There is a bank that allows free money withdrawals in Colombia!
I do not know how many of you had this issue while travelling in Colombia, but for me – a budget backpacker – the fact that all of the ATMs where trying to charge me at least 10.500 pesos (around 3.5 usd) for taking out cash was absurd. But I have not paid the fee once (yet)!
Apparently you can make free money withdrawals in Colombia when using BBVA ATMs.
Now I have a Lithuanian bank card which has a perk that it never charges me for any cash withdrawal (except currency conversion rate changes). After I found BBVA I get the free money withdrawals in Colombia.
I must say that everytime I try to take out money the ATM warns me that there MIGHT be a fee from the BBVA’s side. I am not sure if that changes anything or not, but after this message you have two options to press:
1. Cash out.
2. Check the possible fee rate for your transaction.
I have always pressed number 2. Funny enough, it does not give you any information regarding the fee. It just gives you your money without asking.
I was really angry after the first time this has happened to me so during the same day I have checked how much did they charge me for it. And to my surprise there was no extra fee. In fact, after I checked the Euro to Colombian pesos rate, it seemed that I paid less than what was the actual exchange rate. Now this one depends from your bank, of course.
So far I have made 5 cash withdrawals and none of them were charged a fee.
Here I have to state that Backpackers Nation will not be responsible if your experience is different. It is just for your information. And please do not mix the fees from YOUR bank with the fees from the ATMs bank. After searching for this info I was surprised of how many people do not know the difference.