Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Don't bank on it

by guest blogger Mac

Currently I am living in Thailand, and have been using the ATM to take funds out of my UK bank account for over two years. A couple of months ago, a friend of mine was coming out to visit me and offered to bring a pile of mail that was sitting in the UK waiting for me to read it. When he arrived, I noticed a few banks statements mixed in with the credit card offers and other junk mail. I don't usually check my statements very closely, I just don't keep very close track of my spending, but on this occasion I decided to look over them. I was shocked to find just how much I was being charged every time I used the ATM, I was also surprised at the terrible exchange rate I was getting. The next morning, I took my passport and rental agreement to a local bank and opened a Thai bank account, it worked out far cheaper for me to transfer a lump sum into a local account and use a local ATM card than it was to keep using my foreign card. If you are a frequent ATM user in a country that is different to the one your bank account is in, check the charges, you may also find you are paying over the top.

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