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Old 29-07-2006, 18:44   #1
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ATM transaction fees

Perhaps this is the wrong place to post but i was wondering what kinds of transaction fees people have for ATM transactions with their banks. I was just charged 10 US dollars for ATM transaction fee in Dominican Republic. And I onyl took out 60 diollars. I have sovereign bank, but i guess I will be moving my money elsewhere before we take off next month. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 27-09-2006, 09:22   #2
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Petar, I'm no expert but I have traveled all over the world and used many ATM's. I am a Wachovia Bank customer and if memory serves, I can withdraw money from my regular checking account with no fee outside the U.S.. You should contact banks in your area to see what their policies are in this regard. You should also contact your credit card companies to see what fees they charge for cash withdrawls outside the U.S.. Generally, credit companies charge heftier fees than regular banks and you can end up spending quite a bit on fees if you're not careful. It really pays to do a little calling around and some research. One other thing: make sure you have all your bank card and credit card information duplicated and available to you should it be lost or stolen while you're abroad. Toll free U.S. numbers don't usually work when one is out of the U.S.. One other thing: it's a good idea to notify your bank and credit card companies that you will be traveling abroad and for how long. It often happens that they will deny a charge if they see it coming from some distant locale and if you're really desperate for money this could present problems. That's my two cents worth.
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Old 27-09-2006, 11:45   #3

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There are two kinds of transaction fees. One is the fee your own bank charges, most charge you nothing to use ATM's that are "on their network" and the size of those networks varies. The other fee, which usually is steeper, is charged by whoever owns the ATM. It is not uncommon to get hit with a $5-6 ATM fee if you use an ATM in a store or other location not run by a bank, no matter what your own bank charges.

The only answers are to do research (what banks are in the area, and what they charge) and TO AVOID ATMs. There are still ways to write checks and cash checks, or to buy travelers' checks locally. Oddly enough, sometimes the cheapest thing is to use credit cards instead--but you alos have to check that, because some give you "bank rate" on currency conversions, others charge more, and some don't convert each transaction, they just add them all up and convert at the end of the month--when rates may not be what they were.
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Old 27-09-2006, 12:46   #4
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Thanks for reminding me

Just looked back to see the fees from Guadeloupe charter........$6 ATM fees (total guess $3 ea x 2 transactions) plus a 1% charge for the amt I took out that was labeled "foreign transaction fee" by Washington Mutual my generous bank.............those euros don't come cheap.
I tried the credit card method on another trip but that was not a picnic either...........Citibank Master Card - Transaction Fee + Cash float interest rate.
Then again, if you use a Foreign Exchange company they charge a transaction fee + "adjusted" exchange rates. So I usually only get a small amt to get me thru the first couple of days.
I try to exchange at local banks but this last trip I arrived after they closed on Friday & shoved off early on Monday.......oh well.
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Old 02-04-2007, 13:20   #5
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In some countries, in some stores, the cashier will let you not only pay with a credit card but also "over-charge" the card and give you the difference in cash. It's worth asking.
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Old 02-04-2007, 13:45   #6
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ATMs can charge whatever they want, and sometimes you don't even know how much that is until you get you bank statement. In the past I have gone into a foreign bank to get a "cash advance" off my credit card - but you have to be very careful doing this: my bank charges a $4 flat fee for this, and the credit card interest starts the day you take the advance, so I make a payment on the credit card before leaving thereby having a credit to my account and avoiding any interest. Some foreign banks charge a fee for a cash advance, others do not. The credit card's exchange rate is usually the best you can get, far better than any place in the US will give you for foreign currency. You need to shop around for a US bank as to what they charge for cash advances on credit cards - check out larger credit unios as they will usually be much better than banks.
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Old 02-04-2007, 21:29   #7
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Banks in NZ recently got slammed with double dipping on offshore ATM transactions and have had to repay millions to customers. I think it was they were charging an offshore transaction fee but also adding a currency conversion fee. I got a particularly large refund due to almost 2 years using a Wells Fargo machine. Nice Christmas present.
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:00   #8

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PW, the difference between a bank and a bank robber, is that the bank knows how to get your money without a gun.

Or, if you know old Woody Allen movies, "A gub".<G>
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