What to consider when withdrawing money overseas
ONE of the most important things travelers need to keep in check especially when visiting multiple destinations is having enough funds to keep you going.
But lugging that much cash around and juggling multiple currencies for the entirety of your trip can be tricky because you do not want to risk getting pickpocketed or having your precious moolah stolen.
So what is the next best thing? Perhaps consider zipping to an ATM to make a cash withdrawal.
Making a withdrawal from the nearest ATM is generally the easiest and cheapest way to get cash while you travel. However, there are still some things you need to consider before whipping out your ATM card.
For example, while international cash withdrawals are exchanged based on the wholesale exchange rate, which means you will enjoy a rate that is significantly better than a local currency exchange counter, most banks may add on transaction fees.
On top of that, you will need to hunt down a compatible bank or ATM to get your dough. Ensure that your ATM card is linked to the Cirrus, Maestro, or PLUS networks. You can check the back of your ATM card for more information.
The Cirrus and Maestro networks are associated with MasterCard while the PLUS network is associated with Visa. Look for ATMs which have been marked with the network’s logo. For a quick hack to locating these ATMs, check out the MasterCard/Cirrus/Maestro ATM locator or the Visa/PLUS ATM locator.
Alternatively, contact your bank for assistance before you hop on a plane and jet off and while you are at it, inform your bank that you are traveling and ask them to enable international withdrawals. Ask your bank about its policy as well because sudden changes in your account activity can trigger a fraud alert and get your account frozen.
To add on, you should withdraw money in a lump sum instead of making multiple withdrawals as some ATMs have withdrawal limits or the bank may charge a fee after a certain amount of withdrawals. Hence, it is advisable to get all the cash you need at the start of your trip.
And of course, the golden rule is to never travel abroad with only one type of money.
While running out of cash is no fun, having your ATM card stolen or not work altogether is worse. So remember to bring along a credit card or some traveler’s checks just in case.