Countries With Most to Least Expensive ATM Transaction Fees

Banking

Wise, a foreign exchange company based in the United Kingdom, analyzed 20 European countries to compile a list of where it is the most expensive to the cheapest to withdraw cash.

“Although everyday payments in Hungary are increasingly digital, cash is still prevalent at many major holiday resorts. As the cost of living continues to rise, it's important to spend as little of your vacation money as possible on hidden and excessive ATM fees. These can quickly add up to high costs. Wise asks banks and other service providers to put the customer first and be transparent about their pricing. If your travel plans include one of the more expensive countries listed, pay special attention to ATM fees and spend your money on vacation instead,” explains Attila Pápai, head of an engineering team at Wise.

The foreign exchange company released a compilation of data showing 20 European countries ranked on how expensive it is to withdraw cash as a traveler. Iceland tops the list with a transaction fee of 4.6%, while in Bulgaria ATMs only charge 0.13% for withdrawals. At the bottom of the list are Italy and the United Kingdom with transaction fees of 0.23% and 0.14%, respectively.

According to a statement from Wise which provided their calculations, tourists vacationing in Iceland, who withdraw the equivalent of HUF 20,000 per day for seven days (a total of HUF 140,000), pay more than HUF 6,400 in ATM fees. On the other hand, if they travel to Bulgaria and withdraw the same amount, they will spend less than HUF 180 on transaction fees in the same number of days.

Based on this year's data from the National Media and Communications Authority (NMHH), the two most popular destinations for Hungarians in 2023 were Austria and Croatia, with both countries ranking in the top 10 most expensive places to withdraw cash.

To attain the data, Wise analyzed 1.7 million cash withdrawals from third-party ATMs over a 12-month period from April 2022 to May 2023. The ATMs registered at least 800 transactions per country during the period.

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