Incurring the least ATM & Debit fees?

I am an American abroad in Greece on vacation. I emailed my bank and asked them how to incur the least ATM fees and they replied:
"please be advised when using an ATM abroad you will incur a percentage fee for the conversion of currency and additional fees they can charge any amount. It is
better to be charged in dollars to avoid extra fees and currency conversion from the side of ... Federal Credit Union."

But they specifically said from their side. Since I am not a member of a Greek or European bank I usually get charged an acess fee to use the ATM network of a Greek bank(usually 2-4 Euros) and a markup rate for currency conversion often 9% or as high as 14%.

Some Greek who has a mini-market told me it is best to make a POS debit transcation if possible and ask to be charged in dollars.

From my semi-extensive experience of sending money to relatives in Greece, Paypal is far cheaper than any bank or any other method I know of for currency conversion. Do you think there is I way I can send money to myself in dollars via Paypal and convert it to physical Euros somehow?

  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >find currency exchange with best rates in your town
    >exchange twice the cash you think you'll need
    >whatever you don't spend, exchange back to USD

    Alternatively
    >use VISA for all purchases save for small amounts of cash exchanged using above method
    >use online banking to pay off balance before accruing interest

    If you are using ATMs more than once on your trip you are an unprepared retard or just a turbogarden gnome

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >find currency exchange with best rates in your town

      I went to the Athens airport again on my return flight from Crete. I asked at the currency conversion kiosk and their rates were like:
      5% percent something to convert physical cash from dollar bills to Euros

      9% something percent something to convert debit based money in my checking account to physical Euros

      The debit rate is literally the same rate that so many bank ATMs in Greece charge. But looking back I should have got another 100 Euros from that kiosk to have saved having to deal with the ATM fee on top of the conversion rate... Also the next time I come I should probably bring a large amount of dollars, maybe $500 to get a lower 5% instead of a 9%, 12% conversion rate at most bank ATMs.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        OP please stop traveling before you hurt yourself.
        Barring some freak exceptions, you never ever exchange money at the airport. They all have horrible rates and/or hidden commission fees. Just wait until you get into town. Change 10 bucks if you must have something for the bus. But not more. If the country uses USD/EUR, there's zero reason not to have the cash beforehand, you'll get a good rate back home too.
        Just get that Schwab account or whatever you burgers have that refunds fees, or barring that, grab Revolut and do some research. In most countries, there's at least one bank that won't charge ATM fees or have them significantly lower than the competition. And for God's sake please google what DCC is and learn to always, always refuse it, no exceptions.

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    The best way to avoid fees is to have been prepared, but since you weren't a boy scout in the 1970s that's too late, next best way is to not spend money, but since you are American you will need constant infusions of zogchow, goytainment and trinkets to feed your dopamine drip. Since you can't figure all this out just Accept Conversion at the ATM (the bank can be trusted and will give you the best rate and not give you fake bills like a currency conversion shop) taking out as much as they will allow at one time so you avoid the $3 ATM fees per transaction.. gotta watch out though the machine will probably have a skimmer attached or someone will watch you do your transaction and then approach you soon after for nefarious purposes or at best the machine will swallow your card. Good luck. Now you know why American whitebois shouldn't travel except to Canada they are too soft and don't plan ahead and American graft is usually done legally

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I try to take out large amounts from the ATM like 300€ or 400€ at a time to avoid ATM access fees for not being a member of any Greek bank. In the USA, I always take out small amounts like $20, $40, $80, or at the most $100.

      >find currency exchange with best rates in your town
      >exchange twice the cash you think you'll need
      >whatever you don't spend, exchange back to USD

      Alternatively
      >use VISA for all purchases save for small amounts of cash exchanged using above method
      >use online banking to pay off balance before accruing interest

      If you are using ATMs more than once on your trip you are an unprepared retard or just a turbogarden gnome

      This seems like a troll. I was in Athens, then I traveled in the Peloponnese and now I’m in Crete. Converting a huge sum of dollars into Euros would mean I would have to travel everywhere with thousands of Euros which I don’t often do and I’m not comfortable doing.

      Also do currency conversion places charge less than ATMs? I guess I can ask their rates and fees and compare it to some of the photos I took at Greek ATMs.

      I'm pretty sure you hit "decline" on these machines always, and you don't get fucked. I think I did this in Portugal, and got charged $153 or $157 each time I took out $150. I took money out like 4 or 5 times in 2 weeks, so the fees were like 40 bucks. I didn't consider that bad since I never pay any fees in the US. I guess next time I should make a bunch of cash beforehand from a bank in my hometown??

      Hitting decline all the time seems like it will just cancel the transaction. Either I choose dollars and the Greek bank converts my dollars into Euros. Or I choose to take out Euros and I guess my home bank will charge me to convert to Euros.

      >DCC (dynamic currency conversion)
      Decline, I have never seen an example of accepting DCC being cheaper than just letting your home bank handle the conversion.

      I should ask my home bank how much they will charge. So I should choose to pay directly in Euros and my bank will do the currency conversion?

