Why you should really never accept the suggested exchange rate at the atm
August 11, 2020
I keep running into people who get ripped off at ATMs when they travel. The problem is that they accept the exchange fee in Euro (€) to another currency. First of all Never, really NEVER allow the conversion to your home currency! No matter what country you are in! Many banks or ATM operators try to cheat the customer by this conversion. Their aim is to mislead the customer by increasing the exchange rate and to charge him with more money for the transaction. You should ALWAYS take the money in the currency of the country you are in. You must never indicate “PAY DIRECTLY in EURO”. You will always be offered a worse exchange rate, which can vary up to 20% from the current rate. Let’s go through this example.
In this example you can see the increased fees very well. For a cash withdrawal of 212€, you will be charged 238€ if you agree to the exchange rate and “direct payment in Euro”. Whereas if you refuse to convert and pay in HRK, your home bank will only charge you 212€ + 4€ fee if applicable.
So always make sure that you really never allow the conversion! After all, your bank or credit card provider in your home country will charge you the amount at the current official exchange rate. And this is always better than accepting the overcharged exchange fees in your holiday country!
Most ATMs will even ask you really brazenly twice if you are really sure that you don’t want to be charged directly in Euros. Do not let this question mislead you!
So be careful when paying in the Euro-free area.