I’ve seen that there are free-to-use Euro ATMs at Luton, provided by the travelex company ICE. Does anyone have any experience with these machines: there aren’t any fees anywhere, are there?
If you check the conversion rate that they’re offering vs the MasterCard rate (bearing in mind that today’s rate will only be shown at 7pm today), I expect that you’ll find that it’s nowhere near as good as Monzo’s (they don’t add any fees to the MasterCard rate)
In which case, I’d recommend withdrawing your cash from an ATM once you get to the European country instead so that you can use Monzo’s rate, as long as you’re sure that you won’t need any as soon as you arrive.
I had experience with red-ish ATMs on Gatwick, I don’t think they were the same company, but they had this (or very similar) symbol above ATM:
I needed more Euros in cash to pay for the trip, and I knew it would be more difficult to get Euros in Morocco from ATM. I was not charged by that ATM. I didn’t use Monzo, as I was saving ATM withdrawals limits, so don’t judge! I used Revolut card, I converted to euros beforehand in Revolut app, so I don’t know what exchange rate it used.
The red ones are travelex brand
I’m not going to a European country, I’m getting euros just in case of emergencies while I’m in Georgia. Do these ATMs not allow you to be charged in euros, thus using the MasterCard rate?
My understanding is that those machines are doing the conversion for you so they’re charging your Monzo card in GBP, then giving you the Euros that they’ve calculated you should receive, using their rate which I expect will be worse than MasterCard’s.
Travelex say “Our ATMs don’t typically surcharge* and all our ATMs are Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) enabled. As proven by our high customer opt-in and acceptance rates, Travelex has the most comprehensive DCC product globally. Our ATMs accept all Visa and Mastercard branded cards issued worldwide and Travelex is a direct member of the LINK UK ATM scheme.”
International Currency Exchange say “ICE operates an estate of ATMs dispensing any combination of Sterling, Euro and US dollar. All ATMs are Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) enabled and while the vast majority of our ATMs don’t charge a convenience fee, this functionality is available**. The ATMs accept Link, Visa and MasterCard badged cards meaning that the majority of cards issued worldwide can be used to withdraw cash.”
*therefore some Travelex ATM may charge
**therefore some ICE ATMs may charge
But as we know, the spread on their rates is huge so you can end up getting a rate that’s up to 14% worse than the spot rate, if you use a service that companies like Travelex provides.
Monzo have explained more about how currency conversion works & compares with the MasterCard rate here -
Foreign exchange dealers make money by adding either a Commission (percentage of the total amount), a flat Fee (e.g. £2), or their own Margin to the spread, reflected in the advertised exchange rate. Margin is the most common, and is usually advertised as “commission free”, however be warned—the spread can be very wide!
The MasterCard rates are incredibly good. If you need to buy €1,000 of travel money, you could save between £10-90 compared to a travel money shop or ATM.
They give a worse rate, like the others I’d recommend waiting till you’re in the country you’re travelling to before getting cash out.
I have used a cash machine from Raphaels Bank in the past to get some USD. They make DCC optional (i.e. allow you to charge your card in USD/EUR) in which case you get the “good” rate. But they are not at the airports.
I have tried a few TravelEx machine throughout London, but they all insist on DCC which makes them quite expensive.
Raphæl’s bank is a good bank. They have been around hundreds of years and a direct participant in the Faster Payments Scheme.
The funny thing is that Raphaels Bank is owned by the same company as ICE.
Clearly the two subsidiaries have a different focus and different cost/revenue structures, but ultimately Lenlyn Group has a network of multi-currency ATMs which allow for withdrawing at a good () rate, and another network that don’t. At least they have distinct brands, so you know which you are getting before putting your card in!