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Why did the ATM charge a fee for my cash withdrawal?
ATM owners may charge you additional fees by applying:
1. ATM surcharge fees
2. Currency exchange fees
1. What is an ATM surcharge?
ATM owners may charge you an access fee for using their machines. This fee amount is defined by the ATM owner.
For example, if you withdraw £10 (British Pounds) at the ATM, the ATM owner may apply a £3.99 access surcharge, so you'll be charged a total of £13.99.
2. Why was my cash withdrawal charged in a different currency and why was I charged extra for this?
Two currency exchanges may happen:
- On the ATM owner's side
- On Revolut's side
- Currency exchange on the ATM owner's side
When withdrawing cash at the ATM, the ATM machine may provide you with the option of making the withdrawal in a non-local currency. This mostly happens when you are abroad. If you opt for this, the ATM owner will apply its own (often unfavourable) exchange rate and charge you an extra fee. This is called dynamic currency conversion (DCC).
To avoid paying this extra fee, it is recommended that you choose to make your withdrawal in the local currency, and refuse the currency exchange. Choose British Pounds (GBP) in the UK, US Dollars (USD) in the US, Euros (EUR) in France, etc.
For example, you try to withdraw £10 (British Pounds) at a British ATM. The ATM owner suggests you convert this amount to US Dollars.
- If you accept the conversion, the ATM owner may apply an unfavourable exchange rate and charge you extra, for example USD $15.
- If you don’t accept the conversion, the ATM owner will charge you £10.
Bear in mind that ATM surcharge fees may apply in addition to any currency conversion charges imposed by the ATM owner. Using the previous example, if the ATM owner charges a £3.99 access fee, you'll be charged £13.99 without conversion from the ATM, or USD $21 if the ATM converts this £13.99 from British Pounds to US Dollars using an unfavourable exchange rate.
- Currency exchange on Revolut's side
The ATM owner tells us how much to charge your account.
If you don't have enough funds in your account in the currency you chose for the cash withdrawal, Revolut will perform a currency exchange. Please bear in mind that if this happens, we may charge you a currency exchange fee if you’ve exceeded the monthly exchange limit on your Revolut plan, and/or an ATM withdrawal fee if you’ve exceeded the monthly withdrawal limit on your Revolut plan. Both fees would appear in the Fees section of your transaction details screen on your Revolut app.
- A few examples:
- No conversion: you try to withdraw £10 (British Pounds) at a British ATM. The ATM owner suggests you convert this amount to US Dollars. You refuse the currency exchange. The ATM owner asks Revolut to charge you £10. If you have sufficient British Pounds in your Revolut account, Revolut does not have to perform a currency exchange. You only get charged £10.
- Double conversion: you try to withdraw £10 (British Pounds) at a British ATM. The ATM owner suggests you convert this amount to US Dollars. You accept the currency exchange (which you shouldn’t). The ATM owner performs a currency exchange on this amount using an unfavourable exchange rate and asks Revolut to charge you USD $15. If you don’t have enough US Dollars in your Revolut account, but you have enough British Pounds, Revolut will have to exchange this USD $15 to British Pounds, and charge you £11 after performing the currency exchange. You will still end up paying more than you withdrew because of the unfavourable ATM exchange rate.
You can find more examples in our blog post.
Overall, our recommendation is to choose to make ATM withdrawals in the local currency and refuse currency exchanges performed by the ATM machine. Revolut will perform a currency exchange on the amount only if you have insufficient funds in the currency you chose to make the withdrawal in. In such cases, Revolut will often use a more favourable exchange rate. Learn more about the exchange rate used by Revolut in 'What foreign exchange rate will I get?' FAQ article.
Please bear in mind that the access fee and exchange rate applied by the ATM owners are estimates we compute based on the information we receive from them.
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