When travelling it is always difficult to know what the best option is to withdraw money or to pay with card. This article will hopefully help you sort out the cost of the different options.
First thing you need to know is that there are three types of fees when withdrawing money in a foreign country. The one depending on your home bank, the one depending on the type of card you use, and lastly the one depending on the ATM where you withdraw the money.
The fee that is charged by your home bank for the different activities in Taiwan obviously depends on your bank. You can’t do anything about it except changing bank if another one is more travelers friendly.
Besides the bank fee, you’ll be charged differently if you use a credit card (Visa, a Master Card, American Express, etc.) or a debit card. Using a credit card to pay or withdraw money is usually more expensive than using a debit card. Unfortunately, foreign debit cards are not accepted in most of the local stores (did not find any accepting my debit card at this point…).
The best you can do is to withdraw money at an ATM with your debit card and either pay in cash or with your credit card in supermarkets, department store, chain restaurants, etc. If I were you I would check how much my bank charges me to withdraw money with my debit card, how much am I charged to pay with my credit card and choose the cheapest option.
Anyways, do not withdraw money with your credit card it will cost you more. Now, it is possible that you are not able to withdraw money with your debit card. It can be for two reasons: either you are not using an international network as Cirrus, Visa plus, etc or you didn’t ask your home bank to unlock your card activities in Taiwan.
Lastly, as a foreigner in Taiwan, banks also charge you a fee for using their ATM. If you withdraw money at an ATM from a local bank, most of them will charge you 300 NTD. The ATM located in the MRT stations are Cathay United Bank and charge 100 NTD as convenience fee. You can also find ATM in most of the convenience stores. China trust’s ATM in 7 ELEVEN will charge you 100 NTD to use the machine while the Taishin’s ATM machines in FamilyMart are free.
In conclusion, you should remember to pay with your credit card and withdraw money with your debit card preferably at a Taishin ATM machine you find in FamilyMart.