Automatic teller machines may be found virtually anywhere in the world, and they can be especially useful if you are traveling to a foreign country and find yourself in need of cash. While banks are understandably in the business of making money, you can use ATM machines that exchange foreign money without paying an excessive amount of surcharges and fees. By taking a few precautions before and during your travels and understanding how your bank views foreign transactions, you may safely withdraw money from ATM machines wherever your travels may take you.
Before you travel, you should find out if your bank is part of a network that has ATM machines in the country you will be going to. By withdrawing foreign money from a network bank, you may not be charged the fee usually charged for using what is considered to be a foreign ATM. Many larger financial institutions have banks and automatic teller machines in even the remotest parts of the world, making it as convenient as possible for their customers to access cash in local currencies. Getting cash this way should also give you the best exchange rate possible, and your ATM rate will likely be better than any rate that you would get from a currency exchange outlet or a local bank.
Banks are usually on the lookout for suspicious transactions, and this is to protect the customer as well as the financial institution. This is why withdrawing cash far from home or overseas may be denied. As long as you notify your bank that you will be traveling overseas, however, your transactions will not be viewed as suspicious. You should also know which account will be considered as the default account, so that you withdraw your funds from the account you prefer. Instead of making frequent and small withdrawals, withdrawing your ATM money in larger amounts is another way to keep your fees low as well.