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I'm pretty sure you hit "decline" on these machines always, and you don't get fucked. I think I did this in Portugal, and got charged $153 or $157 each time I took out $150. I took money out like 4 or 5 times in 2 weeks, so the fees were like 40 bucks. I didn't consider that bad since I never pay any fees in the US. I guess next time I should make a bunch of cash beforehand from a bank in my hometown??

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >DCC (dynamic currency conversion)
    Decline, I have never seen an example of accepting DCC being cheaper than just letting your home bank handle the conversion.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Also, this. Decline DCC always. Let Visa do the conversion and you'll get whatever the rate is here:
      https://usa.visa.com/support/consumer/travel-support/exchange-rate-calculator.html

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Euronet
    just use a normal bank ATM, and decline DCC, Euronet are scammers

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I didn’t use that particular ATM outside an ATM in Paleochora, Crete. I just wanted to see the fees and rates, I had enough Euros at the time and canceled the transaction. The 14% conversion markup is atrocious, the highest I’ve seen.

      See this other pic from a Greek bank with a lesser but still high fee of 9%.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        are you a troll or just american IQ? click no conversion and you will only pay 2.50 euros

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Are you a Europooran?

          My checking account is denominated in dollars. If I do no conversion I’ll get nothing. Traveling for me is not like when Eurozone members from Euro countries travel to other Euro using countries.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Your bank automatically does the conversion for you for a better rate. Mine was Turkish lira and it was no problem, we don't even have euro accounts here. Just click the thing and give it a try.

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Charles Schwab checking account. From what I understand no currency exchange fees on their end plus they reimburse ATM fees

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      This is the way. You'll need to open a brokerage account first, and then the checking account. I thought that's what I was doing when I first opened the brokerage account because it asked if I wanted a debit card and checks. Turns out those were just for the brokerage account. I ended up opening the checking account about a month later when I realized my mistake.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      This is the way. You'll need to open a brokerage account first, and then the checking account. I thought that's what I was doing when I first opened the brokerage account because it asked if I wanted a debit card and checks. Turns out those were just for the brokerage account. I ended up opening the checking account about a month later when I realized my mistake.

      This or Fidelity.
      >tfw Schwab refunded me >$200 in ATM fees one month

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >>tfw Schwab refunded me >$200 in ATM fees one month

        In the USA my bank is a local credit union and it is part of the ultra-large Allpoint network, So almost every Dunkin Donuts, 7-11, CVS, Riteaid, Walgreens, etc. has an ATM that is part of the Allpoint network. Plus in the USA so many stores give cash back so it is not really much of an issue. I rarely ever go to ATMs in the states, I almost always get cash back when doing my other shopping.

        But abroad that could be useful.

        Also, this. Decline DCC always. Let Visa do the conversion and you'll get whatever the rate is here:
        https://usa.visa.com/support/consumer/travel-support/exchange-rate-calculator.html

        My debit card is a Mastercard.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          That's fascinating, but it sounds like a shit-tier option. You can get an account with CapitalOne which don't charge fees for ATMs/forex and use it in countries where some banks don't charge ATM fees. That debit card is Mastercard and has access to the Allpoint network as well. You will get close to mid-market on the forex which you can check here:
          https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/get-support/convert-currency.html
          I swap between that one and Schwab. While I like the ATM fee refund, I don't want to give them an interest-free loan until EOM if I can avoid it. You can check both to see which have the better rate for the day if you're pulling out a lot of cash for future purchases. Keep a per-country notes file with the ATMs that don't charge fees in case you return.

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Worked in hotel front desk for years and had tonnes of foreign card transactions through my desk.

    This conversion scheme is called DCC. Always press no on these questions and never have them convert your currency.

    Your bank always sorts it out cheaper than DCC

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Find a bank that has no foreign currency exchange fees on debit transactions. Pay for everything with contactless or Chip and Pin. I can't speak for Greece but almost all European countries now have contactless/C&P available for so much that you barely need currency any more. Be aware that paying in dollars leaves you completely at the mercy of the retailers' own exchange rate. It may be bank rate or they may fuck you over.

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Now I'm booking a return flight via Emirates and it is wanting to charge me in Euros, EUR 847.82 because I am in Greece...

    I chose to pay via Paypal instead of my debit card.

    Would there have been a way I could have gotten Emirates to have charged me directly in dollars? Without a stupid currency conversion fee?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Haha PayPal what a scam millennials really love getting ripped off, haven't you kids heard of banks? Lmao learn from boomers

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      You can literally choose in the paypal pay window to either take PayPal’s conversion rate or pay in the local currency and let your bank/card handle it. It’s almost always way cheaper to let the bank/card handle it

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        I didn't see that option when I just booked my fight on Emirates.

        Emirates automatically charged me in Euros and Paypal left it that way and didn't offer me an option to accept a conversion rate or reject one(letting Mastercard/my bank handle that). I think their algorithm detects what country you are in and charges you based on your geolocation. So when I booked from the USA it was dollars, when I booked from Greece it was Euros.

        Their may be a way to change that, but I booked last minute as it was and paid through the nose for it...

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          >Their may be a way to change that
          VPN from your "home" location

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          It’s not super obvious, iirc you can click on the line below your payment method where it shows the currency conversion rate to bring up another window that will allow you to choose to be charged in native currency

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *