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Picture: woman, ATM, withdraw money, checking account, credit card 

Eurozone, credit cards and check cards have contributed to the fact that it is basically superfluous, before the holiday nor the currency of each destination to change. Nowadays it is possible in many countries to get cash with the German girocard. However, withdrawing money from a current account abroad has a catch: it involves additional costs. Almost every traveler knows the topic of the rather high fees when withdrawing abroad, the so-called foreign service charge. Outside the eurozone, the conversion fees for the foreign currency are added.

Fees and costs fall with the girocard

If you want to use your giro card abroad, you should first inform yourself about possible fees – because a real cost trap lurks here! In addition to the pure transaction fees, which are either a fixed amount in euros or a percentage of the withdrawal amount, many banks also charge a fee for conversion into the foreign currency.

However, these costs are not necessarily displayed when withdrawing money, but provide only when looking at the bank statements after the holiday for a nasty surprise. Therefore, it is advisable to inquire before traveling abroad whether there are ATMs or banks at the destination that cooperate with the principal bank, and what are the fees that the bank charges when withdrawing cash.

Caution is also required if the foreign ATM offers to convert the national currency into euros and debit the current account with the amount in euros. The foreign bank operators usually include a premium of between five and ten percent in the exchange rate, which, however, is subsequently not shown on the bank statement and therefore not noticed. However, if the amount is debited in the foreign currency, the foreign bank will send the withdrawal amount to the house bank. This then converts the amount into euros at a fair exchange rate and shows this visibly on the account statements.

High amount of cash or high fees?

At first glance, a vacationer does not have much choice. Either he often deducts smaller amounts from the current account and pays for a higher effort. Or he only gets money at the machine once or twice, but he has to carry large amounts of money with him, the loss of which would be painful.

Does the market offer no solution? Yes, the solution exists. The direct banks offer free checking accounts which also include one or two free credit cards. With most of these credit cards, owners worldwide can withdraw cash at ATMs for free. The number of toll-free withdrawals varies from provider to provider, in some cases there is even no limit. But completely free credit cards are now in short supply. Because the banks are trying to compensate for missing sales – due to the low interest rate policy of the ECB – by fees again. But some banks still offer free credit cards. It is therefore worthwhile for consumers to compare the different bank offers.

Withdraw money abroad: pay attention to conversion fees

This waiver applies primarily to the withdrawal of money in the euro area. However, if orders are made outside the euro area, costs will generally be incurred for translating the foreign currency amount into euros. Whether you travel a lot or generally want to save the holiday fund once or twice a year when withdrawing cash abroad, there are definitely opportunities. Incidentally, this option also offers the credit card without Schufa, which works according to the prepaid system. This also allows young people without a high cash count to go on vacation.

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