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In many countries there are large fees for using ATMs that vary from bank to bank.

ATM fees with all Australian banks are already very high and include a percentage of the amount and a fixed fee.

Another thing that varies widely in some countries is how much cash you can withdraw in a single transaction.

I ran into this exact problem recently in both Laos and Vietnam. If you have to make two withdrawals to get enough cash to last a week or two you will have to pay (almost) double the fees.

Including the local, remote, and percentage fees can easily add up to the cost of one or night's accommodation in a developing country!

ANZ Bank has branches in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. Those will probably have lower fees for ANZ ATM card users.

But many banks in one country have affiliations with banks in other countries which can include no extra fees for travelers using a card from their affiliate.

Also some banks just have lower fees or no fees and higher withdrawal limits.

Does ANZ have such a deal with a Chinese bank? If not, which Chinese bank has most favourable ATM fees and withdrawal limits for people using overseas cards?

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    I have not noticed much (if any) difference. My bank charges me something like $5 per withdrawal. Usually you can get a fair bit of money from Chinese ATMs.. a few thousand dollars still goes a ways in China especially if you're paying for hotels and air tickets by credit card. The ATMs that work are Bank of China and a couple others (Agriculture bank?, Bank of Communication?) but Bank of China always works. Near the HK border and maybe in Beijing/Shanghai you see HSBC but usually not foreign banks. The fee is added by my bank, not by the Chinese and the exchange rate seems uniform. – Spehro Pefhany Jun 8 '15 at 13:01
  • Hehe I'm not buying air tickets or hotel rooms that take credit cards actually (-: It is pretty cheap but Vietnam was so ridiculously cheap that I keep thinking it's expensive here now! I went to BofC and could withdraw the amount I'm comfortable with carrying around. It didn't mention any fee and didn't give me a receipt either. In many other countries I often get a fee added by both my bank and the local bank (or government)! – hippietrail Jun 8 '15 at 14:21
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    I've never seen a fee added by a Chinese bank, and the machine has given me a receipt every single time. The only issue with paying cash at Chinese hotels is that they usually ask you to pay up front for the whole stay and then some, which can be significant cash and you'd better not lose the receipt for the security deposit. – Spehro Pefhany Jun 8 '15 at 14:52
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    Have you asked ANZ directly about this? Were they able to give you any guidance? – Greg Hewgill Jun 8 '15 at 19:48
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    ANZ's branches in China are for commercial customers, I doubt they'll have any ATMs. Even if they did, they'd charge you the standard fees, as they do even when using ANZ ATMs in New Zealand (yes, that is the "NZ" of "ANZ"). – lambshaanxy Jul 31 '15 at 0:58
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Daily withdrawal limits at ATMs are set by your banks daily spend limit as well as ATM transaction spend limit.

Open a Citibank Australia debit account which has no overseas transaction fee on ATM withdrawals and use that whilst overseas. It won't solve your fixed fee imposed at the ATM but every little bit helps.

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    Citibank is global, and has an Australian branch. I believe this is the account that Michael is referring to: citibank.com.au/aus/banking/everyday_banking/citibank_plus.htm – lambshaanxy Jul 31 '15 at 0:56
  • I had a Citibank account many years ago when they were the first one to offer a card in Australia that worked at overseas ATMs, but they had lots of requirements like minimum monthly balance and fees for dropping below. As I like to travel until all my money is spent it wouldn't be better for me if they still have such rules these days. – hippietrail Aug 2 '15 at 8:25
  • Just clarifying there is no minimum monthly balance requirement, it's just a run of the mill Visa Debit or Mastercard Debit card issued. – Michael Visser Sep 18 '17 at 23:21
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There are a few ANZ branches in China.. If you happen to be in one of those cities, you might want to go to the ANZ banks.

  • Shanghai (3 branches)
  • Beijing (2 branches)
  • Guangzhou (2 branches)
  • Hangzhou (1 branch)
  • Chongqing (1 branch)
  • Chengdu (1 branch)
  • Qingdao (1 branch)
  • It turns out that I mentioned this in the sixth paragraph of my question, though I only mentioned a few cities. – hippietrail Apr 5 '17 at 20:52
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You should check the conditions of your bank account agreement with ANZ.

Every bank offers different packages, and the withdrawal conditions are defined inside the package.

The only variable to consider is the exchange rate applied by foreign bank, but for my experience all the banks apply the same exchange rate (ruled by Bank of China).

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    ANZ and all Australian banks make it very hard to check that kind of stuff once you're already overseas. I remember being frustrated trying to figure out how to recover or change a PIN number on my last trip. Anyway as I'm overseas my Aussie bank is the one thing I cannot change now. I can only choose which ATM to use. From Googling it seems there may be no overseas ATM fee in China but I found no posts from 2015. It also seems that while withdrawal limits vary, they seem to all be more than what I need to withdraw. So better than the other countries I mentioned. – hippietrail Jun 8 '15 at 10:24

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