Using your UK bank cards to take out cash from ATM’s abroad can be a costly depending which bank has issued your card.


Using your UK bank cards to take out cash from ATM’s abroad can be a costly and charges vary widely.

The Turkish tourist resorts are jam packed with bank cash machines also known as Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s).

These are great for getting at your cash easily.

But beware that some UK banks charge you a hefty fee for the convenience of using your card abroad.

A person using a Barclays debit card to withdraw money abroad is charged a 2% transaction fee and a 2.75% loading fee.

Maybe that doesn’t sound much but it all adds up as we explain.

Firstly, the transaction fee element is subject to a minimum charge of £1.50 so even if you just withdraw a few small notes you’ll be paying for the privilege.

The good news, if we can call it that, is that the transaction charge is subject to a maximum charge of £4.

Then a loading fee of 2.75% is applied to the exchange rate between that of your account (British Pound) and the local currency, such as the Turkish Lira. This means you get 2.75% less and it isn’t itemised on your bank statement!

Below we show example costs of using your card abroad over a typical 6 day period.

We have used British Pounds as this is how it will be converted to your bank account.

Cost of £600 withdrawn over 6 consecutive days

Transaction Fee  £12.00
Loading Fee       £16.50

Total Fees         £28.50
Net Spending money £572

Total % Fees  4.99%

You can reduce the transaction commission costs if you limit the number of visits to the ATM as we show in the example below.

Cost of £600 if withdrawn twice

Transaction Fee  £8.00
Loading Fee       £16.50
Total Fees         £24.50
Net Spending money £576

Total % Fees  4.26%

Commission Free Cash

But did you know you can avoid all these commission charges if you change your bank card?

There are two banks that offer free or limited free card use abroad.

Abbey Bank have debit and credit cards that do not charge commission for use worldwide.

The Nationwide Bank also offer debit and credit cards but these are only free to use in certain countries following recent changes to their charging structure. The good news is that Nationwide will continue to provide commission free use in Europe including Turkey.

So if you want to make your holiday or other cash go further while abroad make sure you get the right cards.

Always take some cash or other cards with you in case you lose your main card through theft or mishap!