Get Foreign Currency From UK Atms With your Credit Card

by : Adam Singleton

Following a successful six-month trial, ATM organisation Link has announced that they are to increase the number of UK ATMs that dispense foreign currency. As well as giving out UK Sterling, cash points throughout the country will be adapted to allow dollars and euros to be withdrawn by holders of UK debit and credit cards. In the initial trial, travellers were enthusiastic about the ability to withdraw foreign currency without the need to make a special trip to the bank, travel agent or bureau de change. The convenience factor, rather than favourable exchange rates or commission fees seemed to be most important to travellers who took advantage of the trial machines.

Link's Head of Planning and Development, Graham Mott, believes that the move will be welcomed by many travellers. He said: "The theory at the moment is rather than waiting until they get to the airport to get their foreign currency - as many people do, travellers will withdraw their holiday money at an ATM in the weeks leading up to their break."

Superstore giant Tesco's finance arm have been trialling the foreign money dispensing cash points at four locations and are keen to increase that number to 20. Mott believes that upon seeing the success of the current ATMs, airports would be eager to install multi-currency machines in the future, perhaps with even more currencies than pounds, euros and dollars on offer.

However, he may have already been beaten to the punch by Raphaels Bank who has announced that they are to operate ATMs at London airports. Their ATMs are to offer 24-hour access to euros and US dollars without commission fees and at the same exchange rate as the bureau de change, giving travellers the opportunity to avoid the high charges applied to cash withdrawals by debit or credit cards from ATMs abroad. If in any doubt about the charges that will be paid when withdrawing cash abroad, travellers are advised to check with their bank or credit card company before leaving for their holiday.

The option of being able to withdraw foreign currency from UK cash machines gives credit card companies another opportunity to differentiate their products by the way that they charge the withdrawals from ATMs. Aware that many potential customers now compare credit cards based on a number of factors, not just the headline APR, this gives a unique sales opportunity for one enterprising credit card company to set themselves apart from the rest of the market. The size of charges for withdrawing currency with UK credit cards abroad has long been a sticking point with many consumers and it will be interesting to see how the credit card companies treat foreign currency withdrawals in the UK.