Cash withdrawal abroad – What are ATM fees?

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So you’re about to take off on your international holiday. Passports ready, bags packed, excitement is at level 100. And you’re thinking, I’m going to easily use an ATM abroad to withdraw cash. Cool, good decision! It’s almost always the cheapest form of getting cash abroad. But it’s important to understand some basics about it… let’s start with the ATM fees for cash withdrawal abroad.

So what exactly are ATM fees for cash withdrawal abroad?

ATM fees for withdrawing cash abroad is the fee that an ATM in a foreign country can charge you when you use it for withdrawing cash as a “foreign” card holder. This means that your debit or credit card:

  • Is issued in a different country from the country of this ATM, and
  • Is issued by a bank or card company which is different from the ATM’s owner, and
  • There is no specific tie-up between your bank or card company and the ATM’s owner to offer free ATM withdrawals to its customers.

The ATM owner, typically a bank or an ATM operator, will collect this ATM fee.

How exactly does it work in reality?

  • Let’s explain this better:
  • You are from: Germany
  • You travel to: India
  • To spend money while travelling in India: You need cash in the local currency Indian Rupee (₹)
  • You have many ways to get the Indian Rupee. For this example, you choose to withdraw cash using an ATM in India
  • So to withdraw this cash: You go to an ATM of an Indian bank and use your debit card or credit card given to you by a German bank
  • The ATM of the Indian bank will likely charge you an “ATM fee” to use its cash withdrawal services with your German bank card

This is called the ATM fee for cash withdrawal abroad.

When exactly do you pay this ATM Fee for the cash withdrawal abroad?

You will pay this ATM fee as soon as the foreign ATM machine has successfully given you the cash. E.g., You withdrew 2,000 as local cash and the ATM fee was 24. So your account balance goes down by a total of 2,024. In your bank statement, you may see this as one total amount or two separate amounts.

Do all ATMs abroad show fees for a cash withdrawal?

Generally, yes. If a foreign ATM has an ATM Fee, it will show it and ask if you still want to go ahead with the withdrawal. There are some ATMs in Turkey or Argentina that don’t inform you in advance. You can use ATM Fee Saver mobile app to find out the fees beforehand and choose the fee-free or lowest fee ATM that way.

ATM in Morocco displaying its ATM Fee to a UK card holder

Do all ATMs abroad have the same alert for an ATM Fee?

In different countries, ATM fees for foreign card holders have different names you might see on ATM screens – like ATM Usage Fee, ATM Transaction Fee, Foreign Access Fee, ATM Operator Fee, ATM Surcharge, Transaction Charge, Convenience fee, Cargo Adicional, Tarifa Adicional, etc. Don’t always expect ATMs to show you this in English or your native language. Keep a translator app ready for such cases.

Are there any other fees to use ATMs for cash withdrawal abroad?

Possibly, yes. While using an ATM abroad, there may be other fees you may also land up paying. Read more on this here – ATM fees abroad: All charges to use cards at ATMs abroad detailed

Can I avoid or save fees while withdrawing cash abroad?

Yes! Cash withdrawals abroad can be completely free if you follow some simple steps before or during your travel. Read more on this in our detailed guide – Withdrawing cash abroad? 9 best ways to save foreign ATM fees.

Tired of paying fees when withdrawing cash abroad?

Try ATM Fee Saver – the first mobile app that helps you find fee-free ATMs or low-fee ATMs for withdrawing cash abroad, so you avoid paying high or any ATM fees overseas and save money while travelling.

Download ATM Fee Saver now or login online.

2 thoughts on “Cash withdrawal abroad – What are ATM fees?”

  1. Great Article, finally i understand what fees are! Thank you guys for sharing all the Information. The App is a game changer!

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