Great Rate at the Airport ATM?

Old Nov 13th, 2000, 07:12 AM
  #1  
s!
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Great Rate at the Airport ATM?

I have noticed lot of posters recommending that travelers get "native" cash from a local airport ATM. I know that most airport ATM's in the US have additional fees for transactions if your card isn't with the ATM's bank. They seem to range from $1.50-$4.00 because they know that anyone getting cash from a airport ATM REALLY needs cash. Is this different in Europe...and is it still cheaper than getting a couple of hundred bucks exchanged and my US bank or a exchange bureau like AMEX BEFORE I leave?
 
Old Nov 13th, 2000, 07:17 AM
  #2  
Kim
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My experience using foreign ATM's, is that they don't charge the extra fees that US ATM's do. We used the Credit Suisse ATM at the Zurich airport upon landing and were not charged any extra fees. The only fees we were charged was from our bank in the US-- $1.50 a transaction. We thought this small fee was worth it since we got the best exchange rate possible. We carried $250 in traveler's checks for our trip and only used $50-- we rented a car for the whole trip and when we crossed over into Italy from Austria we did not want to get stuck paying toll wihout any lira. You shouldn't have any problems, although I would carry a back-up card just in case. Have a good trip!

Kim
 
Old Nov 13th, 2000, 07:21 AM
  #3  
elvira
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Throughout Europe, the U.S., and I would imagine other parts of the world, banks charge ATM fees to non-customers, whether at the airport or anywhere else. If you find one that doesn't, consider yourself lucky!

I always have about $100 worth of local currency I bought at either Amex or my bank - I'm willing to pay fees and live with the lousy exchange rate to have money on hand when I land (I don't want to deal with an ATM when I get off a plane - I'm too tired and disoriented to remember my name, let alone a PIN number).
 
Old Nov 13th, 2000, 07:24 AM
  #4  
Brian in Atlanta
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I've yet to have an ATM in Europe charge the second fee that we're used to in the states (the one imposed by the ATM owner, not your bank). But I'm sure they're coming.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2000, 07:25 AM
  #5  
Sherry
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We used our ATM cards at both airport and non airport locations in France and Spain. Our local bank was the only charge and it was $1.50 per transaction. A couple of hints. Sometimes you will not receive a receipt. Keep good records. Also, I read somewhere to keep a copy of the ATM card with your other important papers in case the machine would eat it. It might make it easier to get the card back from the bank. But, I don't know if this works. Two cards from the same account is a good idea also in case the card strip is demagnetized on one.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2000, 07:26 AM
  #6  
Brian in Atlanta
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Oh, and you will pay a horrid rate if you get foreign currency in the U.S. But if it gives you piece of mind, it may be worth the approximate 6%-7% cost.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2000, 07:56 AM
  #7  
Ed
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Rare that you'll get a charge at a European ATM ... assessed by the owning bank. Whether your own bank charges you is another question. Few do, but there are some.

You'll find the rate at airport ATMs in Europe quite good, no different than what you'll find in a downtown ATM.

On the contrary, you'll find if you buy foreign currency here in the US almost anywhere (including certainly AMEX) you'll pay a premium of from at least 6 to 10% or more. It may give you peace of mind, but there's no practical reason at all for doing it. (There are a few specialized foreign currency dealers in major cities (e.g. NYC) and a few major banks in major cities where the foreign exchange fee will be a bit less, if you're a customer. Even then, though, it won't be as good as you'll get in the country.

Ed
 
Old Nov 13th, 2000, 10:21 AM
  #8  
Ess
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We exchanged about $100 US into french francs to have on hand when we arrived in Paris. Other than that we used credit cards and local ATM's for cash. I don't know what the exchange rate was for the ATM's because we haven't gotten the bank statements yet, but the receipts didn't list any transaction fees. I've heard that the ATM's give the best rate of exchange. Still, getting about $50-100 in foreign currency before you leave would probably be a good idea - just in case.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2000, 12:20 PM
  #9  
JP
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ATM's in Germany do charge fees, and they are quite steep (around $4). You may not realize this because they may not be itemized on your statement. I only found out because my bank refunds these fees and gives a total refund amount. Even with the fee, the rate will probably be better than getting cash ahead of time in the U.S., or even at many European banks. A few years ago, we were charged $18 on a $100 at an Austrian bank.
 

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