A guide to using ATMs in Portugal

The small print: Portugalist may generate a commission from mentioned products or services. This is at no additional cost to you and it does not affect our editorial standards in any way. All content, including comments, should be treated as informational and not advice of any kind, including legal or financial advice. The author makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors or omissions or damages arising from its display or use. Links to external websites do not constitute an endorsement. [Disclaimer Policy]

Written by: | Last updated on February 12, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 5 minutes

At some point or other, you’ll probably need to withdraw money from an ATM in Portugal. While card payments are becoming more common, particularly in more modern or touristy establishments, cash is still preferred.

In many cafés and restaurants and in places where cards are accepted, foreign bank cards are not (often the machine is “broken”). It’s also a good idea to carry some change for tips to ensure the money goes to the server.

Normally, you can withdraw up to €400 per day from ATMs in Portugal. If you expect to need to withdraw more, you should bring an additional bank card with you.

How much does it cost to withdraw from an ATM? That depends on your bank, normally. If you’re withdrawing from another Euro account, it’s quite likely that it won’t cost you anything. If, however, you’re withdrawing from a bank account in another currency (e.g. Sterling, Dollars, or Canadian dollars), your bank may charge you a fee.

This isn’t necessarily the case with all banks and all bank accounts—some premium bank accounts don’t charge fees for this —but as you’ll see from the comments it’s quite common.

There are a couple of tips for avoiding this such as avoiding the ATM’s withdrawal rate and avoiding certain ATMs (e.g. the Euronet ones), but the best possible thing you can do is get a travel-friendly debit card before you come to Portugal.

The most common are:

  • Wise – Available in the US and UK
  • Revolut – Available in the US and UK
  • N26 – Mainly only available within the EU

If you’re moving to Portugal or planning to spend a lot of time here, you could also consider opening a Portuguese bank account. These days, it’s usually a requirement if you’re applying for a residency visa such as the D7, digital nomad visa, or golden visa.

These accounts allow you to hold currency in euros or withdraw from ATMs with minimal ATM fees. However, note that most of them have limits on the number of free ATM withdrawals you can have per month.

Conversion Rates? Just Say No

If you don’t get a travel-friendly card such as the ones mentioned above, the ATM will ask you whether you want it to convert the amount to Euros or whether you want to be charged in your own currency. It’s almost always best to say no to the conversion rate. It’s typically a bad exchange and much worse than what your bank will charge you.

Well after reading through a fair amount of replies I followed the idea of saying No twice (MultiBanco)…and it worked. Note: 1st time I hurried & simply took the 12% hit ($127 USD for €100 w/d) really noticing it only later GRRRR. But today I took the variable rate – which of course it does not provide – & voila, $227 for €200, pretty much spot on today’s rate. Thanks y’all!


NEVER accept the machine conversion offer. This will give you just about the best rate possible when withdrawing cash. Best John

John Jones

Warning: Euronet ATMs

An example Euronet ATM, taken in Lisbon, Portugal.
© Portugalist

Regardless of which type of card you use, be wary of some of the ATMs that are popping up all over Portugal. Euronet is the most common company, but there are one or two others. These ATM companies charge you a hefty fee per withdrawal (as much as 13% of the total amount).

If you’re desperate for cash, they are always in very convenient locations. However, if you can find another ATM, it’s likely to cost you a lot less (or be free if you have the right card).

I wish I had read this article earlier. I got ripped off two times in Portugal. First time was at Lisbon airport, I got charged 15% mark up fee plus one transaction fee 3 euros at on of Euronet. The second time is at the old town of Porto at one of the major bank ( purple color logo , four letter names big bank I forgot the name ), I withdrew $100 Euros was offered covered to USD$126.39 with 12% fee which is just a redicilous. I reject the conversion because the market rate is USD$113. The second screen popped up but I forgot what it was said as I was panic. I still hit No. Still, I got $100 usd dollars anyway from ATM. This makes me very upset if this greedy bank. I love Portugal but these ATM are evils!!


What does a real ATM look like? Typically, they’re attached to a bank like Santander, BPI, Crédito Agrícola, etc. Portuguese banks often have the word Multibanco as well, which is a technology that isn’t really used with non-Portuguese banks.

Another Euronet ATM, taken in the Algarve, Portugal.
© Portugalist – Another Euronet ATM

6-digit pins?

When the ATM asks for your pin, you might see space for six digits e.g. – – – – – –

All you need to do is enter 4 digits.

Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

You can contact James by emailing james@portugalist.com or via the site's contact form.

Spotted a mistake? Suggest a correction

There are 79 comments on this article. Join the conversation and add your own thoughts, reviews, and stories of life in Portugal. However, please remember to be civil.


  1. Porto … Well, I read the info here too late. I knew to use Multibanco, and I knew to not accept the exchange rate by the ATM …. BUT, I didn’t know to refuse twice! Dammitt. Had to pay $1.23893 per Euro. Excg-hange is about $1.09 today. 200 Euros cost me $247.79 ! BEWARE

  2. In Lisbon this weekend I didn’t just reject the fee, I pressed the cancel transaction button on the keypad. There was a sad face and my card was given back. Money was pending on my account but today it has gone through as a transaction. I have queried the transaction with my bank for an investigation and refund. There must be some corruption in Portuguese government that allows this to happen or could it just be down to pure incompetence of regulators.

