Withdrawals and payments by debit card : all of our tips to avoid hassles in vacation

Tic-Tac ! The summer holidays arrive. One is sure, you are impatient ! But perhaps also a little anxious at the idea of withdrawing money outside of France. The survey carried out by Opinea for Diebold Nixdorf reveals that 47% of French who are travelling abroad are reluctant to withdraw the cash. And 67 % say they take precautions before you use an atm abroad. This is also your case ? Stay with us, we will deliver to you all our advice to leave and travel with peace of mind.

Go on a holiday in tranquillity with your card bancaireEn outside of France, you can also withdraw money !

Nearly 1 in 2 (47 %) is reluctant to withdraw money in atms abroad. Specifically, 37 % explained does not remove very rare species, and 10 % do not remove just never.

First of all, don’t worry. You can withdraw cash from machines abroad. 95 % of bank cards in circulation can be used to make withdrawals abroad.

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To make savings, make big withdrawals

According to the survey conducted by Opinea, near 1 French on 2 prefers to make several small withdrawals abroad. And yet, this is not the best strategy to adopt. Explanations.

In box €, the withdrawals are charged as in France. If the distributors belong to your bank, they are free. If the distributors belong to another bank, they are often paying for past 3 withdrawals per month. Problem, outside of France, not sure that you find a distributor of the network of your bank or a partner bank. Therefore, it is more difficult to escape the charges. Result, do not multiply the withdrawals at ATMS. If possible, make one or two large withdrawals during your stay.

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Outside the area €, same observation. Your bank collects the commissions fixed and proportional withdrawals. Result, by multiplying the small withdrawals you will pay several times the fixed commission. Conversely, by performing a single large withdrawal, you will pay only once.

Council banknote

Contact your advisor, it will tell you the list of partner banks in the place where you go and you will avoid a fee for withdrawals…

An example is better than all the explanations. According to the comparison of bank fees Panorabanques, banks charge an average of 3,20 € per withdrawal + 2.50% of the amount withdrawn on the 1st June 2017. As a result, if you do :

  • A single withdrawal for the equivalent of 500 euros, and your bank picks 3,20 € + a 2.50 % x 500 € = 3,20 € + 12,50 € = 15,70 € fee
  • 5 withdrawals € 100, your bank will charge you 5 x (3,20 € + a 2.50 % x 100 €) = 5 x (3,20 € + 2,50 €) = 28,50 € fee

There is no photo !

In addition to these commissions, currency exchange fees you will be charged by the foreign bank. These fees, which are difficult to cut !
If possible pay rather than withdraw money to distributors

Again, this is true in the area € as outside. In box €, the payments are free of charge ! Outside the area €, the banks charge a commission fixed and proportional to the amount paid. It is as for withdrawals, except that the fixed commission is generally lower. The evidence, on June 1, 2017, banks charge on average a payment abroad 0,20 € + 2,50 % of the amount paid. It is on average £ 3 less than for a withdrawal of the same amount.

For example, if you make a payment for the equivalent of € 100, it costs you for 2.70 €, against 5,70 € for a withdrawal of 100 €.

Council banknote

And to save even more on your banking fees abroad, think of the online banks. They do not charge fixed commission on withdrawals and payments. And, the commission proportionate is generally much lower (average of 1,98 %) than in conventional banks (average of 2,50 %).

Travel outside the area € : and if you open an account in a new bank ?

The neo-banks, you have probably already heard about it. The N26, Compte-Nickel, C-zam, or even Revolut attempt to shake up the banking market to blow account of low cost, mobile application at the top and opening of account fast. Well, keep in mind that some of these fintechs are particularly interesting in the case of a stay abroad.

Comparison of the neo-banks abroad


These prices are valid as at 1 June 2017

  • For your travel outside the area €, Revolut is the fintech focus. The opening of the account and the bank card there are free. Withdrawals are free of charge up to 200 € per month. The payments also of up to € 5,000 per month.
  • N26 is rather not bad ! Especially, if you feel that you are going to remove well over € 200 during your stay.
  • C-zam is also a good offer : withdrawals out-of-area € (1€) and payments for free. A pity that there are account maintenance fees (12 € per year)

A few other tips before and during your vacation

Of the boards that cater to those who will be leaving this summer to exotic destinations, but also to those who will remain in France.

  • Make sure that your bank card does not expire during your vacation
  • Make sure that your account balance is sufficient to cover your expenses
  • If you are going abroad, tell your bank advisor. In fact, to reduce the risk of fraud, some banks automatically block withdrawals abroad (after 1st withdrawal)
  • In case of loss or theft of your credit card or your checkbook, keep with you the phone number to contact to make opposition. Attention abroad is not the same number in France
  • You manage your account during your vacation ? The best solution is to use the mobile app of your bank

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With all these tips, you can travel with peace of mind ! And, in case of additional questions, do not hesitate to ask us by leaving a comment just below this article. We will answer them with pleasure ! Have a nice summer 2017 !

Marie-Eve F



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