Trip to Paris: cheapest €320


I’m taking the Eurostar to Paris tomorrow for a two week stay. As soon as I arrive I need to make a payment of €320 in cash. If I get them off an ATM in Paris I’ll kill my Monzo cash allowance in one go. Even worse, I could use my HSBC card and look at a 2% cash fee + 2.75% conversion fee + a not so good rate :roll_eyes:

Any other ideas? Has anyone used this € ATM in St Pancras with Monzo? Is it true that you can get € without foreign ATM fees and with the Mastercard rate as mentioned here?


Would you have any other cards like Starling by any chance? If your need for such cash is frequent it might be worth getting one.

If you don’t mind me asking, what is that cash for? Could you use Transferwise instead?

However as far as ATMs are concerned, every single high-street bank in France has one and they don’t charge any fees by themselves, so assuming you’re ok with blowing your Monzo ATM allowance you can just go to pretty much any ATM and not get any surcharges.

(Simon B) #3

For our upgraded accounts, the fee structure is generally based on location of the ATM. However with niche ATMs like Raphael’s that allow withdrawal of a different currency, other variables could potentially come into play depending on how they are registered.

I’d personally be sceptical that such a machine would give you the Mastercard rate with no fee or markup, but I don’t personally have any experience trying this out and I see that another forum member has said that it did.

The ATM would need to inform you of the rate and any fee before you confirm the withdrawal so I’d say it’s worth a shot! Report back and let us know what you find out :slightly_smiling_face:

(If there's the wrong end of a stick, you'll find me holding it.) #4

If you use Monzo in France for the whole amount, it’ll only cost an extra €3.60, which isn’t a huge amount extra.

You’ll then need to use your card at POS as much as possible thereafter, of course.


Thanks for your explanation, this € ATM did sound too good to be true. I’ll try to check it out if I have the time.

True. I suppose it’s just that I haven’t gotten over the fact that no more free cash abroad :cry:

(Allie) #6

I was really sceptical of that too, and I’ve heard reports they forced DCC, but other forum members are adamant they work. Next time I need some USD or EUR, I’ll try…

I find this interesting, given that typically issuers have either a foreign exchange fee only or a foreign exchange and/or transaction fee. I’ve never heard of a foreign transaction fee that didn’t also apply to foreign exchange in the home country. A nice little loophole, if it proves true and the account of these ATMs actually charging in EUR/USD also proves true.

The ATM should never inform you of the rate, if it is capable of informing you of the rate, then it’s doing the conversion, and that’s bad for you (obviously if you can refuse their conversion on the rate screen, that works too).

@MrArkadin - Metro Bank can open a current account and issue you the card in a few minutes in branch. Fee free withdrawals in Europe.

(Jamie 🏳️‍🌈) #7

Maybe just a little perspective:

You’re happy to pay for Eurostar tickets, local transit, accommodation, eating and drinking for two weeks in Paris, which is the third most expensive European city in which to live (far higher than London, currently), travel insurance, a little bit of data roaming, things to do including an activity which costs (at today’s rate) £285 on day one, and you’re quibbling about a £3 fee?

No judgment on your choice of where you spend your money, but why don’t you just drink one less glass of wine one evening, or skip a pastry in the morning?

(If there's the wrong end of a stick, you'll find me holding it.) #8

This should be free?

Otherwise your comments are spot on :+1:


Thank you for this most helpful comment. I don’t know what came over me, asking cash management questions in this good banking forum. Or maybe it’s the amount that bothers? In that case I propose to set a forum wide rule: no new threads for amounts <£10

(not an acolyte) #11

Sadly there seem to be quite a few keyboard warriors on here who are quick with the veiled insults, and when challenged will defend themselves with pathetic attempts of justification. Spoils a good forum.


I’m guessing that’s me :thinking: why does noone believe me? :cry:

(Allie) #13

I don’t disbelieve you, it goes against everything I’ve been told before about these machines and that made me excited. Maybe a little sceptical (not about your experience, but fear it was just a fluke), but mostly just excited. :smiley:


If you do go to try a EUR or USD machine in the UK, make sure when posting comments that you name the ATM operator as there are 3 firms providing foreign currency ATM services and they may charge different exchange rates or fees.

EDIT this reply was not meant for @GalaxyMergirl but anyone

(Allie) #15

Good point, though. I know of Raphael’s Bank and Travelex. I believe Travelex are the ones I heard force DCC on non-GBP, but can’t be sure.

(Gareth) #16

We can’t tell why this has to be cash, nor why it’s so last minute (which removes quite a few cheaper alternatives). It’s not about trying to make you look stupid, it’s trying to change how you do things while accepting reasonable costs. But ultimately, that’s up to you.

People were told months ago what it costs Monzo to withdraw foreign cash and future charges, and the alternatives (don’t use cash, or use another provider - Barclays & Halifax have credit cards suited for this for example, Starling of course have no fee yet).


The ATMs vending EUR that I know of are Raphaels and both Thomas Cook and ICE (International Currency Exchange) which I think are both associated with Raphaels. Travelex, Moneycorp, and 3 NoteMachine ATMs. Historically there was also a NatWest ATM vending EUR at 15 Bishopsgate and an ATM at Marks and Spencers East Kilbride shopping centre, but I am not sure if they are still doing so.


The only thing I would add is to look for alternatives if you think you’ll need foreign cash more frequently. There is Starling, but there are also at least two credit cards that allow you to withdraw cash abroad without fee (Halifax Clarity and Barclaycard Platinum Travel card). I have used Halifax for years when travelling, and withdrawn quite a bit of cash through it, so can confirm it works (not sure if you’ll believe though :thinking:)


The ATMs in kings cross and st Pancras charge more than a bureau de change but less than airport, it’s somewhere in the 5% ballpark. It claims free withdrawal but it hammers you on the dynamic currency conversion.

I used them once (before Monzo existed) and thought “wow. Why have I been paying for euros all this time when I can just withdraw them from the UK for free?”, then I realised how dumb I was when I checked my bank statement.

Maybe I was just in a hurry, but I’m pretty sure I would have cancelled the transaction if it said “you will be charged £13.25 for this withdrawal”, instead I remember something like “this euro withdrawal will convert at €1.15 : £1.00 - click accept to continue”. For someone with no idea about interbank rates or hidden markups at that time (like many ppl) they could have converted at €0.10:£1.00 for all I knew!

In summary, if you are avoiding paying pennies to Monzo then definitely avoid these machines as you will be hung out to dry!

(Allie) #20

That’s what I’ve always heard, but @nanos is telling us you can opt out of the DCC! Heck I may have to go get some EUR just for testing I’ll use 10 EUR sooner or later…


Just for the avoidance of doubt: I didn’t use one at Kings Cross or St Pancras. I don’t know who operates those.

Specifically I used the Raphaels Bank ATM at Embankment station. That was a bit under a year ago with Revolut.

I’m just gonna leave this one here (emphasis mine):

Raphaels Bank offers a service known as Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). This means that when an eligible card is identified as coming from outside the UK, we will offer to carry out conversion of the transaction value into the currency associated with the card. You will be presented with the applicable exchange rate and the total amount to be debited from your account. If you choose not to allow Raphaels Bank to carry out the conversion, the transaction will proceed in sterling and the conversion will be carried out by your card issuer.

[edit: although I just realise that the “the transaction will proceed in sterling” part doesn’t make sense here :thinking:]

I would love for someone else to test this and back me up or refute me, but I have to warn you, @GalaxyMergirl: noone will believe if you report it works. There are two things that people only belive when they experience it themselves: ATMs dispensing :euro:/:dollar: without DCC in the UK, and UFOs :thinking: