ATM commission in Europe

I’ve just withdrawn Eur100 from a Credit Agricol Bank in France. I was charged Eur 5 commission. Never had this a few years ago in Denmark. Is France different or have Euro charges changed ?

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In particular this part:

The French bank Crédit Agricole has introduced a €5 charge for withdrawals made with UK-issued credit and debit cards.


You must have been lucky! ATM charges can vary by country and type.

This link might help for the future

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Thanks for this feedback. Times have indeed changed. Not travelled since Brexit and COVID :wink:

It’s something which varies from country to country. Spain, for example, has always had ATM charges (with very few exceptions), both for Spanish cards and foreign cards.

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Any recommendations for French banks which do not currently add a surcharge ? I’m just trying to check now and will report back if successful.

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The way to avoid it is to get an EU based account. Easy options are Fineco and Bankera.

The charges are on non-EU cards.

I’m not sure yet that Fineco will avoid the charge in that whilst it is an Italian bank (with the Italian equivalent of FSCS protection), I’ve not been able to find out if the card itself has an Italian BIN. I’ll find out next week as I’m off to Germany.

Bankera is a Lithuanian EMI so no FSCS equivalent protection.

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According to Connextions website (which reported the Credit Agricol charge), Banque Populaire Val de France is free, and also (perhaps) BNP Paribas, Crédit Mutuel and Société Générale, BUT this information is from 2022 so I’ll need to check current status. At least I have a list to try. I might try loading some Euros onto my Wise card as an alternative.

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The situation seemed to have changed in January this year thanks to PSD2 no longer applying to UK cards.

There’s an article referred to on this forum quoting charges on all UK cards on almost all ATMs in France, Spain and Austria as of January this year.

Wise won’t help as the card is issued in the UK.

PS Neither will Revolut, CaxtonFX, FairFX, etc. as they are all UK issued cards.

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I have loaded Euros onto my Wise card and will do some ‘testing’. Sounds like (as with mobile roaming data) that UK visitors are being charged for things which were free in the past. Has the UK applied the same unfavourable conditions on EU visitors ? Interested to know if we are now playing the same game.

HSBCs global money card allows you to withdraw money without fees, so long as they are in the native currency.


Many cards will allow you to withdraw without a bank fee; but that won’t change for ATM fees be that HSBC, Monzo or whatever


If the ATM fee situation is ‘unavoidable’ then it is driving us even faster towards a cashless society. Unless you are buying from (eg) small traders and market stalls, plastic / smartphones will be the way forward.

It’s not driving anything anywhere; it’s just the return of an old international custom that we’ve been shielded from thanks to some bureaucratic system that the people decided they didn’t want part of.

It’s always been the case that banks charge people from third countries for cash withdrawals in most places in the world, they’re just catching up now and giving us that third country status.

It doesn’t impact your cash withdrawals in the UK. You can’t really talk about a push towards a cashless society when looking at international borders and customs. But I’m going to open that can of worms – why is a cashless society so bad?


It’s unavoidable only if you stick to UK issued cards. It’s possible get both Fineco (Italian bank) and Bankera (Lithuanian EMI) cards very easily.

Sadly, none of the free UK issued cards will avoid the charge.

I’m off to Germany later this week and will report back as to how the charges work out there (I’ve both Fineco and Bankera to try as well as UK cards).

Neither the Fineco nor Bankera cards get hit with UK ATM charges so, at the moment, our banks aren’t reciprocating with charges.

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I’m perfectly OK with cashless transactions. I used to travel to Sweden regularly on business and latterly found I did not need any ‘cash’ during my visits. It’s certainly easier especially when visiting the Nordic countries who have retained their ‘Kroner’. I have a small collection of these various Knoner coins at home. They may never get used :slight_smile:

Thanks for the help so far. Bankera looks very interesting.

It seems to work well. Transfers in and out usually take under a minute to/from Wise and Revolut.

You need to put the money in in Euros. Best option rate wise I find is pounds to Revolut, do the exchange there and then transfer the money to Bankera or Fineco.

The Bankera card took about a week to arrive.

Fineco is just as fast to transfer in but overnight to transfer out. It doesn’t charge for withdrawals and you can withdraw up to €1000 in one go (can’t see an ATM being physically able to do that though!).

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With the greatest of respect, that’s not really the case at all.

Generally, across the world, everyone tends to pay the same charges at an ATM (i.e. if it is a chargeable ATM, then you have to pay regardless of where your card is from) with the main exceptions being it’s often free if it is “your bank’s” ATM and isn’t if it is not - therefore some locals can avoid charges, generally, but only at their own bank’s ATMs or other free for all ATMs. This was how everything worked in the UK too until the 1980s. Santander, for example, extend this principle across the world.

There has since been a shift globally, accelerated by Covid and a desire for reducing contact points, towards cashless transactions. This makes operating an ATM network less viable as, largely, operating costs for the network are fixed but income reduces as the number of withdrawals reduces. To compensate for this, a large number of previously-free cash machines have become chargeable. We are seeing the impact of this at home as well - just look at the figures from the LINK network.

The EU dynamic was unique to the EU area and basically involved treating “foreign” (but still within the EU) withdrawals as equivalent to domestic withdrawals. This made sense as it facilitated freedom of movement and furthered the EU’s general aims of “smoothing” transitions between countries to be easy. Clearly, we have “lost” that benefit as we are no longer a member state. That’s what leaving the EU was always going to involve.

However, in many EU countries chargeable ATMs are much more common anyway, and this is partly why it has often been hard to find free cash machines in countries such as Spain even prior to these changes.

The “third country” language you have used in your post does not even make sense in this instance because that is an EU-specific concept. Basically, a “first country” is the EU citizen’s home member state, a “second country” is another EU member state and a “third country” is every other country across the world. The language normally appears in relation to single market rules, and movement of goods between first/second/third countries.

The phrase third country is meaningless outside of an EU context and has no relation to “most of the rest of the world”.

And no, we don’t charge EU cardholders at all. This is an example of EU banks being opportunist, levelling charges against most of the world’s cardholders but not those from the EU. They would charge other (non-home state) EU cardholders too, most likely, but EU law forbids it so they can’t. That’s literally it.


I suspect that the reason UK banks don’t charge EU cards is that they can’t because PSD2 still applies in the UK which would forbid them charging EU cards more than domestic cards.

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