Before you withdraw money abroad

Euros withdraw Travel vacation valuta EUEuros. Photo:

6 points you should know before you withdraw money abroad

To withdraw money using a credit card abroad ought not to be rocket science, but the more you delve into it, the more complicated it appears. Here are six points you should know before you withdraw cash during your vacation.


While people in Norway is becoming increasingly independent of cash, this is not necessarily the case when traveling outside Norway’s borders. During the holiday season, banks earn huge sums in fees many are unaware of, the consumer portal writes in a press release.

For safety reasons, it is recommended to use credit cards when on holiday, as this is safeguarded by Norwegian law through section 54b of the Financial Agreement Act. The following six points prepare you for what you can expect when you withdraw money from an ATM using a credit card.

1.     To withdraw currency before departure is expensive

Many use the Aiport’s ATMs or exchange offices to obtain currency before departure. This is a costly extra link in the chain, and should be avoided unless you travel to a country where there are few withdrawal opportunities.

– If you withdraw money at the airport, you must pay the ATM fee in addition to getting a very disadvantageous exchange rate. You’ll get more value for money if you withdraw cash at where you are going to travel, says CEO of, Anders Fagereng,.

2.     MasterCard and Visa determines the exchange rate

This point is related to the previous one. If you withdraw money from an ATM abroad, it is Visa, MasterCard or similar payment network that determines the exchange rate you end up with.

– It’s a myth that it’s the banks that decide the exchange rate, it’s the payment network of your card that does, and Visa and MasterCard provide competitive rates. Our surveys show that the price difference between these networks is insignificant over time, but always better thanwithrawing currency at, Gardermoen as an example, says Fagereng.

3.     Almost all credit cards have large withdrawal fees

The most popular banks in Norway are usually also the most expensive when it comes to withdrawing money abroad. DNB charges NOK 40 plus 1% of the amount, while Nordea Gold also charges NOK 40 plus 1.5% of the amount withdrawn.

Some banks, including the Sbank and Santander Gebyfri, appear to be without charges for cash withdrawals, but in return require interest as of the withdrawal date.

– Check the price list for your card before traveling. Most cards have disadvantageous prices as soon as you read the small print. According to what we know, only SpareBank 1 and Storebrand’s credit cards, together with Bank Norwegian Visa, neither require fees nor interest from the date of withdrawal when making withdrawals abroad.

4.     Select local currency instead of Norwegian crowns

If you want to withdraw money or buy something using a Norwegian card abroad, you are often asked if you want to convert the amount to NOK. This may on the surface appear as a practical service, but it is usually something the owners of the ATM or payment teminal are making a bundle on.

– If you choose NOK instead of local currency, it is the store or ATM that determines what kind of rate you end up with, and here they know to heap it on to make the most from your transaction. Always choose the local currency and say no to currency conversion, is Fagereng’s clear advice.

As mentioned earlier, it’s the cards’ payment network, such as Visa or MasterCard, who gives you the best exchange rates abroad.

5.     All cards have currency add-ons

Currency add-ons usually appears as a hidden fee, and all cards in Norway have them. The charge is usually between 1.75 and 2 per cent of what you use, depending on which card you use.

If you withdraw money equivalent to a thousand NOK, you pay between 17.5 and 20 extra in currency add-ons.

– This add-on is inevitable. All debit- and credit cards have such add-ons, and in addition to covering the cost of currency conversion, this is also a source of income for your bank, says Fagereng.

6.    ATMs often can determine their own fees

Regardless of how well you’ve followed the above-mentioned tips, you may encounter ATMs that require their own fees.

Uavhengig av hvor flink du har vært til å følge de ovennevnte tipsene til punkt og prikke, vil det hende at du støter på ATMs. In which case, it matters very little what card you possess.

– If the ATM requires a fee, you can opt to cancel and try to find another one that is free. There is a greater likelihood that ATMs associated with a bank chain are free as opposed to an “Independent” ATM that you find in mini-marts and the like.

© / #Norway Today