How do you avoid getting charged large fees by your bank when withdrawing overseas?

Hi All,

My question is about banking when it comes to being overseas/working etc. How do you avoid getting charged large fees by your bank when withdrawing overseas?

I’m originally from Australia and do my banking still in Australia. I live in the UK and most recently was living in Vietnam where I found I had to withdrawl money just to get charged very large amounts from my Aussie bank.

How do you get around this? What can you recommend.


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I have an account with the German DKB, whose credit card I can use for worldwide free withdrawals and payments. You don’t need to be a German citizen or resident to use it, and the account can be opened completely online. I don’t know if their exchange rates are always the best, but it’s a decent option.

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you find a bank that doesn’t charge you those fees. mine doesn’t charge me anything for using my cards internationally.

My Australian bank is CUA. They charge a flat rate of $5 per overseas withdrawal which isn’t great but beats the % charge by most banks. I don’t really mind it because they have good exchange rates, better than the big Australian banks. Also, I only really use it for personal spending. Otherwise, I use Paypal for most online payments and also have a Payoneer account (which probably has worse fees).

The only Australian accounts I’ve seen that don’t charge any fees are credit cards accounts which I don’t want. If you are okay with that, ANZ has an account with no overseas transaction fees that they seem to be flogging a lot lately.

I have a Revolut card:

It’s a prepaid card with a mobile app. First 650€ of withdrawal from any ATM is for free. After that you pay 1% (which is still less than what most of the banks charge).

This also increases security. My Revolut card was scanned in Brazil and someone withdrew 200€ from my account (better than if someone had access to my real bank card). I filed a complaint to Revolut and they gave me back the money and issued a new card free of charge.

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Hey mate,

Check out Mozo and find a credit card that has no foreign conversion fee. This will ensure you can EFTPOS with no fees. I use a Bankwest Platinum card that has this feature and I also collect Qantas Points.

Then use the same site to find a debit card where you can withdraw with no fee from the bank - but you will always pay a local ATM fee, there is no way around this. I use the Citibank normal transaction account for this.

I posted in Australian Reddit about how I freelance around the world, pay little fees and maximise points. You can read it here.


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For about 15 years, I’ve used a (two actually) German Postbank SparCard Direct account which comes with a Visa Plus card where the first 10 overseas ATM withdrawals per year are free. Also not sure about how favorable the exchange rate is but Postbank is so high profile I’m assuming it can’t be terrible. Also not sure if it can be opened as easily as the DKB card you mentioned.

+1 vote this is the best combination in Australia, I also use it :+1:t2::blush:

I’m from the UK and I use the Norwich & Peterborough bank account, which is free to use in any currency, as long as you pay £500 per month into the account. I also have the Halifax Clarity Mastercard which is free to use anywhere and to withdraw cash anywhere, though you get charged interest on cash from day 1. But it’s a useful fallback.

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Revolut works great.

I’m australian and I use the Citibank plus transaction card…

No fees for overseas ATM withdrawal, and the currency rate is the Visa rate which is very good.

Wow, that sounds great. I’d apply but I’m going overseas on Sunday. I might give it a go when I get back in Dec.

Schwab lets citizens/residents of certain countries open a brokerage account and with that, I think you can get the high yield investor checking account, which comes with a debit card that has no fees and lets you withdraw money worldwide without paying a fee (they reimburse you every month for ATM withdrawals).

It’s not always down to the cent but I’ve found their conversion rates to be really reasonable and their reimbursement is usually spot on.

The only exception is in Europe where the bank fees are higher (so I haven’t been reimbursed as much) so for here, it’s worthwhile to open an N26 account - you can do it online and the free account gives you 5 free withdrawals per month in Europe.

So armed with the two, you could get really reasonable ATM withdrawal rates everywhere :slight_smile:

With UK address you can get Monzo card. ALso free withdraws abroad of max£3k a year. No monthly fees.

A pretty good USA card that refunds ATM withdrawal fees is with Charles Schwab.