Press the EUR 200 on the bottom left in this case. The other one will cost you an additional 9 EUR.

Press the EUR 200 on the button left in this case. The other one will cost you an additional 9 EUR.

In recent months I have noticed that banks are trying to get you to pay them extra fees when you draw out money on an ATM. This ATM scam is spreading like wildfire and I see it all over the world, so watch out when you draw cash from an ATM. It’s perfectly legal, but it’s still a scam, so watch out.

Most people who travel the world these days have some sort of credit or debit card that they use to either pay for services with or draw cash money from at an ATM.

I personally have two cards that I mostly use for drawing out cash, as I tend to spend my money at smaller businesses who do not always take cards.

But in recent months I have noticed in several countries around the world that I get two options when I draw out money. One option is the way I have always taken money out, where I get let’s say 200€ from the machine and I pay a little fee and then my bank back in Denmark gives me the exchange rate of the day.

But now I am also getting a second option wehre the bank I am drawing from is asking if I want them to exchange the money and the button for accepting this is always placed on the bottom right of the ATM, where you tend to press when you want to proceed and it’s also the bottom that you are most likely to press if you are right handed like most people and just press without really giving thought to what you are doing.

What happens though is that you press yes to an exchange rate that is considerably worse than the one you would get at your bank back home. I have been checking it out for a few months now and so far I have NEVER seen an example where it was wise to let the bank you take the money from exchange your money.

And it’s not like my local bank in Denmark is giving killer exchange rates. They are doing the exact same thing if a foreigner wants to draw money from their ATM.

I have been checking out the differences between the usual way to draw money and the new “offer” you are getting from the banks these days and it costs me between 3€ and 5€ extra for each 100€ I take out of the ATM and that is on top of the fees I already pay when drawing money out.

So when taking money out, be careful what you are saying yes to and make sure that you let your bank back at home do the exchange and not the local bank, because it’s a scam and it seems to be happening pretty much everywhere these days.

The world of banker crooks in suits and ties might be coming to me saying that this is just an additional service they offer and blah blah blah, but it’s NOT a service trying to get people to accept a bad exchange rate instead of a good one. It’s as bad as when some budget airlines tries several times during a booking to make you buy an insurance that less than 1 in 10 000 passengers ever needs.


Happy travels.

So all my traveling friends, be ware of this ATM scam cause it will give you more money to explore the world if you don’t fall for it 🙂


  1. I noticed that too, but was on to the scam. I can see how easy it would be to just press ok for it to be in my home currency.
    Banks are relentless!

  2. Good article, Claus. Pretty bad behaviour from the banks…

  3. I confirm I have seen precisely this happening in quite a few countries. Sometimes the proposed rates are up to 10% lower than they should!

  4. In berlin two months ago I was forced to pay 10 % extra to withdraw € in an ATM and as I was in a hurry I did not have to time to locate an other ATM.

  5. Thanks for this information. I’m heading to Europe in a couple of weeks so I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for this potential scam.

  6. I hate to say it but it’s not only the banks, the credit card companies too are charging recidivous fees as well in foreign transactions. I usually pay close attention when I’m taking money out of ATM machines in Europe.

  7. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ll pay attention now!

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