bank charges abroad

What bank charges abroad?


How are bank charges abroad calculated?

You probably know it: making a withdrawal or using your bank card abroad often generates bank charges, which are higher or lower depending on the bank. Certain establishments are very greedy on this point as soon as their customers carry out transactions in foreign currencies.

In the euro zone (or in the SEPA zone for certain banks), you will not bear more costs for a withdrawal or a payment by credit card than in France, except in the event that your bank limits the number of free withdrawals from ATMs other entities and you would exceed this limit.

Outside of Europe, on the other hand, you will certainly have to bear, depending on the rates set up by your bank:

Costs in the event of withdrawal from an ATM: fixed costs + sometimes variable costs,

Fees for payment by credit card (most often variable fees).

Each banking establishment has its own price list . Commissions can range from one to three from one bank to another. Some, because of their high fees, are clearly not recommended for globetrotters or those who often travel outside the euro zone.

The fixed and variable costs can accumulate when you carry out a transaction in foreign currencies. The costs of payment by bank card abroad can, for example, consist of the following: 1 euro per transaction + 2.50% of the amount.

What is the average level of bank charges abroad?

Online banks do not charge the same level of fees as traditional over-the-counter banks, regional banks and large national networks combined. For the latter, bank charges abroad are always subject to a levy of fixed and variable charges. BNP Paribas, for example, takes 2.90% of the amount withdrawn and 3 euros per transaction.

The average fees for withdrawals or payments abroad are generally 2 to 4% depending on the bank. The fixed costs in the event of withdrawal often turn between 3 and 4 euros per transaction.

The vast majority of online banks “are satisfied” with variable fees and do not charge fixed commissions. The percentage is also very often lower (less than 2% for Fortuneo for example and for many other pure players) than that practiced by historical banks.


As you can see, the total cost bill may be particularly steep at the end of the stay. To reduce this, consider the best practices we discussed previously.

Finally, it should be noted that certain banking establishments have specific annual offers that are particularly suited to globetrotters, or in any case to individuals traveling regularly. For example, this could be options providing for reduced fees for payments by credit card abroad all year round (or even free), a certain number of free transactions per period of one year, etc.

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