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ATM at CDG

I've been advised to used bank ATMs in Europe rather than ATMs from other organizations. Are there bank ATMS located convenient to the international arrivals area at CDG.

Posted by
5361 posts

I consider the advice to use bank ATMs to be a "best" situation rather than an absolute. The reasons are several:

"An ATM attched to a bank or even in a lobby is generally in a more secure environment"---I think taking prudent precautions, most ATMs can be secure.

"If you should have issues with an ATM (eats your card, transaction problem) then presumably someone in the bank can help"---I have never had to test this out, and to be honest, I am not sure someone in the bank could even help.

"Using a Bank ATM means fewer fees or charges/better exchange rate/etc."---Fees would be dependent first on what your bank charges, maybe fewer fees if you use a specific Bank ATM, exchange rates are typically controlled by the network.

So given all that, I would have no issue using an ATM in an airport, they are usually contracted by the airport, so security and other factors are generally acceptable.

Now, I do shy away from using some ATM tucked out of the way in a town, especially if it is a small standalone unit, preferring, if I have a choice, to use one in a main area, usually a bank, but arriving at an airport, you use what is at hand.

Do be aware of Dynamic Currency Conversion at airports and other tourist oriented areas, regardless whether it is a bank atm or not. Not sure about France, but arriving in England or Spain you likely would run into the option to have the transaction done in your home currency or for them to do the conversion...always proceed in local currency without conversion. In those cases the conversion rate they offer is almost always very bad.

Posted by
9110 posts

The things all over the place. Maybe a couple dozen in T2 alone.

HSBC is the bank with the concession, I think. Their logo is a white sideways hourglass on a red sideways oval that has straight sides.

Posted by
3547 posts

HSBC, the big international bank, dominates the ATM scene at CdG. The French post office also offers a few machines and they are worth seeking out if convenient.
The airport is a collection of terminals, with several international arrival areas. If you know where your plane pulls up to the terminal, for instance Terminal 2E or something like that, then you can use the airport website maps to get your bearings.
http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/ADP/en-GB/Passagers/Access-maps-car-parks/Paris-CDG/maps/
The individual maps cover both arrivals and departures. Pull up the appropriate map, check the Arrivals tab to get the right level, and then pull down the Services menu and click on Cash Dispenser. The HSBC icon will appear on the map. Clicking on Foreign Exchange will show the Travelex company's money-changing booths. These also may (or may not) have an ATM machine attached. I've always been suspicious that Travelex machines may be a slightly more expensive deal but I can't prove it. After a long plane ride you might settle for the nearest machine to take enough cash to get by and then make a bigger withdrawal in the city. In my experience HSBC machines sometimes have a rather low maximum withdrawal anyhow.
One other note of caution, drawn from sad experience: If the HSBC machine coughs up a torn or defaced bill, head at once to a branch of HSBC at the airport, receipt in hand. Merchants and even off-site banks may refuse to accept a damaged bill. I lost 50 euros that way once.

Posted by
1005 posts

Don't use the Travelex machines at CDG. They will charge higher fees and may try to confuse you with Dynamic Currency Conversion--which "converts" your transaction into dollars for even higher fees! If any ATM asks you if you want your transaction in dollars--always opt for the local currency. If the ATM asks if you want to "lock in" or "guarantee" the conversion rate, always reject this option. By the way, this ruse can happen at bank ATMS too. If you want to know more about DCC, see this discussion on Flyertalk.