It is a known fact that overseas travel can rejuvenate your senses by allowing you to get acquainted with indigenous cultures. However, using ATMs abroad becomes a necessity regardless of whether it is leisure travel or an official business trip. Be it taking a cab ride or buying essentials at the corner store, the need for hard cash is bound to arise when you are in a foreign country. Many people hold the view that carrying US dollars is an apt choice owing to the currency’s high acceptance rate globally. While USD can be used in a handful of countries like Cambodia and Singapore, it would be of no use in places where only the local currency is accepted.
Although it is perfectly fine to enjoy your travel experience, don’t forget that unexpected ATM fees can spoil the fun of your trip faster than you might expect. It is recommended that you completely avoid using your debit card overseas, especially if saving big is the topmost priority for you. At first glance, you may be attracted to the bonus points you receive by swiping your debit/credit abroad. But if you closely analyze your bank statement, you would realize how hidden ATM card charges deprive you of your hard-earned money.
The good news is that a forex card can come in handy for withdrawing money and transacting overseas as it waives off all charges typically associated with debit cards. This blog will unravel the untold truth of using ATMs in international cities.
Different Types Of ATM Charges
When it comes to using ATMs overseas, knowing about common charges can help bring down expenses to a great extent. So, let us take a quick look at the different types of ATM fees you may have to bear.
1. International ATM fees
When you leverage an ATM network in a foreign country, you have to bear the international ATM fees. Most banks charge a flat fee of up to 5 USD per transaction. In addition to the international ATM fees, customers are charged a percentage of the total amount that is withdrawn.
2. Currency conversion fee
Since the balance in your bank account is reflected in the Indian currency, it gets converted every time you use your card abroad to withdraw cash from an ATM. The currency conversion fee may be as high as 3% of the total withdrawal amount.
3. Overseas transaction fees
Whenever you use your debit/credit card abroad, be it for withdrawing money or paying at a merchant outlet, you are subject to a foreign transaction fee. This fee can take a heavy toll on your pocket as it usually ranges from 2.5% to 3.5%.
5 Smart Tips For Using ATMs Abroad
Follow these smart tips for using ATMs abroad for maximum savings and security.
1. Know the ATM networks supported by your card
You must get a debit card from a bank that has tie-ups with international networks like Allpoint which promises surcharge-free withdrawals at over 55,000 ATMS globally. Debit cards that are accepted by most ATMS can be broadly classified into two categories, namely Visa and Mastercard. Cards belonging to the Cirrus and Maestro network will seamlessly work in ATMs that accept Mastercard cards. Similarly, PLUS is the local interbank network that is linked with Visa cards which are also widely accepted at ATMs in foreign countries.
Look at the back of your debit card for logos to find out about the networks it is associated with. Both Visa and Mastercard offer an online locator using which you can find ATMs in literally any part of the world.
2. Ensure your PIN is no longer than 4 digits
You must keep it in mind that some international ATMs do not accept cards whose pin exceeds 4 digits. This is why you should only carry debit/credit cards that have a 4-digit PIN. If the PIN of your ATM card is in alphabetical form, make sure you contact your bank at the earliest and get it changed into a numeric code.
3. Remember your daily withdrawal limit
Keeping a check on your daily withdrawal limit is important, especially when you are on a foreign trip. There is a high likelihood that you might end up in a sticky situation if you are unaware of your withdrawal limit. Once the daily limit is crossed, you will not be able to withdraw any more money from the ATM for that given day. Several unsuccessful withdrawal attempts could even result in your account being blocked.
4. Seek reimbursements for ATM fees
If you are worried about exorbitant ATM fees affecting your budget abroad, you should drop your concerns and take a sigh of relief. It is so because there are a handful of banks that reimburse travelers for using international ATMs. So, contact your bank and ask whether they would provide you with a reimbursement for the ATM fees borne by you abroad.
Why You Should Carry A Forex Card
There is no denying that overseas payment hassles can negatively impact your travel experience. With a prepaid forex card at your disposal, you can make payments faster and safely in foreign countries. Ideally, you should carry some money in the form of hard cash and load the remaining into your forex card for maximum convenience during your trip. In case your cash is lost or gets stolen, the forex card will come to your rescue for making payments abroad. Given below are some of the most notable benefits of traveling with a prepaid forex card.
Negligible ATM fees
The best part about prepaid forex cards is that they can be used for international ATM withdrawals. When you use your forex card at an overseas ATM, you will just be charged a negligible fee. Your forex card can allow you to save up to 7% over your traditional debit card.
Boast top-notch security
Forex cards come packed with high-end security features like fraud prevention mechanisms etc. Moreover, they are equipped with rigid PIN protection to prevent misuse in case of loss or theft. Your forex card will have a separate ATM/POS pin which will be included in your forex card kit.
Support for up to 16 currencies
If you are planning to embark on a multi-currency tour, forex cards can prove to be a boon for you. What makes forex cards stand out is the fact that they can be loaded with up to 16 different currencies. Since forex cards offer multi-currency support, they eliminate the hassle of reloading your card every time you visit a different foreign country.
When you embark on a foreign tour, managing your expenses effectively becomes a matter of prime importance. Given that last-minute budget planning can make your travel hasslesome, you should thoughtfully evaluate your forex needs a few weeks before your departure. Moreover, you should exchange currency in advance from a reputable forex platform to avail the benefit of live market rates.
As far as ATM withdrawals are concerned, it would be wiser to ditch the idea of using your debit/credit cards in foreign countries. Instead, consider relying on the forex card for cash withdrawal purposes to ward off exorbitant charges and maximize savings in the long run. It is guaranteed that a prepaid forex card will enliven your travel experience by simplifying international payments.