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ATM use in Budapest

We are preparing for a trip to Budapest and have been reading rick Steve Budapest book. He says you must have a debit card to use ATM machines without cash advance fees. We have an ATM card (not debit) that has worked in other places in Europe ok. Will it work in Budapest?

Posted by
4062 posts

ATM fees are usually imposed by the home bank. A small minority of Euro banks may impose their own fee (my recent encounter was with Caixa in Spain). So I can't be sure about Budapest although five years ago the procedure was no different. I don't understand the distinction between a debit and an ATM card in the US; elsewhere it's the same card.

Posted by
7061 posts

"I don't understand the distinction between a debit and an ATM card in the US; elsewhere it's the same card."

A normal debit card can also be used for purchases, an ATM only card can be used to withdraw cash from an ATM but not POS purchases.

Posted by
2769 posts

ATM card works fine in ATM machines in Budapest. Just there for third time, never an issue.If your card has a chip witht he PIN then it likely can also be used as a debit card to make purchases. Our Schwab card is that type, and we used it at the machines there to buy transit tickets.

Posted by
5697 posts

I can't find that advice in the RS 2015 Budapest book, just the advice to use a debit card rather than a credit card to get ATM cash, and to check with your bank about ATM fees.
My card is Schwab (has a Visa logo), so I don't worry about fees, but there was nothing on the bank screens about fees when I withdrew cash this spring.

Posted by
3521 posts

The difference between an ATM card and a Debit card is that the Debit card has a Visa/MasterCard emblem on it and can be used for other purchases as well as getting cash from an ATM. An ATM only card is exactly what its name implies. Your ATM only card may or may not work in European ATMs depending on what network the issuing bank participates in. If the card has Plus, Cirrus or Maestro symbols on it (or Visa/MasterCard for Debit cards), it should work in Europe as long as you inform your bank you will be using it there.

If your card has worked elsewhere in Europe, it probably will work in Budapest.

Posted by
16894 posts

Small fees are not a big issue and ATM vs. debit is not the issue. The point is that CREDIT cards start charging interest from the moment that you use them for a cash advance. If you do that by accident or in an emergency, then go online and pay off the credit card bill to stop further interest from piling up.

Posted by
18519 posts

Your ATM and Debit card will work just fine. The only advice would be to avoid non-bank affiliated ATM machines (Euronet ATM for instance), make larger rather than small withdraws; and to always be sure to chose the option to charge your bank in Hungarian Forints (designated Forint, or Ft or HUF) and not in dollars using the ATM's exchange rate if you want to maximize the rate and minimize fees.

You can Google "Budapest ATM" with Google Maps and get a lot of locations. For more locations Google the bank name; OTP is a popular bank with a lot of locations.