Which ATMs Give the Best Exchange Rates?
I want to scream every time I read a question like that on the internet. And it happens almost daily. I have had “knock-down, dragged-out” arguments over the internet on this question because people just refuse to believe how the system works. In their mind, there is a little man in the ATM machine making decisions at that moment about how much cash to give them.
UNLESS, you agree to “dynamic currency conversion” or “pay in your own currency” when you make the ATM transaction, the ATM machine WILL NOT EVER SET THE EXCHANGE RATE YOU RECEIVE. That means that regardless of the ATM machine, you are going to get the same amount of money (provided transactions occur at nearly the same time). If you use DCC, you are getting RIPPED OFF. Don’t say you weren’t warned. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, choose to pay in the local currency. Again, atm machine currency exchange is NOT set by the machine.
When you use an ATM, the rate of exchange you receive is set by YOUR ISSUING BANK and the currency service they choose. For example, your better banks will use VISA or MASTERCARD’s currency service, giving you the absolute best rates. Other banks will choose a different conversion service, giving you a less advantageous rate (but giving the bank a commission for your transaction!).
Does it matter which atm machine I use? No, it does not matter which ATM machine you use. The ATM does not set the rate you receive.
In the above example, I made three withdrawals of 10,000-baht within 5 minutes apart from three different ATM machines located next to each other, using my internationally issued credit card. I received the exact same conversion amount — down to the penny!
It doesn’t matter which brand of ATM you use — the ATM does NOT set or control the exchange rate you will receive.