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ATM usage fees around the world
How are overseas ATM fees different?
Additional fees may apply if you’re making an ATM withdrawal overseas, and can also grow to include a currency exchange fee. Which banks have higher ATM fees, and how do the fees imposed by Singapore banks compare to the rest of the world?
To find out, we’ve examined the fees that apply, and how much bank customers in other countries are charged.
Local ATM fees
In Singapore, you may use your debit card to withdraw money from an ATM that isn’t owned by your bank if the banks have a shared ATM network.
For example, you can withdraw cash between DBS and POSB ATMs, or UOB and OCBC ATMs if you have an account with either bank. While withdrawals between DBS and POSB ATMs are free, you’ll be hit with a nominal charge of S$0.30 per transaction for cross withdrawals between UOB and OCBC ATMs.
Overseas ATM fees
Banks usually waive overseas withdrawal fees if you withdraw cash from your bank’s overseas ATMs or its partner banks. However, additional charges will apply if you’re using ATMs elsewhere. For example, these banks charge a fee when you make a withdrawal from non-affiliated ATM operators:
- DBS/POSB: S$7 per withdrawal for cards with the following payment brands: Cirrus, Maestro, Plus. Fees are waived if you withdraw from an overseas ATM using a UnionPay card.
- UOB: S$5 per withdrawal
- Citibank: No withdrawal fee, but there’ll be a 2.5% administrative fee.
- Maybank: S$5 per withdrawal
If you’re making foreign currency withdrawals, you will also be charged 1% of your transaction in currency exchange fees. If you need to withdraw cash frequently while travelling, these fees can add up quickly.
ATM fees around the world
Fortunately, local cash withdrawal from your bank’s ATMs are free-of-charge. But there are plenty of other countries that charges a fee for local cash withdrawal, such as in the UK where they range from £1 to £1.50 per transaction.
The table below outlines the fees that apply in countries around the world:
|Country||Fee for an ATM withdrawal||Converted into SGD|
|Germany||EUR 1.95 to EUR 5||$3.13 to $8.03|
|Spain||EUR 0 to EUR 1||$0 to $1.61|
|United Kingdom||GBP 1 to GBP 1.50||$1.79 to $2.69|
|Hong Kong||HKD 15 to HKD 30||$2.68 to $5.37|
|Thailand||THB 10 to THB 20||$0.44 to $0.88|
|The Philippines||PHP 200||$5.34|
|Pakistan||PKR 0 to PKR 20||$0 to $0.20|
|Sri Lanka||LKR 15 to LKR 60||$0.12 to $0.46|
|United States||USD $2.50 – $5||$3.51 – $7.02|
*The fees were correct as of March 2021. These fees may have since changed.
How do I avoid ATM fees?
- Withdraw less frequently. Instead of withdrawing a small amount every few days, why not withdraw a larger sum in one go? This will help ensure that you always have cash on hand when you need it and let you avoid unnecessary ATM fees, so preparing a weekly budget will help you work out how much money you need to withdraw at any one time.
- Stay in your bank’s network. Whenever possible, try to use an ATM owned by your bank, or owned by a company with which your bank has a partnership. For example, POSB/DBS customers can use all Westpac Group ATMs in Australia.
- Use ATM locators. Most Singapore banks have tools on their websites and mobile apps to help you find your nearest ATM. Put these tools to use if you ever need to find your nearest fee-free place to withdraw cash.
- Pay with card instead of cash. These days, most modern merchants have the capability to accept card or mobile payments. The amount of times you actually have to use cash to pay for your purchases is actually quite small, so consider paying with your card instead of cash wherever possible.
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