1. Look at ATM screen for an alert before completing the cash withdrawal
In most countries, if you use your card (debit card or credit card) at an ATM in a foreign country, the ATM will show you the ATM Fee it will charge you if you complete the cash withdrawal. E.g., here you see that in Chile, the ATM shows an Indian debit card holder that it will charge additional $7,000 Chilean Pesos to use the ATM.
Similarly, if the ATM has another fee for Dynamic Currency Conversion, it will offer you this option during the transaction. E.g., Here you see that an ATM in Colombia shows a UK bank card holder that the ATM is offering currency conversion at an additional fee of 6.5%. The card holder can choose to Accept or Decline this conversion. Also read: What is Accept or Decline Conversion at an ATM abroad? and Should I accept a foreign ATM’s conversion?)
2. Use ATM Fee Saver mobile app to find ATM fees abroad
Not all ATMs in foreign countries have fees. Some countries have ATMs that don’t charge any ATM Fees to foreign card holders and some countries have all the ATMs that will charge some ATM Fees.
You can find banks that don’t charge foreign card holders, have free ATMs in that country or at least ATMs with the lowest fees. Download ATM Fee Saver mobile app – it helps you find fee-free and low-fee ATMs in nearly 25 countries.
3. Look at the ATM receipt after completing the cash withdrawal
In almost all ATMs in the world, you’ll have the option to download a receipt of the transaction. The ATM withdrawal receipt will break down your withdrawal amount and any other associated charges. E.g., Here you see a German debit card holder used an ATM in Brazil and was charged R$ 24 as ATM fee for a R$ 2,000 cash withdrawal. Both the amounts were listed in the receipt.
Pro-tip: Even if you’re sure, print the receipt and take a photo. It helps with a clear understanding of how much money you’re spending and in resolving any future disputes of the transaction.
Now, if you forgot to do any of the above, no worries. There are other ways. Read on.
4. See your bank statement for a break-up of charges
Look at your bank statement which will typically show if there was an ATM Fee charge.
E.g., Here you see that a UK debit card holder used an ATM in India and was charged Rs 300 as an ATM fee for a Rs 1,000 cash withdrawal.
5. Check your bank’s website for its fees & charges
As per banking laws in most countries, banks and credit card companies are required to show all the fees and charges they charge customers for their services.
A quick search on their website for things like “fees and charges to use card abroad”, “fees to use ATM abroad”, “foreign transaction fee” will show you how much your bank can charge you for using your card internationally at ATMs.
You can also chat with or call your bank helpine to ask this information. If you’ve already withdrawn the cash, expect a better response after the transaction shows on your bank statement, as foreign transactions are not always settled immediately and can take a few days to show up.
6. Do a quick calculation on Visa/Mastercard website of your amount
If you have a Visa or Mastercard, you can use their currency converter and get an indication of how much money should’ve been taken from your account. E.g., Here an Austrian credit card holder in Thailand withdrew 1,000 Thai Baht for 26.79 euros taken from her account. Her account was debited of exactly this amount. If more money was taken from her account, she was charged fees.
Use the converters: