Charged +10% by ATM in Barcelona!


#1

Hi,

I was recently recommended Revolut by a friend. I read through the website and it sounded great - particularly the free ATM withdrawals - so I ordered a card and am trying it out for the first time, in Spain.

I credited my Revolut account with some GBP and converted to EUR via the app with a good exchange rate. So far so good. However, I’ve literally just arrived in Barcelona and needed some cash at the airport so I went to the ATM machine and withdrew 200 Euros. The machine said there was 0 Euro charge but confusingly gave me an exchange rate for converting GBP to EUR. There was a queue at the machine so, under pressure, I agreed.

I now check the Revolt app only to find that the 200 euros I just withdrew just cost me 223.42 euros!

This charge has eclipsed any benefit I’d have expected from using Revolut for the whole trip and I’m seriously unimpressed and confused.

My question is, what did I miss? Should I never use the Revolut card at an ATM?

I’m worried to even use the damn thing for anything now. Is there any likelihood that I’ve missed some small print about card transactions too and maybe there are outrageous charges levied for those transactions as well?!

Thanks for any pointers folks. I can’t believe that this kind of thing is commonplace as nobody in their right mind would touch Revolut if that was the case, but I do feel a little let down as the distinct impression I got from the Revolut marketing is that the whole purpose was to avoid horrendous transaction and exchange fees, so clearly I’ve missed something major.


#2

Hi! When using an ATM, you should always choose “Without conversion” when asked. The ATM applied its own exchange rate, which is why you got charged more. You don’t have to worry about other transactions :slight_smile:
I also recommend reading the FAQs:


#3

Always chose the local currency when withdrawing from an ATM.

This is because your card will be asked for the local currency (EUR in your case) and so THE CARD ISSUER (Revolut) will do the conversion.

As above you need not worry. It won’t happen again now you know.

And just as a final note, ATMs in airports can be designed to make you pay. Always try and use an ATM outside of an airport when you can. :slight_smile:


#4

In every transaction in ATM or in Pos terminals you choose with no exchange conversion.Always choose to be charged in the local currency.It is in FAQS.


#5

Thanks all. So in Barcelona at the ATM I withdrew Euros, which is the local currency. So I’m still confused. I’ve made a couple of card purchases and they have asked me whether I want to pay in euros or GBP, for which I’ve selected euros. Is that right?

I’ve read the FAQs and still don’t understand the ATM charge :frowning:


#6

Yeah always SELECT the local currency.
You will only be able to pay for things in or withdraw EUR. What matters is that you select to pay in the local currency. That way Revolut are asked for EUR and so they do the conversion.
As a rule of thumb if you see a conversion on screen there is a mistake.


#7

That was your mistake, and the problem is not unique to Revolut. If you see an exchange rate, then you can’t be withdrawing EUR from a EUR balance. You are authorising some kind of conversion.

See Option to disable GBP transactions to block dynamic currency conversion


#8

As everyone has already mentioned, please do not accept any conversion made by the ATM terminal and always choose to be billed in the local currency!


#9

You have fallen for the legal currency scam called DCC or Dynamic currency conversion. Since your card is issued in the UK, its home currency is GBP although you converted some GBP to EUR. When you use the card abroad in any currency other than GBP, the card terminal or ATM knows that and, if the function is active, suggest to charge you in your home currency instead of the local EUR. This is offered as “service” so that you see the amount in your familiar home currency but the hidden fees charged for this conversion are between 3-10%. So instead of charging you in EUR, you got charged in your home currency GBP plus the 10% DCC fee which Revolut then exchanged to EUR again if you didn’t have any GBP in your account.
Usually the terminals try to trick you into selecting DCC or the merchant selects it for you because he earns money with it as well. Especially in tourist areas DCC is common.
Never select DCC and if the merchant still wants to charge you using DCC then cancel the transaction.