I hate ATM surprises

Nov 13th, 2005, 05:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 25
I hate ATM surprises

I've always gotten cash in a foreign country via ATM withdrawals because I believed I would receive better rates and there would be no surprises.
However, last time Chase (via checking acct) charged us a flat fee AND a percentage of the total withdrawal. And that's on top off the local bank's fees.
Are there any banks that don't charge fees like that? Like the good old days?

shternm is offline  
Nov 13th, 2005, 05:36 PM
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Hello shternm, USAA has a saving account that I believe remimurses the customer for up to 10 ATM withdrawals a month..not sure if that includes withdrawals out of the US however. But I "think" it does.

You do not have to be military or retired military to have a checking account etc. throught USAA. That only applies to their insurance section
They do not have any physical buildings if that is important to you.

Others here on Fodor's have said they have checking accounts through their local credit union and they don't get socked with all the fees that regular banks now seem to be charging.

BTW, USAA also offers Visa and MC. Again that is available to anyone, as long as they meet USAA credit rating requeirements. They only add 1% for credit card charges in Europe..or at least that was true not to long ago.
LoveItaly is offline  
Nov 13th, 2005, 05:39 PM
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I actually had a pleasant surprise on our recent trip. My credit union usually charges $1.00 for all overseas withdrawals, but this time I was never charged anything. I guess it had something to do with the particular bank we were withdrawing at.
Statia is offline  
Nov 13th, 2005, 05:48 PM
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Two words: credit union! Dump your bank, all they exist for these days is collecting fees from you. Credit unions provide better service for lower or no fees.

Andrew is online now  
Nov 13th, 2005, 05:55 PM
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Most credit unions do not charge a fee.
Most also do not charge the extra 2% exchange fee. Chase and most other major cards now charge a total of 3% for international transactions.

I never use a major (I like the miles...but the fees are over the top)
credit card. I always use credit union and another small bank Visa card that does not charge the extra 2%.
grayland is offline  
Nov 13th, 2005, 09:52 PM
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And that's on top off the local bank's fees.
I never encountered that in Europe.
Michael is offline  
Nov 13th, 2005, 10:17 PM
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Yes - that "local bank's fees" bit confused me too. The only fees you should have are from your own bank.

UNLESS you used stand-alone ATMs not affiliated to a bank. Those commercial ATMs do charge fees - but bank machines don't.
janisj is online now  
Nov 14th, 2005, 04:19 PM
Original Poster
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We're going to France and we'll be withdrawing money from non-US bank thus the extra fees in addition to my bank's fees.
BTW, I called my credit union today and they will charge 1% of total withdrawal. Supposedly that's Visa fee that's getting passed on.
My other bank charges a flat $5 fee for each foreign currecy withdrawal.
shternm is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 04:28 PM
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"We're going to France and we'll be withdrawing money from non-US bank thus the extra fees in addition to my bank's fees."

French banks don't charge a fee for use of their ATMs.
clairobscur is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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clair, use <I> and </I> tags to italicize.
Robespierre is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 05:44 PM
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Shterman: "We're going to France and we'll be withdrawing money from non-US bank thus the extra fees in addition to my bank's fees.

As clairobscur explained -- "Non-US bank" has nothing to do w/ anything. The Bank in France will not charge you to use their ATMs
janisj is online now  
Nov 14th, 2005, 07:48 PM
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I have to add another vote for Credit Unions for ATM use in Europe.

I recently was in Spain, and there was only 1 time that I was charged any additional charge (1.20 on $120 withdrawal) and I think that was an ATM machine (Caja Baja) that was not in the Pulse network. All the other WD I made ( using BBVA machines) NO FEES AT ALL!!!

Before I left I called my bank ( USBANK ) - which charges $1.50 per trans PLUS 2% of the amount. So for a $300 usd withdrawal, I would be charged $7.50 !!

I am so glad I went with the CU card - I saved at least $15 - 18 in fees alone.
Debbie is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 03:59 AM
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The old days are gone and the ffinance people will stick it to you when they get the chance. ATM was always the cheapest as there was no charge from the foreign bank with possibly a small charge from the home bank, and most importantly used the inter-bank exchange rate. This year my Chase bank added a 3 1/2% ATM exchange charge to a very low rate. It made the ATM slightly more expensive than the CC. (normally it was the reverse). I would still say that the ATM and Credit Card are still the best way to go.

