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Using ATMs Abroad – Ultimate Guide to SAVE MONEY

Using ATMs abroad may seem simple. However, cash is an annoying necessity in a lot of countries. Using an ATM abroad can actually be a simple process. However, you can easily make a few mistakes which can cost you a bit of money.

Using ATMs Abroad – Make Sure you Take More Than one Card

An essential thing you need to do when travelling is to make sure you bring more than one card. There’s always a risk of losing your card or pickpockets stealing your wallet. So having multiple cards will give you a bit of peace of mind. There’s also a chance, an ATM could swallow your card and you’d be in big trouble if you just had the one.

Get a Card That Doesn’t Charge International Fees When Using ATMs Abroad

For a lot of debit cards, you will get charged for every payment you make abroad. It’s an easy way to lose a lot of money. However, it you can easily avoid it with this very simple method. I really recommend getting a card that doesn’t charge international fees. I use a Curve card myself and it’s very convenient to use.

Find ATMs That Don’t Charge Fees

When abroad, many ATMs will charge you a fee because you are using an international card. These fees can be up to £5 and they are it’s a good idea to avoid them. This can be done by finding certain banks that don’t charge these fees. For example, Ziraat Bank in the Balkans is very convenient and doesn’t charge any fees.

Try to Use ATMs at Reputable Banks

Just like how it’s important to find an ATM that won’t greedily charge you. It’s also a good idea to use an ATM at a well-known bank rather than one off the street. This is because these banks will have ATMs which are easier to use. Moreover, when you’re in Europe it’s important to avoid Euronet ATMs like the plague. These ATMs pull every trick in the book to essentially charge money from you for a service that should be free.


This is probably the most common way in which people lose their money when using ATMs. ATMs will almost always give you a terrible conversion as a way to take advantage of you. A lot of people fall for this because they think the ‘decline’ option means cancelling the transaction. However, it actually means that you’re getting charged in the local currency instead of your own. This also means your bank does the conversion for you and will give you a better rate.

If you enjoyed reading this be sure to check out some of my backpacking adventures:

Backpacking in Belgrade

Backpacking in Sokcho


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