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Southeast Asia forum

Withdraw fee for at card

Posted by Cateyze9 on 15/8/2017 at 13:01

I have well Fargo, which has a $5 withdraw fee to ATM cards. Is there any way around that thanks?

#1 Cateyze9 has been a member since 18/7/2017. Posts: 6

Posted by exacto on 16/8/2017 at 19:08

Hi Catey!

The quickest way around this would be to get an ATM card with a bank that doesn't charge a $5 withdrawal fee. That may be difficult, however, as most US-based banks will charge something. My bank charges a 1% foreign transaction fee when you take money out of a foreign ATM. So, for example, when I withdraw 20,000 baht from a Thai ATM, the 1% fee actually works out to more than the $5 fee you mentioned. I would check to see if Wells Fargo charges a transaction fee on top of the ATM fee.

Shop around to see if you can find a US bank offering a better deal. I am sure they are out there.

Also, keep in mind that the ATMs in Asia, at least the ones in Thailand, will charge you a similar fee when you use them. There are Thai ATMs that don't charge the fee, but they offer lower exchange rates, so you wind up paying the fee either way. Most of the ATMs I used in Indonesia did not charge a fee. The ones in Laos usually did. I haven't been to Cambodia recently enough to remember, but I think I withdrew US dollars there, which was extra convenient for me.

If you are going for a relatively short period of time, you could take US $100 bills with you and exchange those as you go. I always recommend having some cash while you travel (particularly dollars or euros), but carrying that much cash with me personally takes some of the fun out of the trip as I have to worry about keeping it secure the entire time. Plus, having to stop and exchange cash at a booth is not as convenient as using ATMs. Because of that, I usually just consider the foreign exchange fees as part of the cost of doing business. It is a service I pay for, same as a haircut or taxi ride or anything else I want.

I hope that information helps. Take care and have a good trip.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,755
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