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New ATM 2% conversion fees added onto currency-exchange fee


New ATM 2% conversion fees added onto currency-exchange fee

Old May 16th, 2001, 02:34 PM
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For the benefit of UK travellers, I can strongly recommend Nationwide Visa credit card. It doesn't add any conversion fee for foreign use (other than 1% charged by Visa). And if you draw cash, it doesn't charge any interest if you pay it off in full by due date (25 days after statement date). They only charge 0.5% cash handling fee (minimum 50p). At a recent trip to Spain, I used it on the same day for both purchase and cash advance. The exchange rate used was 266.95 pts to the pound, which was exactly 1% below interbank rate for the day of 269.65. There was 50p fee for withdrawing 15,000 pts.
Old May 16th, 2001, 03:08 PM
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This thread is getting confusing.
Hans, no it won't affect you that much, especially if you withdraw the equivalent of a few hundred dollars each. ATMs are still the way to go.
Alec, we've been talking about ATM cards and withdrawing money from our own checking accounts. Getting advances on a VISA credit card is something else!
Old May 16th, 2001, 03:12 PM
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Doesn't sound like an unusual practice to me. When I was last in Rome in 1998 I was charged $4 every time I used the ATM, no matter how much I withdrew. Ditto for withdrawals made on the same trip from ATMs in southern England.
Old May 17th, 2001, 07:35 AM
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I checked with my bank and they charge $1.50 for each transaction. I would like to know what amount I will be charged by the banks in the country I will be visiting. In my case I am going to France.
Old May 17th, 2001, 08:04 AM
Al Eichenberg
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Just returned from a month in Europe, used my Credit Union ATM card for all withdrawals. No fees charged by my credit union,but some of the banks whose cash machines I used did acess a fee for the machine use, $1 0r $2.00 each use.
Old May 17th, 2001, 08:35 AM
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Most European banks do NOT charge an ATM fee (if it does, the ATM screen will tell you before you complete any transaction).

Here's the math, based on today's interbank (what ATM banks use) and tourist rate (what bureaux de change, cambions, wechsels use) exchanges:

1000ff = $135 1000ff = $152.00
ATM fee= 1.50
3% fee = 4.05

even with the bank's 'exchange fee', the ATM is a better deal.
Old May 17th, 2001, 08:49 AM
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Elvira, that's for clearly showing why the ATM route is the still best one.
Old May 17th, 2001, 02:33 PM
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I know you are primarily talking about ATM cards here but I did call my Mileage One Visa Card to inquire if they had any service charges for foreign purchases. According to them, VISA & Mastercard typically charge 3% conversion charge for all US cardholders making purchases in a foreign country, however, they waive 2% of that fee for Mileage Plus cardholders and charge only 1% of all foreign purchases. There going another added cost to my budget!!!!!! I can't wait to call my bank.
Old May 18th, 2001, 03:13 PM
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hmmm, this is confusing as I'm still not clear if there is any ATM conversion fee or not, but I don't really care as you pay for money one way or another, it's a service to get it from a machine and in a foreign country, a great service. However, Shelley: as far as I know, European ATMs will not charge you any fee at all, any fee will be the one from your ATM card bank; in fact, I thought I had read there was some kind of international banking agreement that forbid them from charging it. I think it's the same in US (banking agreement), not sure, but I notice on my bank's ATM it clearly states there is no fee for non-US foreign cards, also. (Now I know Al says the opposite, but I just wonder about that, as I have never had an ATM fee charged abroad and I really do remember reading that; sometimes banks/credit unions don't tell you the correct facts).
Old May 18th, 2001, 03:42 PM
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I think it is the condition of both Visa International and Mastercard International, the two major payment networks, that regardless of what happens to cards belonging to non-customers, there should be no fee charged to foreign cards. My own UK bank used to say that should any charges be made by foreign banks (as opposed to charges levied by the account-holding bank), send in the receipt and they would reimburse.
Old May 19th, 2001, 05:17 AM
Mary Ann
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It is not surprising how many banks have gotten on the band wagon. On our trip to OZ and NZ the other couple got hit with 3% charges on their chase mileage visa. I know the Northwest visa was going to start charging last fall. We use a Merrill Lynch CMA account for our ATMs. They allow 50 free uses a year which we use when traveling and it seems from our trips to Europe and OZ that most foreign banks will waive or do not change the fee. ATMs are still the way to go, along with credit cards, just make sure before you leave you know what you are getting to avoid surprises.

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