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How to Avoid Paying Foreign ATM Fees While Traveling Abroad

Anne May 24th, 2024
How to Avoid Paying Foreign ATM Fees While Traveling Abroad


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Saving money for travel is one of the biggest obstacles that keeps people from traveling to their dream destinations. Yet, so many international travelers are throwing away money on fees that can be avoided. Being a savvy traveler can help you experience more without breaking the bank. 

One of the quickest ways to rack up fees is by using foreign ATMs. Although ATMs provide a good backup plan when traveling in other countries, they are not necessarily the best choice when it comes to obtaining foreign cash. This is why CXI recommends you exchange USD for foreign currency before going abroad.

ATMs have withdrawal limits that may cause some users to complete multiple transactions. Once you have completed multiple transactions through the ATM, the fees and rates used can easily rack up to be much more costly than doing one foreign currency exchange transaction with CXI.

Additionally, in some countries ATMs are one of the most prevalent places for card skimming to occur, making available your bank account information to those looking to commit fraud. CXI wants you to be safe, so protect yourself by traveling like a pro with foreign cash in hand. Have your currency delivered right to your doorsteps to save you time and money.


How Your Fees Differ Exchanging With CXI

When using a foreign ATM, there can be up to 3 ways that you'll be charged with each withdrawal. Typical ATM withdrawal limits (set by your bank or the ATM) can be $200 USD. If you withdraw $1,000 USD worth of euros throughout your trip, you'll experience the following fees 5 times!

1. Your bank's fee (this usually ranges from $3-$5)
2. The foreign ATM fee* (this usually ranges from $3-$5)
3. An exchange rate

*Foreign ATM fees can be higher in popular tourist areas ranging from $5 to $20.

Home Delivery 
Looking for an exchange with no fees? Order more than $1,000 USD worth of foreign currency on OnlineFX for Home Delivery and you'll receive no fees and access to overnight delivery! For transactions less than $1,000 in USD value, 2 Day shipping is a $15 shipping fee. Standard Overnight shipping is a $30 shipping fee. Priority Overnight shipping for a $40 shipping fee on transactions of any value. For orders that are smaller in value, CXI has to cover our process and handling costs with a small order fee. The small order fee is based on the total USD value of the currency exchange transaction:

$100 - $199.99 = $10 small order fee
$200 - $299.99 = $5 small order fee
$300 and over = $0 (no) small order fee

Check out more about our fees and what currencies we provide on our FAQs.

Branch Pick Up
With CXI branch pick-up there is only one fee. CXI has a tiered exchange fee based on the total USD value of the currency exchange transaction. Here at CXI, we want you to get your currency fast, and reduce the additional fees abroad as much as possible. Here are the fees below.

$0 - $199.99 = $3 fee
$200 - $499.99 = $5 fee
$500 and over = $10 fee

For example, for a €1,000 European euro transaction, with CXI branch pick up, you'll only have a $10 exchange fee for that transaction. On the other hand, if you decide to withdraw from a foreign ATM abroad, you'll have to complete multiple withdrawals, each with its own set of fees. Simply put your travel plans by ordering your currency before your trip. We'll save you money and time.

  Using CXI Beforehand to Exchange Your Cash Using ATM Withdrawals to Get Cash or Use of Credit Cards
Cash ready to use when you arrive Yes No
Avoid multiple ATM fees  Yes No
Avoid bank fees Yes No
Avoid credit card merchant fees Yes No
Reduce the chances of credit card fraud Yes No

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Save More with Currency Price Protection 

Foreign currency exchange traveler with money

In case you didn't know, we provide Currency Price Protection (CPP) exclusively at CXI's company-owned branches. This is a new way international travelers can get more money back from foreign currency exchange transactions.

It enables travelers to take advantage of CXI's ultimate buy-back rate when they return with foreign currency from their trip. Add Currency Price Protection when you purchase foreign currency and you're covered!

This allows you to sell the leftover currency back at our ultimate buy-back rate, plus you receive no exchange fee. Get more U.S. dollars back on Currency Price Protection covered currencies than the standard buy-back rate.



About Currency Exchange International
Currency Exchange International (CXI) is a leading provider of foreign currency exchange services in North America for financial institutions, corporations and travelers. Products and services for international travelers include access to buy and sell more than 90 foreign currencies, traveler’s cheques and gold bullion coins and bars. For financial institutions and corporations, our services include the exchange of foreign currencies, international wire transfers, global EFT, the purchase and sale of foreign bank drafts, international traveler’s cheques, and foreign cheque clearing through the use of CXI’s innovative CEIFX web-based FX software www.ceifx.com


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Tags: Travel, Tips