Should You Use ATMs When Traveling Abroad?

When travelling, money is something that you should always have considering that have with you always considering that without it, you couldn’t get anywhere at all. In this digital world, many of us are now have our own credit cards to store all own hard-earned money in one plastic card. However, when travelling abroad, one might wonder; should I use ATM when travelling?

One of the many advantages when using your ATMs abroad is that, no matter how big your withdrawal is, that the exchange rates is better than exchanging you money at a local exchange counter. The reason behind this is that local banks or money change bureaus will add on transaction fees which eat up another two percent of your money.

When using an ATM card abroad, use your ATM card that is linked to the PLUS, Cirrus or Maestro networks. These networks give you the freedom to have a withdrawal anywhere in the US and around the world. You can also use ATMs that are associated with these three networks. PLUS network is associated to Visa so, if you have a Visa card, you can also use this. MasterCard is also associated with Maestro and Cirrus. Remember, before leaving, make sure that your ATM are available where you are going because even though these networks are common overseas, they are still only a limited number of banks in selected countries. To know what is your card linked to, check the back. If your ATM is not linked to the three networks, contact your bank for assistance.

Many ATMs abroad, specifically in Europe, does not accept PINs longer than four digits. Contact your bank and change your PIN if yours is longer than four digits. Also, if your PIN has letters instead of numbers, translate the letters into numbers before leaving the country. Many ATMs only have numbers on the keypad. Also most ATMs abroad will only let you access the primary account on your ATMS card.

Irregular withdrawals in a foreign country may result to having you account frozen. To prevent this, be sure to call your bank before you travel abroad. Ask for a number that you can call overseas in case your card is lost or stolen. The number found at the back of your card can only work in the U.S or Canada so be sure you have a number that you can call in case those happen. Also, keep this number in a separate card. Be sure to also have a back-up ATM card in cases in which it was stolen, lost or eaten by an ATM machine.

Withdrawing using another banks ATM machine could cost you transaction fees. It is better to know which banks charge cheaper transaction fees and only go to those machines in case you want to make a withdrawal. Remember, many banks charge higher fees for international ATM withdrawals. They could charge you a flat rate which is usually $1-$6 or a set of percentage of your total withdrawal which is usually 1-3 percent. Check with your bank before going on a trip because these fees can change prior warning and also you may also be charge a fee by the owner of the foreign ATM. These fees might be small but they can add up quickly so you should prefer to withdraw a larger amount of money at your home country. Be sure to have your cash in a safe and well-concealed place. When withdrawing money, try to choose an uneven amount (180 rather than 200) so you won’t wind up with huge bills when you get home.