Question about ATM limits in Europe

Jul 20th, 2016, 12:24 PM
  #1  
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Question about ATM limits in Europe

My bank (Wells Fargo) charges $5 for each ATM withdrawal. In the past I've always taken the equivalent of $500 at a time so as to keep the bank charges as low as I can. However, this year the banks did not want to give me $500 worth of zlotys or euros. I generally had to get the money in $200 increments.

Has anyone else had this experience lately?
Pegontheroad is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 12:35 PM
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I didn't--at least in Italy. I took out $500 several times. But I also opened a Capital One 360 account in an effort to avoid the $5 fees.
indyhiker is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 12:37 PM
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I have several accounts that don't charge me anything so it isn't an issue but I just don't want to go frequently, anyway. Perhaps your bank changed your limits? I think one of my cards has a $1000 limit and another a different one, I can't recall as I never get that much for security reasons. I usually get about US$150 worth. But sounds like it could have been the particular ATM also, if you can do it twice, as I think my bank's limits are per day. Kind of a dopey rule if all you have to do is make another withdrawal immediately.

Given you travel frequently, have you thought of getting a second free account? I think it's good to have two cards anyway, in case something goes wrong. I do recommend Charles Schwab as I have a checking account with them (never use it for checking) that gives me an ATM/debit card with no foreign transaction fee and no flat ATM fee, either. There are no maintenance fees on the account, either. So while I don't earn much interest, it's useful for me, I don't think it has much of a limit on minimum deposit.
Christina is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 12:39 PM
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I have both French and US bank accounts. Both of them allow me 300 EU maximum daily withdrawal from ATMs in Paris.
If you have "overstepped" the time limit, and given the difference in the exchange rates, that might account for your problem.

But a year or two ago, French banks limited the amount a client could withdraw or deposit in one week.

The only other thing I can think of is that there were some new governmental restrictions on withdrawals that you might not have been aware of.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 12:42 PM
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It depends on the bank. In Italy, I could get 300€+ from most bank ATMs, but not from the Monte dei Paschi di Siena ATMs. In every city I used the Monte dei Paschi di Siena ATM, it limited the withdrawal at 250€.
greg is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 12:53 PM
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My U.S. credit union charges me nothing for withdrawals or foreign transactions (except for US$10 for an overseas wire). It would gall me to pay $5.00 every time I wanted to get my own money out of an ATM in Europe. There's a variety of places to bank where you don't have to hand them money every time you travel.

I have an US$800 per day limit on withdrawals from my U.S. credit union. My French bank has a 300-euro daily limit. I could probaby get either or both of them upped if I wanted to, but it's more than sufficient.

Sometimes ATMs in Europe simply run out of cash, too. I've had it happen in remote places, especially on Sunday afternoons Europe time.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 20th, 2016, 01:13 PM
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>>My bank (Wells Fargo) charges $5 for each ATM withdrawal.<<

That seems odd to me -- Wells Fargo charges me $4 and refunds for up to four withdrawal fees per month - so essentially doesn't cost me anything.
janisj is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 01:21 PM
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Fees depend on the particular kind of account you have. After Wachovia was taken over by Wells Fargo I changed banks as I found the fees high and the staff clueless (I was actually told I couldn't use my ATM-only card abroad!), but I use my Capital One account almost exclusively for ATM withdrawals abroad - no fees for ATM usage, no foreign transaction fees.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 01:45 PM
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The ATM limit is more likely to be a function of your bank than of the European ATM. Check with your bank about your withdrawal limited, and ask them to raise them, if necessary. Also, ask them if you qualify for another account type that doesn't charge you so much!

If it were me - and it isn't - I'd look for another bank. Small banks and credit unions usually have low fee ATM withdrawals, and brokerage houses often charge nothing for using a foreign ATM and will refund any changes by the local ATM.
Kathie is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 01:50 PM
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If you have a local credit union, check out its withdrawal policy. Mine works with VISA, which means that both ATM withdrawals and credit card payments are charged 1%, but the exchange rate is the daily rate as listed in http://www.xe.com/creditcard-charges-calculator/ My CU account has a minimum amount until we leave for an international destination, at which point we put into the checking account what we think we will need plus a cushion for the trip expenses.
Michael is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 01:51 PM
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Go see your WF banker. WF refunds all our ATM charges.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 01:59 PM
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" WF refunds all our ATM charges"

1 - what kind of WF account do you have?

2 - do you mean fees charged by the company owning the ATM, or fees charged by WF? And what about foreign transaction fees?
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 02:13 PM
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I am really happy to hear how everybody is saving billions on their ATM withdrawals and then whining about the cost of a taxi in Europe.
Dukey1 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 02:20 PM
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I don't whine about taxis in Europe. I don't take them (well, aside from Romania), public transport works just fine. Even better now my smart phone knows just when and where the bus will arrive.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 02:37 PM
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>>whining about the cost of a taxi in Europe.<<

I have never ever - not once - kvetched about the cost of a taxi in Europe or anywhere else for that matter.
janisj is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 03:04 PM
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Who's whining about the cost of taxis in Europe? Not me.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 20th, 2016, 03:54 PM
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I am really happy to hear how everybody is saving billions on their ATM withdrawals and then whining about the cost of a taxi in Europe.

I would prefer to give my money to a taxi driver than to the bank. CUs are not charitable institutions and manage to have lower or no fees than banks like BofA and Wells Fargo.
Michael is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 04:02 PM
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We used Wells Fargo and so did our daughter, an attorney in DC. Her Wells Fargo banker waived all ATM fees in Europe. I called our Wells Fargo banker (our balance was considerably larger than hers) and he declined to waive the fees. We divorced WF and opened accounts at a locally owned bank.....have not paid a penny in fees since then.

I happily pay for taxis.
Judy is online now  
Jul 20th, 2016, 04:12 PM
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Echoing others: I believe that the "$" limit is coming from your bank. That said my experience lately is in London, Germany, and Austria only.

For this last trip, I opened a Capitol One 360 account for my ATM withdrawals and it worked flawlessly. The card was accepted in each machine I tried, there was no $5.00 charge per withdrawal (I'm with BoA) and no 3% foreign currency conversion fee. After returning, I checked the rates of conversion with XE.com and they all were within $1 or $2 dollars.

Per Dukey, I spent my "savings" (plus a little extra) on taking the taxi back to the hotel after the evening shows which feels like such a luxury! I highly recommend the splurge.
Trophywife007 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 04:59 PM
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My experience has been that the ATMS abroad, not my home bank, have limited withdrawals to between 250-300 euros at a time. My husband and I can each withdraw that amount if necessary, and we also bring two different debit cards from two different banks/credit unions in case either one is rejected for some reasons (and that can happen regardless of how much $ is in the account, IME). I don't sweat the withdrawal fees- that's the least of our expenditures!
el13207 is offline  

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