Did you know UK holidaymakers pay over £125m in foreign transaction fees each year? Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid paying bank charges on holiday. But, with a little research, it is possible to minimise these charges and sometimes avoid them altogether. With that in mind, the following list shows which foreign cash machines (ATMs) are free to use or charge the lowest known fee.
About The List
I've written the difficulty level of avoiding ATM fees next to each country ranging from easy to impossible. For countries where it's easy to avoid charges I've left the list blank. In moderate to difficult countries I've listed only the ATMs that are free. In countries where it's impossible I've listed the cheapest known options.
If you find anything incorrect or no longer valid, please let me know via the contact page, and I'll update the list.
A-Z Of Countries And The Best ATMs To Use
Australia - Moderate
National Australia Bank (NAB) - Free - Max Withdraw 1000 AUD
Bolivia - Easy
Bulgaria - Easy
Brazil - Difficult
Banco Do Brasil - Free - Max Withdraw 500 BRL
Cambodia - Very Difficult
Maybank - Free* - Max Withdraw 1000 USD** (*Free only for Visa cards. **Limit seems to be set by card issuing bank. I only withdrew 200 USD so I cannot confirm the 1000 USD claim)
Canada - Difficult
Scotiabank - Free - Max Withdraw 1000 CAD
Chile - Difficult
Banco Internacional - Free - Max Withdraw 200,000 CLP
China - Easy
Colombia - Moderate
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) - Free - Max Withdraw 600,000 COP
Davivienda - Free - Max Withdraw 600,000 COP
France - Easy
Hong Kong - Easy
India - Moderate
Bank Of Baroda (BOB) - Free - Max Withdraw 25,000 INR
State Bank Of India (SBI) - Free - Max Withdraw 40,000 INR
Japan - Difficult
Seven Bank (7-Eleven) - Free - Max Withdraw 100,000 JPY* (*Magnetic strip card transactions and American Express cards are limited to 30,000 JPY)
Malaysia - Easy
Morocco - Easy
New Zealand - Difficult
Westpac - Free - Max Withdraw 800 NZD
Peru - Moderate
Banco de Crédito del Perú (BCP) - Free* - Max Withdraw 700 PEN (*Limited to one withdraw every 30 days).
Banco de la Nación (Multired ATMs). - Free* - Max Withdraw 400 PEN (*Limited to 400 PEN per day).
Caja Arequipa - Free* - Max Withdraw 700 PEN (*Only free for Visa Cards, MasterCards are charged 18 PEN)
South Korea - Moderate
KB Kookmin Bank - Free - Max Withdraw 700,000 KRW
Shinhan Bank - Free - Max Withdraw 700,000 KRW
Sweden - Easy
Switzerland - Easy
Taiwan - Moderate
Cathay United Bank - Free - Max Withdraw 20,000 TWD
Bank SinoPac - Free - Max Withdraw 20,000 TWD
Thailand - Impossible
Aeon Bank - Charges 150 THB* - Max Withdraw 20,000 THB (*Lowest known fee)
Krungsri Bank - Charges 200 THB* - Max Withdraw 30,000 THB (*This bank has a higher fee but allows a larger withdraw which works out slightly cheaper if you withdraw the maximum)
United Kingdom - Easy
Vietnam - Difficult
Military Bank - Free - Max Withdraw 5,000,000 VND
Saigon Commercial Bank - Free - Max Withdraw 4,000,000 VND
UK Cards Information
Monzo Prepaid Debit Card (MasterCard). ATM withdraws are free up to £200 per month +3% thereafter. Purchases in foreign currencies are free.
Nationwide Debit Card (Visa). Charge for withdraws from foreign ATMs £1 +2%. Charge for purchases in foreign currencies +2%.
Revolut Prepaid Debit Card (MasterCard). ATM withdraws are free up to £200 per month +2% thereafter. Purchases in foreign currencies are free. Revolut offers premium services for a monthly fee which increases the maximum monthly withdraw allowance to £400 or £600, and provide travel insurance and various other bonuses and investment options.
TransferWise Prepaid Debit Card (MasterCard). With this card, you exchange money, using the app or website, for a 0.35%-2% fee. Because the card is then holding foreign currency you can sometimes use ATMs that don’t otherwise accept foreign cards for free. ATM withdraws are free up to £200 every 30 days +2% thereafter. Purchases in foreign currencies are free.
US Cards Information
Schwab Brokerage Account + Checking Account (Visa). Refunds all ATM fees incurred monthly. You must open a brokerage account, minimum investment $1000. US residents only.
Sometimes ATMs and vendors will ask if you want to be charged in the local currency, or in your cards native currency. To avoid a lousy exchange rate and additional fees it's nearly always better to choose the local currency. It's worth stating which currency to want to use as you hand your card to the vendor, as they sometimes forget to ask.