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A word of caution about Euronet ATMs and perhaps others...

nyc, usa
Destination Expert
for Budapest
Level Contributor
8,418 posts
10 reviews
A word of caution about Euronet ATMs and perhaps others...

We have consistently and repeatedly stated that in innumerable posts ('we' meaning just about everyone posting on the topic) that there are no locally imposed ATM fees in Hungary.

Well, now there are.

Though I cannot yet be precise about exactly what is going on since I have not found any source that explains what has changed. Perhaps others with better Hungarian skills (which means basically any Hungarian skills, compared to my none) or more sense of current economic news can fill us in?

There is now a 920 Forint flat fee for any transaction in Forints on a Euronet ATM (by far the most common, male the only, non-bank ATMs in Budapest), except for withdrawals from local Forint accounts on local banks.

For small transactions that's a big proportion. Basically 10% of 10,000 Forint or 3% on 100 Euros.

If you read all the existing posts, you know that we all always stress that you should never accept any ATM's offer to conduct the exchange locally, and that's still true. f you were to try to dodge the fee by letting the machine do the exchange locally, the exchange rate offered came out to over 10% of however much you withdrew.

I tried the Euronet machine at the airport (the only machine available there) and one in the city center. Both charged the fee, even on a UK-issued Revolut card which was both within the EU and so subject to EU banking regulations, and also designed to be seen by the machines as a local currency card. Neither machine charged me any fee to withdraw using my local Hungarian ATM card.

I tried one bank -- OTP -- and there was no fee for using a foreign currency card; BUT these machines as well offered to do the exchange at a stated (much worse) than the unstated and seemingly mysterious Interbank rate charged by my card issuer.

Just what we all needed, one more factor complicating the decision about how to obtain Forint.

Hungary remains the best way to do this, but scoping out how to avoid donating money to the financial services community rather than your family's vacation fund just got one notch more complicated in Hungary.

1 reply
Budapest, Hungary
Level Contributor
999 posts
1 review
1. Re: A word of caution about Euronet ATMs and perhaps others...


It's probably more than a year or even two since I have recommended all my clients to avoid Euronet ATMs as plague.

Since those machines are growing like mushrooms after rain, I have a strong suspicion that someone is doing a typical Hungarian "mutyi" (go shares and alike)...

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