Financially Savvy Tourist Goes Viral With Money-Saving Holiday ATM Trick

A TikTok user has explained how many holidaymakers make the mistake when they go to ATMs abroad and leave with less money than they could

Jamesy Cottar shared his money-saving trick

A money-savvy man has shared a tip for saving money while on vacation.

Captioning the video ‘Avoid foreign currency banking scams’, the money-saving Scot called James – aka @jamesycottar on Tiktok – warned others what to do abroad and cash out.

He explained: “If you’ve ever used your bank card on vacation to withdraw money, chances are, like me, you’re wrong.

“Someone much smarter than me – aka my girlfriend – told me that every time you use your bank card to withdraw money abroad, the bank will offer you a conversion rate for that currency.

“Never accept it because they get a commission on it and it will always be a higher rate.”

Warning people to “always decline”, he adds that you will then be offered “a second rate” less clearly labeled, Glasgow Live reported.

Despite this, it is the best option which is always “guaranteed” to be lower.

He adds, “Do this and you’ll always save money, and that’s a fact.”

The Scottish tourist isn’t the only one to share the tip, with Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis also telling people to keep their eyes peeled when using an ATM.

The financial adviser warned travelers that some ATMs will charge additional fees – even if you use a special card abroad – and may add a 4.5% markup to the exchange rate plus a fee for using the machine.

Martin explained, “Even the worst card, not to mention my specialty card which gives perfect rates, only adds a 3% conversion. [fee].”

The finance guru tested several ATMs that all had conversion margins of up to 4.5%.

Martin continued: “So you don’t want this machine to do the conversion for you, you want your home card company to do the conversion because even if it’s not a good card it’s at a better rate .”

Martin Lewis



He then warned that ATMs could use “psychological scare tactics” to persuade someone to use their conversion rates by adopting an on-screen prompt that warns “if you do not accept this option, we cannot guarantee the exchange rate offered”.

Martin also did the math to show that withdrawing money without allowing the ATM to make a conversion costs £169.20, excluding ATM fees, but using the machine’s tariffs would have cost him up to £191.

Martin advised: “Don’t pay to pay. When you walk into a store, when you go to an ATM and it says, ‘Do you want us to do the conversion for you?’- no, no, no – pay in the local currency.”

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