The banking sector is now on its way to be coming pretty standard and universal no matter where you are in the world. You will find most villages, towns and cities have ATM’s available 24/7 and they work just the same way as in the UK.
When you enter your card you will have a number of language options, so trying to work out what the ATM is asking is no longer an issue.
We always try and withdraw our cash from a reputable bank ATM and we always withdraw during the day time. That way we know we will have language options, surveillance cameras likely to be present to prevent theft and if the ATM feels hungry and gobbles up your card, you can always go in to the bank for help. Most banks do not charge a transaction fee for using their ATM.
Avoid non bank ATM’s such as Travelex, Euronet, Moneybox, Cardpoint etc as they tend to charge transaction fees and low exchange rates.
Be aware that foreign ATM’s have their own cash withdrawal limits. In addition, this limit will be different in different countries. For example, in Portugal our limit was €300 but the same bank in Austria allowed €400 limit.
Most European banks have small sheltered entrances which protect you from the weather but more importantly from theft. If the door is not open just scan you card through the door entrance card reader and the door should release
If your card does not work then
- Try a different ATM, it may be out of cash
- Try a lower amount, the bank or country limit may be lower than your request.
If you are planning on using an ATM then probably worth asking your card provider a few questions before you travel.
Will my card work in the countries I’m traveling to?
What fees do you charge for withdrawals or purchases made in Europe?
Are other currency commissions or foreign transaction fees included?
If my card is lost or stolen, what is my liability?
What phone number should I call if there’s an emergency?
What is my daily limit for ATM withdrawals in Europe?
Do you have partner banks in Europe whose ATMs I can use without a fee?
And finally, make sure you know you 4 digit PIN number.