Low limits in bankomats in St-Petersburg

Old Aug 9th, 2010, 11:05 PM
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Low limits in bankomats in St-Petersburg

I have an ATM card from Bank of America, with a standard $500 daily limit. For some reason, all bankomats that I saw so far in St-Petersburg limit me to 7500 roubles per transaction (about $250). With $8 fee that I have to pay for each transaction, I am losing about 3%. Are there better bankomats in St-Petersburg, or is it actually a limit from BofA ?
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 03:37 AM
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$8 per transaction? You need a different bank, not a different bancomat.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 03:40 PM
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> $8 per transaction? You need a different bank

Do you have specific suggestions ?
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 03:51 PM
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The ~$250/withdrawal is a limit set by the bancomat - that amount is pretty common in my experience. I think it's 250 euros in Italy.

The 3% you're losing is actually better than what it would cost you to exchange cash, but you can do better.

Try TD bank or your local credit union for starters. Also check Schwab bank and USAA bank, both of which are online banks.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 04:22 PM
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It is probably a bit of both - not all bankomats have the same limits programmed, and your bank that issued your ATM card may have a limit for foreign transactions that you are not aware of.

If you can, call your bank and talk to someone to verify their limit, and have it increased in case you need emergency cash by the boatload.

Then look at various bankomats located in actual bank branches where you may be able to go in and ask about any such limits that they may have imposed.

But 8 bucks per transaction when typically the bank that owns the machine in Europe doesn't even charge anything - that's too rough.

Open a checking account with Schwab (first you have to open a trading account, doesn't have to remain all that active, just transfer all but 100 bucks into the checking once the trading is established and leave the 100 bucks in the trading account for a rainy day) - Schwab reimburses you all such fees without you having to even ask for it, the credit will simply appear on your statement.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 08:38 AM
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Also look at opening an account (and getting your credit cards) with Capital One. No, nada, zero foreign conversion fee, and no fees for using foreign ATMs (since they don't have any of their own). They'll even reimburse the first $10/month of fees charged by the foreign ATMs themselves.

I thought Wachovia's fees had become ridiculous (they're even charging for a balance query at a foreign ATM!) but $8 is daylight robbery.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 08:58 AM
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So glad to have read this thread, as I'm headed to St. Petersburg next month and I also bank with B of A. I have a Capital One card already, so I think I'll request a pin and use that to withdraw money if need-be. Thanks so much for this helpful info!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 09:36 AM
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Kylie - do you have a Capital One credit card, or ATM /debit card? You mention getting a PIN, which suggests you mean a credit card. You do not want to use a credit card to make an ATM withdrawal - that's considered a cash advance, and interest will accrue right away.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 09:37 AM
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No, you don't want to use a credit card to withdraw money!!! You will be charged interest immediately.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 09:55 AM
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Got it--you were referring to Capital One banking. It's been a long morning! Thanks for the clarification. I do know about charging on a Capital One card, and since most places take credit cards, what I generally try to do is use that card and then make a payment online if I have to. Another option is to withdraw cash in Paris (BNP Paribas ATMs are part of the Global ATM Alliance so I don't get charged for withdrawing on them with B of A), and then exchange €'s to RUB when we get to Russia since that's our last stop. I definitely won't use the Capital One card for cash advances though. Promise!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 02:16 PM
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And remember to call the company that issued whatever cards you're likely to use while away (and even for making bookings ahead of your trip) and tell them what you're about to do and when, so they won't block the transactions because of "unusual activity" and such.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 09:42 AM
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I used a Citibank ATM machine inside the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg two times last week. I withdrew 10,000 rubles each time (about $330), there was an option for an even larger amount, although I don't recall what that was. There was no fee for using that machine, and my bank didn't charge a fee either. I also used a Capital One credit card whenever possible, but there were a few restaurants that didn't take plastic.
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