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Greek Banks Charge Foreign Card Users Extra Fee at ATMs

Greeks and foreigners using credit or debit cards issued abroad to withdraw cash from most Greek bank ATM machines will be charged an extra 2-3 euros.

Banks enforced the extra charge which they dubbed direct access fee at the end of July, with the display of a relevant message on the ATM machine during withdrawal.

The new charge mostly affects tourists visiting Greece as well as diaspora Greeks both of whom hold cards issued abroad.

Greek banks have over the past months re-examined their charging policies seeking to boost revenue particularly at a time when interest income from new loans is low and in view of soaring tourist numbers.

According to, Greek banks decided to follow the example of Kansas-based Euronet, a global provider of electronic payment and transaction processing solutions, which increased its ATM network in Greece from 100 to 700 in less than four years.

The direct access fee affects card holders who are not bank customers and is withheld by the bank for its infrastructure and ATM services as well as for offering additional liquidity.

According to bank officials, the commission fee – which abides by EU law – is high due to the increased needs for cash during the summer season driven by tourism.

Indicatively, according to the EU consumer’s page, “when you make a cross-border payment in euros, Romanian lei and Swedish krona within the EU, your bank can’t charge you more than it would for an equivalent national transaction. Even banks based in EU countries outside the euro area must apply this rule.”

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  1. maria Reply

    Guys, i got charged 80 euros for their commission instead the 2.5 euros charge, and i even chose “without conversion”. WTF? AVOID ALPHA BANK.

  2. Ondrej Mastalka Reply

    Update from September 2019:
    1. Withdrawal in Piraeus Bank’s ATM on Crete (Heraklion airport) on 02/09/2019. ATM charges 3€.
    2. Withdrawal in Attica Bank’s ATM on Crete (Chania city) on 08/09/2019. ATM charges 2€. There was information on ATM screen that withdrawal fee applied from 20/07/2019

  3. Roger Jackson Reply

    It was 3 Euros at both banks (can’t remember what banks) in Koroni Peloponnese in May

  4. Raymond Maroon Reply

    Alpha Bank ATM machine at Agia Anna-Naxos (Greek Island of Naxos, community of Agia Anna) charged me with their poor conversion rate for a 400€ Withdrawal, despite my electing “I do not accept conversion”. It simply ignored my election. I went to Chora, the main town on Naxos, and spoke with bank staff including the bank manager at Alpha Bank there. They tried to investigate what happened but the staff member finally said “we are unable to see what happened (during the transaction). They clearly and unambiguously understood that I was certain I had elected the NO Conversion: I offered to draw from memory the screen display that presented the choices, at least the screen represented to be choices.

    The bottom of my ATM Withdrawal slip states this:

    The statement is FALSE. I selected not to convert!

    Details from top of ATM slip:

    Date: 04/09/19. TIME: 08:27:29
    TRAN. NUM.: 6734. ATM: S0620023
    CARD: (I am not displaying here) -DEVI-

    Additional information: I used a debit card that I had used a dozen times or so previously during my 2 month stay in Paris, France during January and February of 2019, which was four months earlier than this. I have never encountered a deception from an ATM, but have been wary of the trick of trying to con the ATM user into permitting a currency conversion by the ATM owner/operator. I will contact my bank in the US to see if they can block all future attempts of non-domestic entities from charging USD to my account. I insist only my US bank does any conversions!

  5. Ben Haley Reply

    Again there is no charge at Attica (16/8/19). Ethniki (National) charged €2.6 a week before. (Or one can accept their conversion rate, which might make more sense if one only wants to withdraw a small amount.)

  6. monik Reply

    After reading the comments and the article my conclusion is this: In what ever machin abroad or home read well before withdrawal! The Kansas Euronet company is really playing a cruel game on people not reading well the instruntions. Banks all over try confusing You when You use Your card abroad: their goal is only one to make You pay as much as possible using cards. In the old days we payed with cash, for me the most honest way. Todag the say paying with cash is increasing criminality. Well… here i stop because this discussion belongs to another article.

  7. Steve Reply

    Along with the crazy prices now being charged on the new fast Highspeed ferries, these new bank ATM charges will eventually drive tourists away from Greece. Absolutely ridiculous.

  8. John Reply

    No charge at Attica Bank on 27.06.2019. Some text on the screen that soon all bank charges will have to change. Attica doesn’t have any screen offering you exchange rate or notifying you that they charge a fee. The final exchange rate was very good, in my case it was interbank FX as my cards charges 0% on transfers (UK Halifax Clarity and Monzo).

  9. N McAllister Reply

    Just home from a holiday in Greece, shocked at what is being charged at Greek ATM’s to use my prepayment euro card.

  10. Anna Reply

    Alpha Bank now charges €2.50. Same charge as Eurobank – the cheapest around but definitely not free 🙁

  11. Krakow traveler Reply

    Today I withdraw 20€ in Attica Bank’s ATM and it was free of charge (as of 5.5.2019)

  12. Mary Reply

    All banks charge the same 2.5 fee however lately a message comes up on the screen to accept a certain exchange rate and if you agree it charges a different and much higher exchange rate than the official one, if you disagree another screen comes up and charges you only the 2.5 eur and the official correct rate. It is most probably to rip off the customer who might not notice. Who in their right mind will agree to a higher rate? And who will calculate at the moment they are at the atm with a line waiting and who knows to say no when in need of cash

  13. filippo Reply

    Alpha bank isn’t free anymore. 2.5€
    Attika bank still seems to be free…

    • John Reply

      Panellinia Bank was free a couple of days ago,but is charging 2.5E today (1st August).

  14. Lig Reply

    We agree with eugene: we were charged a whopping 12.5% fee for our withdrawal at a National Bank of Greece ATM via confusing and dishonest ATM instructions that target the helpless tourist. This happenend in February 2019. For the same type of transaction Alpha Bank charged us 2.50 euros

  15. Gregor Grob Reply

    Thank you Alejandro! Alpha Bank is still free in January 2019. Knowing that saved me the outrageous fees from Piraeus etc.

  16. Alejandro Cuevas Reply

    In august 2018 Alpha Bank did not charge, as well as Attica Bank and Cooperative Bank of Chania (I suppose the rest of cooperatives did not charge, but could not try). The main banks, apart from Alpha Bank did charge: NBG – National Bank of Greece (2,00 euros), Eurobank (2,50 euros) and Piraeus Bank (3,00 euros).

  17. eugene Reply

    piraeus bank should be banned from any tourist visiting greece they are simply looting your bank account with +3++ euros atm access fee for your withdraws its a bunch of thieves that they targeting the soft and idiot tourist which will use their atm the indications on their screen are willingly confusing and the #atm fees# are just the common thugs issues that you cross all over Greece its a shame that EU doesn’t blacklist this bank and doestn issue a clear statement to any foreign cardholder about this organised scam

  18. Steve Reply

    Not Piraeus! They just now charged me 3€ for a withdrawal on my prepaid euro card.

  19. Ken Reply

    So which banks don’t charge this fee?

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