with a better FEE schedule for Foreign ATM withdrawals. (the USBANK fees are above and beyond any conversion rates. They Charge an additional 2% on the amount you take out, added to the 'non USBank ATM' fee of 1.50)

Also - I don't think that BoAmerica would work for me - I am going to Spain, not France, but thanks for that tip.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 06:21 AM
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My bank, Fifth Third based in Ohio somewhere, charges nothing for domestice ATM withdrawals. For ATM withdrawals in Europe, however, they charge nothing. AND, the conversion rate is essentially (within 10 cents total, which is probably rounding difference) equal to the end-of-day published inter-bank rate. And I have never encountered a fee from the European bank. Now of course I only use European ATMs displaying the Cirrus or Plus symbols, so maybe that's why. Lest you think this only applied on our trips to Molvania, this was the case in FR, UK, DE, CZ, PO, SK, HU, AT.
OP was right-why should they charge you for accessing your own money? It's yours, not theirs. You don't charge them when they use your checking account balance to borrow 100 times that much from the Federal Reserve to make loans at prime plus X%, do you?
Get a new bank...and tell the old bank why you left.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 06:53 AM
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My credit union charges nothing for ATM cash withdrawals.

Credit unions have been saying, for years, that bnak charges for cash withdrawals are a rip-off and simply another cheap source of revenue for banks, and are not necessary for financial survivial.

What do you think?
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 06:54 AM
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Bank of America, flat fee $5 per international transaction, I take a large amount so I don't do this too often.

I believe (but quite honestly have not done the math on fees, exchange rates, etc.) this still beats any "travel money" preloaded type card.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 06:55 AM
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By the way, my Bank of America account allows me two withdrawals from non-partner banks per month still with no charge. After that there is a $2.00 fee at non-partner banks only. I have an Aadvantage account which doesn't take much and doesn't even involve a cash balance. Check it out. I have an equity credit line with BofA in addition to my checking account, maybe that's why I have it. Lots of other advantages with that account too.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 07:10 AM
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I agree with Intrepid that credit unions are a much better bet than banks. They typically charge either nothing or next to nothing in comparison.

My US credit union charges me nothing to withdraw my money at an ATM here in the West Indies, and I'm only charged 75 cents per withdrawal in Europe.

Maybe you could look into having an account at a credit union for your travels, Debbie.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 07:22 AM
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Hi Debbie

I bank with US Bank also. Is your USBank card one of those with a Visa or Mastercard on it? I just looked at my banking statement from our trip that we took just under two years ago. At that time they charged me $1.25 each time I used the ATM, but they did NOT add any percentage. (When we came home I checked--our credit cards charged an extra 2% though) You will not be charged a fee by banks in Europe for cash withdrawl.

I'm thinking that maybe the reason I didn't pay extra is that my ATM card is just a cash card with no Visa, M/C affiliation.

Here's another thing to consider. You may want to open another account with another bank before your trip and carry two cards. One time we needed some extra cash, so having both ATM cards worked out well. (Plus I consider worse case senarios like "what if on Friday night an ATM machine eats my card!" Having a back up comforts me.) Other people on this forum have asked their bank to increase their daily withdrawl limit while they're on vacation.

In any case, if USBank now wants to charge 2%, I'll just open an account at USAA Bank. Thanks for the suggestion XYZ123.

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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 07:37 AM
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No charges - Patelco Credit Union and First Republic Bank. First Republic Bank refunds any charges by the other bank.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 07:41 AM
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I bank with a relatively small Northern VA Bank - James Monroe Bank - that charges me nothing for ATM withdrawals overseas.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 07:44 AM
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All Visa and Mastercard transactions (including Visa check cards used at ATMs) include a 1% conversion fee that is built into the exchange rate by Visa and MasterCard--regardless of whether you use it as a debit card or credit card. It is not listed as a separate fee, so many people don't realize it's being charged. For example, the current exchange rate for Euros to U.S. dollars is about 1.22. I reserved a hotel room in Paris, paying a 5.60E booking fee, which appears on my credit union statement as $6.96. If you do the math, you see that this is an exchange rate of about 1.24--1.22 plus 1% added by Visa and 1% added by my CU (they used to charge nothing extra, but recently changed their policy). Still, 1% by a credit union much better than the 2 or 3% added by most banks that issue credit cards. My point is, if your card has a Visa or Mastercard logo on it--you ARE being charged at least 1%.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 07:47 AM
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This article may be helpful if you're thinking of switching banks. It lists the fees/percentages added by many large banks.

http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cc/20020513c.asp
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 07:48 AM
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Citibank has never charged us for withdrawals at foreign ATMs, and foreign ATMs rarely, if ever, charged us for using their machines. Back here in the States, we get charged out the wazoo. But in Europe--no charges at all.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 08:01 AM
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Another vote for credit union issued atm/visa cards. I recently switched my Visa to one issued by my credit union (no annual fee), which doesn't add anything to the 1% Visa foreign transaction fee. I can use my debit/atm card at any PLUS machine for $.75/transaction overseas. The same fee applies to cash advance on the visa through an atm. Be sure to notify your bank/credit union when and where you're travelling and consider increasing any daily withdrawal limits, just to be on the safe side.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 08:19 AM
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xyz123 is correct, but I think USAA Federal Savings bank has reduced the number of "free" out of network ATM transactions to 10 a month for new clients.
Also, USAA charges only the 1% Visa/MC currency conversion fee(s) without the additional 2 or 3% bank add ons, but they run frequent promotions rebating a fraction of the purchases on one or the other card.
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