The 1 Button You Should Never Press On Bank Machines Abroad

Martin Lewis has spoken.
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Holidaymakers, Money Daddy (AKA Martin Lewis) has spoken – DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON.

The Money Saving Expert has been on hand helping us Brits out of financial pinches since 1994, so it’s safe to say he’s our go-to guy for deals and money-saving advice.

This time, he’s got advice for travel lovers.

We all know (and I hope agree) that going grocery shopping on holiday is one of the most exciting excursions. Whether you’re sampling the local crisps or picking up some pop at the local Carrefour, this simple tip could save you a wad of cash — all you have to do is know which button to press at an ATM or at the till.

When you find yourself at the till, treats in hand, you’ll be asked by the cashier to choose if you want to convert the amount to GBP. The answer is NO. Mr Lewis is here to advise you to always pay for goods in the local currency.

He explained on The Martin Lewis Money Show that the conversion rate to British pounds was pretty lousy.

He said: “You do not want this machine to do the conversion for you. You want your card company at home to do the conversion because even if it’s not a good card, it’s at a better rate.

“Continue with conversion? No way, it’s going to cost me 20 quid more than it should.

“When you go into a shop, when you go to a cash machine, and it says ‘Do you want us to do the conversion for you?’, no, no, no. Pay in the local currency.”

He also advises getting yourself an overseas debit/credit card.

“What normally happens when you spend on plastic abroad is when you spend on the card, the bank or the card provider gets a near-perfect rate and they add a 3% non-sterling exchange rate fee,” he advised.

“This means you get £100 worth of euros, dollars, or dong, which is the Vietnamese currency… but it costs you £103 because of the extra 3%.

“But the specialist cards don’t add that 3% and you get the near-perfect rates that they do.”

So, there you have it – time to have more money for those Lays.

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