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In Taiwan like other East Asian countries (except China) using an ATM for a foreigner is quite a pain.

One thing I personally hate is ATM fees. Australian banks all gouge us outrageously already on overseas withdrawals, which I sadly can't avoid so I am willing to go to extra effort to avoid or minimize the ATM fees I pay on the local end.

ATMs in convenience stores seem to be easier to find if you're in an unusual location and less confusing to use. They don't force you to choose between Cirrus, Plus, Visa, and a bunch of other options as the first step. They "just work".

But at least 7-Eleven charges a fee of $100 TWD, about $4 AUD or enough to buy two large coffees or two meals of dumplings. I already often pay about $15 AUD per withdrawal so I'm not happy to pay another $4. I'd rather spend my money on local food than billionaire corporations.

The two or three times I used bank ATMs here and actually succeeded in navigating the options and unhelpful error messages I did not notice any message about whether there was a fee or how much it was.

I know in Australia privately owned ATMs like those in petrol stations, convenience stores, and pubs that don't carry a specific bank logo all charge the highest ATM fees. Do privately owned ATMs charge more in Taiwan?

If the banks are charging me a comparable fee anyway then I'll choose the 7-11 ATMs because they're easier. If the banks don't have a fee then I'll put up with the terrible user experience to avoid donating $4 more to billionaires each time.

I've been hunting for the answer on the Internet a couple of times and just can't seem to find the answer.

  • I'm considering another one on how to actually use the ATMs here. I only went to the 7-11 out of frustration with the only bank I could find in this town that had a queue of locals and didn't need a dumb foreigner forcing them to have to wait even longer (-: The guy in this hostel didn't know anything about fees and recommended the 7-11, but he's not trying to live off his savings for a year (-: – hippietrail Sep 13 '16 at 9:25
  • @JonathanReez: The closest I know of is to get the cards that you "upload" certain foreign currencies onto. These are good if you're going to one country, or maybe a couple. Less good if you don't have a set plan and could need many currencies. When using them with some other currency the conversion is apparently so expensive you're better off not using one. Also the rules and fees change constantly, never in the user's favour. Some business banks like CitiBank might have better fees if you have an account maintaining over $10,000 balance. – hippietrail Sep 14 '16 at 9:06
  • @JonathanReez: Here it is. – hippietrail Sep 14 '16 at 9:23
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    $15 AUD per withdrawal is highway robbery. I thought CAD $5 ~= 5 AUD was bad. – Spehro Pefhany Oct 28 '16 at 2:52
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    Did you end up finding the answer? – JonathanReez Nov 3 '16 at 10:42
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If you use a bank ATM scattered around in the city (e.g. Taipei Fubon or First Bank), you won't be charged with any fees, except the one that your bank takes to let you withdraw your money. The ATMs let you choose from a set of options like Cirrus and Plus, and they just work by returning to you cash and your card.

  • I had so many times when I tried to use an ATM first with the Cirrus option, then the Plus option, then the Visa option, etc, and it not working with any of those options. And also the error message never made sense so you didn't know whether another option might work or not. I can no longer recall whether I tried Fubon or First Bank specifically but ATMs outside 7-Eleven were very frustrating. Even my own Australian bank that had a branch in Taipei... – hippietrail Dec 9 '16 at 13:26
  • @hippietrail Oh really? What error message was displayed there? Isn't it that your bank card works with Plus etc in other countries? – Blaszard Dec 9 '16 at 13:30
  • I forget the text of the error message now but may have a photo I can dig up. They were vague and useless like "An error occurred" or "Could not complete transaction" or "Transaction terminated". The same cards have had no issues in the month or so I've been in China now. I did think my cards had Cirrus where the actually had Plus and Visa, but I actually tried with all three to no avail and no change in error message )-: – hippietrail Dec 12 '16 at 15:28
  • @hippietrail I saw those error messages at times. In those cases I tried to select a different type (Visa, Plus, etc...), or tried to select a different account (saving, etc...), and found the ATM working. I'm not sure why you can't withdraw it, though... – Blaszard Dec 14 '16 at 8:15
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I'm a Taiwanese, ATMs are all the same, here's some tips:

Withdrawal:

-use A(bank)'s card to withdraw money by A(bank)'s ATM: free

-use A(bank)'s card to withdraw money by B(bank)'s ATM: 6 TWD

Transfer:

-use A(bank)'s card to transfer money to A(bank)'s account by A(bank)'s ATM: free

-use A(bank)'s card to transfer money to B(bank)'s account by A(bank)'s ATM: 17 TWD

-use A(bank)'s card to transfer money to A(bank)'s account by A(bank)'s ATM: 17 TWD

-use A(bank)'s card to transfer money to A(bank)'s account by B(bank)'s ATM: 17 TWD

-use A(bank)'s card to transfer money to B(bank)'s account by B(bank)'s ATM: 17 TWD

I don't know how come you got charged for 100 TWD but the rule of the fee is like this, hope these help. :)

  • It's common that some banks in some countries charge more for foreign cards than they do for competitors cards which are from the same country. – hippietrail Nov 28 '16 at 11:53
  • I would've added a photo of an ATM receipt, but I recently cleaned out all the old receipts from my wallet and my camera died )-: – hippietrail Dec 9 '16 at 13:28

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