I hate ATM surprises

Nov 18th, 2005, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 569
I'm not the original poster, but as I noted in my earlier contribution to this thread, our experiences were the same as shternm's.

By "local bank" or "affiliated bank," we're referring to the bank who owns the cash machine we are using.

From other posts here, I'm assuming that "European ATMs" are different from those in the UK.

In the UK, several banks' machines gave the message that they may impose a charge for use in addition to any changes imposed by the cardholder's bank. It didn't strike me as odd, since that happens all the time in the US. Our British hosts even commented that they tried to take us to ATMs that did not charge a fee for use.

However, even though I agreed to pay the fee, it was never deducted from our account nor was the amount of the withdrawl ever less than what was specified.

When I'm at home, I make an effort to use machines that will cost me nothing. I don't like having to pay fees while on vacation, but I simply chalk it up to part of the cost of vacation.
xxxx is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 02:43 PM
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Sure, there are costs associated with buying and operating ATMs - but they're a drop in the bucket compared to what it costs for the care and feeding of the human tellers they replace. The banks should PAY US for using them. To charge us is (to use xyz's phrase) near criminal.

I guess what they're doing is maximizing their profitability in selling an intangible product which economists refer to as "utility of time and place." This is the same justification for charging $8 for a $2 beer at the ball park, or any outrageous price for food or drink at an airport or hotel.
Robespierre is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 03:00 PM
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USAA has no in house ATM charges and rebates 10 out of service ATM w/d's/month.
They pass the 1% V/MC CC charge to you, but that's better than 3+% charged by Citibank, Chase, etc.
mikemo is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 05:57 PM
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Hi there, I also have a Credit Union ATM. I was not charged a fee for withdrawing Euro's. As an example I withdraw 100euros and my bank withddrawal in dollar was $118.00. I just got back from Rome last night. Merlina
Merlina is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 02:16 PM
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I called around 10+banks to find out about charges and everyone charges a different amount. A few of them said that they didn't charge for it but I had no confidence in clerk's knowledge. I ended up opening an acct at a local bank that charges the least and now I am crossing my fingers that the card will get here today or tomorrow- before my trip.
BTW, check out this link
shternm is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 02:17 PM
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and this one
shternm is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 05:00 PM
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Fidth Third Bank of (is it Cincinnati or Columbus...some C town in Ohio)...

No domestic fee, no international fee, as long as I use a European ATM with either the Cirrus or some other familiar logo. And the translation rate used on my trip to France last fall, and Cent/East Europe this spring, was equal to the end-of-day interbank rate.

Funny how, when ATMs first came out, the transactions were free because ,as the bank marketing people said, the bank saved money as measured against the cost of human to human transactions) and wanted to pass the savings on to the customers. Now that we're all accustomed to not dealing with humans, they start to tell us about the cost of maintenance, carrying cost of an inventory cash, etc. As far as convenience is concerned, who's getting the more convenience--the customer or the bank, which doesn't have to have a teller, or a manager to manage him/her, or a personnel department, or an office party, or....the list goes on. One could make a great case that the incremental direct costs previously allocated to retail tellers etc should now be charged to commercial loan activities. But then that assumes that pricing is based on cost, not on the ability of each market to absorb charges. Ooops, gotta take my green eyeshade off.
tomboy is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 05:10 PM
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I actually had a nice ATM surprise. I used an ATM near Shannon Airport in Ireland to withdraw 100 euros. That was more than a month ago, and the withdrawal still hasn't shown up in my checking account.
vcl is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 11:48 AM
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Tomboy, I agree with you to some extent, but I don't know of any bank that charges an ATM fee for its own customers. That is a savings for them versus personnel. The only fees I've ever heard of for ATMs were for customers to use the ATM of a different bank. Now I don't know all the thinking behind those fees, but I can certainly see there is probably some additional "work" for the bank, or cost, for transactions that have to be processed through another bank. I think there may be some other reason they have those fees, although it can just be a simple moneymaker for them as customers may have to use ATMs in other cities.

I don't mind paying an ATM fee to get my money abroad in a convenient manner. I think this is amazing technology that in Europe within a couple minutes I can get cash that is charged to my home bank account. I don't agree with the folks who think that should be free because "it's my money". yeah, but it's not your machinery, software, personnel, etc. The foreign bank's ATM gets nothing out of this transaction, they are just providing you a free service. I think that's pretty amazing.

I don't even understand these banks that charge a percentage fee for foreign ATM withdrawals and why some folks above (Mikemo in talking about USAA) have referred to this as a "Visa CC fee", when it isn't a credit card being used as far as I understand it. If he was talking about cash advances on credit cards, that's a whole other story.

I'm just glad my bank doesn't charge anything for foreign ATM withdrawals and I don't know what Visa has to do with it. My ATM card does not have a Visa or MC logo on it because it's not a debit card.
Christina is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:08 PM
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Plus is owned by visa, cirrus by mastercard. The transactions, if you are using those networks, clear through the visa or mastercard systems; hence the 1% currency conversion fee which is the same as if it was a credit card.

Again some banks pull the near criminal action of adding their own currency conversion fees when they don't convert any currency.

As far as the fees are concerned, banks do it because it makes money for them which is what they're in the business to do, make money. The more the merrier. The owner of an ATM gets a small piece of the action to reimburse for a transaction you do at another bank....your bank can afford it, of course, because they pay less to keep your money than they get from people to whom they loan the money.

The reason you usually don't pay a fee to a foreign bank is plus and cirrus regulations prohibit the surcharge by banks on accounts outside their country..if you look closely at a citibank machine in NY it clearly indicates its near criminal $1.50 fee to use its machine does not apply to debit or ATM cards from out of the US banks.

Now if a bank charged me the going rate for what it costs them for a transaction at their machine, say what it costs them approximately 3, I wouldn't object. But $1.50 is simply a near criminal rip off.
xyz123 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:09 PM
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I am sure as an honest person you have contacted your bank and asked them to temporarily debit your account for the equivalent of €100 while they investigate what happened....
xyz123 is offline  

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