Has anyone encountered really high cash advance fees using ATMs in Italy -- like 50 euros a transaction?
FIRST, all fees are solely determined by your credit/debit card issuer. A bank owned ATM in Italy will not charge you anything. Second, cash advances fees are basically a loan against your credit and depending on the amount withdrawn the fees could hit $50. Using a cash advance should only be done in the most severe emergency.
Frank is right. Use your debit card to withdraw money from your checking account at ATMs. If you need other money, just use your credit card to pay for lodging, meals, etc. A cash advance from your credit card is very costly. Only do a cash advance in an emergency.
Use the ATM only for withdrawal. I recently returned from Rome and Sorrento; used ATM's 3 times. Each withdrawal was the Euro equivalent of about $300; my fee for each was $5.00. I encountered 1 ATM in a bank (ATM's are called Bankomats in Italy) in Sorrento, where my only option was cash advance...I withdrew my card and went to another bank! best wishes.
Where does this question come from? Did you hear or read something about that? Here's Rick's take on the money/cash/ATM issue: Money Travel Tips, also found by clicking on "Travel Tips" above.
As posted above, bank ATM's in Italy do not charge fees. Your bank or credit card can charge fees. For ATM use, one of my banks charges nothing, but the other charges 3% PLUS $3 per foreign withdrawal. Guess which card I use (except in an emergency, which is why I carry both). Cash advances on a credit card are a whole higher level of fees. My credit card charges 3% for foreign use, and 3% for cash advances. When I spoke to them about upcoming travel (to put the notification on the account that I'd be using it abroad), I was warned that BOTH charges would apply, making it a 6% fee for a cash advance on this card. So, if you truly got a cash advance on a credit card (instead of a withdrawal with a debit card), you could have incurred such high fees. Using approximate exchange rates, it looks like I would pay about 50 euros if I took out a $1000 cash advance with my credit card - so it could happen.
Thanks for all the quick responses. Good advice about using the debit card I hadn't thought about it because I never use it at home. My credit card charges a $10 fee per cash advance transaction, which I can account for on my statement. The 50 euro charges appear to have been charged by the bank owning the ATM machine. I could match one of the 50 euro charges to an actual cash advance. As far as I can tell, the others (three of them) are NOT attached to any cash advance so I think they might be fraud. My credit card company is investigating. The one fee that I can tie to an actual advance was an ATM that appears to be owned by the Italian post office on a 200 euro cash advance, 50 euros is a hefty fee to say the least. I will post any new information I receive from the credit card company. Thanks.
I see. You're asking after the fact because you used a credit card several times to do cash advances and you've now been charged these whopping fees. Ouch. That's too bad. Was this an emergency situation? Credit cards should be used for cash advances only in emergencies. Use ATM/Debit cards instead. Good luck. Maybe you can take a little comfort from knowing that you might have saved a few others from the same fate.
You might want to read the section under "Graffiti Wall > Money/Communications > ATMs: Minimizing Fees" for information about your situation. I only use a DEBIT CARD tied to a CHECKING ACCOUNT at a local credit union (1% fee from the CU) to get local currency from ATM machines in Europe every summer when I go there. Sounds like your credit card company had that information in the very fine print.
I'm not sure if you're takling about regular withdrawls or cash advances (they are different). If it's regular withdrawls, find out if your bak has a Italian partner bank. BofA partners with BNL bank in Italy. You can make withdrawls with no fees. Your bank website can probably tell you. Make sure you have a money belt, they got me but I had my importnat stuff in a money belt!
Christine, I am suspicious that you may have use private ATMs (non-banked owned) which can charge anything they want. I am unaware that the Italian postal system offered ATMs so those could have been private ATMs running under the Italian postal label. Since this is all after the fact you will need to work with your credit card company to resolves these problems. Another small possibility is that your card was scammed. That possibility is always higher when you use stand alone ATMs that are not attached to a bank. And hope this expensive lesson will teach you to use only a debit card at a bank owned ATMs during future travels.
The ATMs run by the post office in Italy (Postamats)operate just like bank ATMs, no charge for using them.