Use ATM cards for best exchange rates

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While traveling to a foreign land, one of the trickiest money matter is the exchange rate. Visitors are usually not clear about where and how exactly would they get the best rates for exchanging their home currency to the foreign currency. The main options that most of he travelers follow are

  • They get their money converted from their bank in the home country and carry large amount of foreign currency with them
  • Use travelers cheques
  • Do not deal in cash at all and extensively use their credit cards wherever possible.

But very few people know that their ATM card could prove to be the best bet. Here are a few reasons why Carrying large amount of money and travelers cheques could be inconvenient as well as extremely risky. Instead it is much safer to use the ATM card. It is also easier to carry. ATM machines are found all over the world. Even the small cities would definitely have them. When you use an ATM machine in a foreign country the money dispensed will be in the local currency and the exchange rate is often even better than the rates you would get from a local bank or regular currency exchange shop. However, here are a few things you should keep in mind

  • Always check with you bank whether they charge any fee for using ATM machines abroad. Usually, banks do not charge anything if you use the banks’ network ATMs. But they might charge a small fee for using non-network machines. For example some accounts at HSBC in Hong Kong don’t charge any fee as long as the machine you are withdrawing money from is part of HSBC, even if it is in another country. Different banks have different policies. So always confirm from your bank.
  • Each bank has its own rules and regulations regarding withdrawals. For example in Thailand you can only withdraw a limited amount from most machines at any one time, this amount is normally around 20,000 Baht or so. There may also be limitations on the amount you can withdraw from your own bank in your home country so again checking with them helps.
  • And of course, the basic precautions for using ATM machines are to be followed everywhere, at home and abroad. These include ensuring nobody sees your PIN number, checking the machine has not been tampered etc.
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2 Responses to Use ATM cards for best exchange rates

  1. oztraveller says:

    A couple of useful links for travelers planning to use ATMS overseas are the
    ATM Locators.


  2. devanshik says:

    Hey, check the Global ATM Locater (by ICICI Lombard Travel Guide) for a list of all ATMs of all major cards worlwide…

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