More important , remember that the money involved is not high finance amounts.The costs had to come out of your pocket even when not in an obvious manner le one was paying part of the new charges in the past without realizing it.
Bigal is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 04:17 AM
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i think that US banks will slowly introduce more fees for foreign withdrawals. i don't think very many customers would choose their bank based on the cost of foreign withdrawals.

here in the UK i pay, on average, £7 fee (fixed charge + "loss" from published rate) per withdrawal from a european (non-UK) cash machine.
walkinaround is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 04:36 AM
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On our recent trip to the UK, we paid a flat $2 fee to our bank as an "out of network transaction fee," and a 1% fee of the total withdrawl. These charges were each billed separately to the account. The only fee we'd had in the past was the $2 charge. Upon our return, I called to inquire what each charge was for. I was told the 1% was charged by Visa and always had been, but they were now itemizing the charge. I think I liked not knowing about it better!!

Just like in our home area, some ATMs stated their was no charge for use by the affilitated bank, some stated there was a charge. We used both types. However, no charge nor additional amount was ever debited from our account.
xxxx is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 05:28 AM
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Bank of America is part of the "Global ATM Alliance." Members of this alliance do not charge fees to ATM customers of member banks. Several European banks belong to this group, including Deutsche Bank.

When we were in Italy in May, we used ATM's from Deutsche Bank and there were no fees.

If we couldn't find a convenient ATM from Deutsche Bank, we used an ATM from an Italian bank. We felt that the ATM fee for getting cash was better than paying the fees now charged by credit
card companies.

You can google Global ATM Alliance and see what banks are included.
suntravler is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 05:41 AM
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I'm a little confused about Chase charging you a flat fee and a percentage, plus fees from the local bank? Isn't Chase your local bank?

European ATM's don't charge a fee. Visa & M/C charge a 1% conversion fee. If you used your credit card to take an ATM withdrawal, you will incur interest, pay the conversion fee, and pay whatever other bank fees your bank charges.

My bank does not charge me a conversion fee or a bank fee to withdraw money via an ATM in Europe from my checking account. So, there must be other banks out there that don't.
Budman is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 06:48 AM
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Economics 101. Look at that ATM. How much did it cost? How much is security for it? How much does it cost to service it? What does it stock cost? Now, who is going to pay for this? I have yet to see a complaint about cigarette machines, candy machines or beverage dispensers. Coca Cola and Pepsi have machines in many places. How much more is charged there than for a bulk purchase at the supermarket. Money is simply a commodity. Businesses make a profit by selling it. I still am sure that the least expensive sytem of buying/acquiring local currency involves trading USA dollars for local units!
GSteed is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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I have never been charged a fee from the "local bank" in europe. Are you sure about that part?
suze is online now  
Nov 18th, 2005, 09:39 AM
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I have a bank that doesn't charge anything extra when I use it at other ATMs or to get foreign currency. They used to have an out-of-network ATM fee of $2 for any bank that wasn't theirs, whether here or abroad. They just changed their policy to get rid of all out-of-network ATM charges. I had gotten 2-3 a month free before that change, anyway, because I had a premium account. So there certainly are US banks that don't charge these excessive amounts.

However, I have a local bank (local to Maryland/Virginia). It's a fairly big "chain" in this area, but isn't across the entire US. From reading posts on here, it seems some of those really big national banks are the ones assessing these very high charges (Chase, BA, etc.), and I think I have read on here that some assess a percentage charge even for ATM withdrawals, just like credit cards do for purchases (the 2-3 pct of withdrawal thing). I don't know about that, sometimes I think people confuse using a debit/check card for purchases with getting money from ATMs, but it appears some banks are really doing this. I know my own bank told me they would assess the extra 2-3% if a debit card were used for purchases, but not ATM withdrawals. I don't have a debit card, just an ATM card, and wouldn't ever use a debit card for purchases even if I had one -- I'd use a credit card.

I think some Canadian residents on here have also talked about how Canadian banks also generally asses very high charges for ATM use abroad.

I've never been charged a fee from a foreign bank for using their ATM, in any country, but have only used mine in Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada.

(budman, I think the term "local bank" was someone meaning the bank in Europe where they were using it, not their home local bank).
Christina is online now  

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