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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

Taking out money abroad shouldn’t be a headache and it also shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. So how much does it cost to take money out aboard and which bank offers the cheapest withdrawal fees? Check out this guide, and it will all make cents.
While you’re abroad, you’re likely to make two types of transactions with your UK debit card: in-store purchases, perhaps while you’re shopping along the Champs-Elysées Paris or at a Michelin-star restaurant, and cash withdrawals at an ATM machine.

We went straight to the comparison experts, Which?, to see what each bank is charging its clients to take out money abroad. If you find your bank on the higher side, it may be time to either switch banks or open a new travel account at a cheaper institution. “Total charge” is based on debit card transactions of 2 x £50 purchases and 3 x £50 cash withdrawals.


Remember, do these things before you go away on holidays:

It’s a good idea to tell your bank where and when you’ll be travelling. The last thing you want is for your bank to put a security hold on your card due to “suspected activity.” You can usually do this by telling them in a branch or using the telephone customer service.

Make sure that you mobile phone number is up-to-date with your bank in case they need to get in touch with you while you’re abroad. Usually banks will call if they suspect fraudulent activity on your card, which is probably just you shopping at a lovely market in New York City but they don’t know that.

Never arrive in a destination with zero cash in the local currency. Things go wrong; ATM machines like to eat debit cards for example! Always carry at least enough cash to get you through Day 1 of your trip, just in case.

Save your bank’s emergency phone number to your phone contacts. That way, if you need to reach them in a pinch, you won’t be searching for WiFi just to look up the number online. You’ll already have it!

That’s it! Don’t get caught by any nasty surprises when you receive your bank statements after a fab holiday in Morocco or elsewhere. Make sure you know your bank’s terms and if you can find a better deal elsewhere, all the better for you. The more money saved, the more you can travel.

Img: Kuhlman / Flickr cc.

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