  3. Multibanco seems to have a monopoly on ATMs in Porto and charge a 12 per cent commission to get euros with a u.s. issued credit card. As a tourist, it looks like I will have to get ripped off at least once. Don’t see a way around it .

  4. Hi, I have a bank debit card that doesn’t have the Star logo on the back. It only has Allpoint and Accel, and is also a Mastercard debit card. My question is will I be able to use it at the ATM at banks in Portugal? I called my bank and they told me that all banks accept Mastercard, but I would imagine that the fees would be higher than a simple withdrawal debiting my account, an rejecting the conversion. I don’t know if anyone else has had this issue. Thanks in advance.

  5. Hi I live in India, am in Porto for a week. I tried withdrawing money with my Visa State Bank of India debit card from MB machine and got operation not authorized message. So, esentially the same story as with Canadian debit cards.

  6. Avoid Multibanco cashpoints like the plague. I had cash but I wanted smaller denomination notes – I used the machine in the Mercado Municipal, I asked for 40 euros but it offered me an exchange rate of .96p to the euro! It gave a Reject or Accept choice & I hit Reject and got my card back. The machine just went back to stand-by mode. Later that day I checked my account on line and £34.87 had been taken along with £1.04 in charges! Trying to sort out with my bank.

  7. NEVER ACCEPT the conversion rate, ALWAYS say NO! I have told idiot upon idiot this to no avail. Better still get a Wise card, fantastic, low load rates and conversion, wake up to the rip off banks, especially within the EU, bunch of thieving rip off merchants and avoid the Euronet Atms like the plague!

  8. I wish I had read this article earlier. I got ripped off two times in Portugal. First time was at Lisbon airport, I got charged 15% mark up fee plus one transaction fee 3 euros at on of Euronet. The second time is at the old town of Porto at one of the major bank ( purple color logo , four letter names big bank I forgot the name ), I withdrew $100 Euros was offered covered to USD$126.39 with 12% fee which is just a redicilous. I reject the conversion because the market rate is USD$113. The second screen popped up but I forgot what it was said as I was panic. I still hit No. Still, I got $100 usd dollars anyway from ATM. This makes me very upset if this greedy bank. I love Portugal but these ATM are evils!!

    • Lol, it always happens to me they just dont give you the same rate, a little less . Eg: back home is 1 euro to 76mzn
      The bank rates to 78,9 but if you reject it gives 78,1 lol but it keeps fluctuating always

  9. I’ve been using my Wise debit card in Multibanco ATMs w/o trouble. I can quickly upload dollars from my own bank as dollars, £ or € to use when paying with my card. The cost to transfer money to Wise is very small, the exchange rates are good and in addition to the debit card, you can send money in 140 currencies. I withdrew €200 from the Banco CTT ATM near me yesterday, total cost €205.29

    I then wanted to top up my Euro balance, paid a US$3.42, received an FX rate of .86205 & the transfer was completed in under two minutes! For reference, the interbank average rate on Oanda was .86461 for October 14th.

    I’ve used Wise on four continents & at least 8 countries without trouble.

  10. Hello,
    I think I got ripped off by those ATMs today. I had to pay my rent in cash quickly so I went to the nearest ATM, it was one from Multibanco in front of their bank. I have Charles Schwab so there’s no ATM fee or foreign transaction fee, at least on my bank’s end. The ATM said Multibanco will charge a 12% mark-up fee. I was like no way, that’s outrageous… I roamed around a bit and found another ATM which was Euronet, which also charges a 13% mark-up fee. These fees are unavoidable no matter which bank you have in the US. I couldn’t find any other ATM near where I live so I ended up using the ATM, withdrawing about 1000 euros which caused me about 130 euros as a fee. It’s super ridiculous but I didn’t have a choice. I saw some banks without ATMs in front of them, but I couldn’t get in to see if they had ATMs inside since the doors were locked and you can only enter if you have their bank card. I live in the center of a touristy area, maybe that’s why the ATMs all charge insane fees…

    • Well after reading through a fair amount of replies I followed the idea of saying No twice (MultiBanco)…and it worked. Note: 1st time I hurried & simply took the 12% hit ($127 USD for €100 w/d) really noticing it only later GRRRR. But today I took the variable rate – which of course it does not provide – & voila, $227 for €200, pretty much spot on today’s rate. Thanks y’all!

      • This does appear to be the typical behavior of a Multibanco ATM, but NOT the Euronet ATMs. I just learned a very expensive lesson in how these work:

        I arrived at Lisbon airport yesterday and tried to use the Euronet ATMs, but as soon as I started getting the screen with the ridiculous conversion rate, I hit “reject” until it gave back my card. No harm, no foul.

        Today, I finally come across a Multibanco. Great, a proper bank! To my dismay, as soon as I enter my PIN and that I want 100 Euro, yup, there’s that absurd exchange rate screen! I hit the “reject conversion” twice and get back my card…but then I realize, hmm, there are more ATMs in the indoor part of the bank. Maybe one of those is run by a different company and won’t have the extortionate conversion rate?

        So I go inside. Nope, same screen, so I hit “reject” twice again. Out comes my card…and then the ATM starts whirring. 15 seconds later out comes my cash and a receipt. Ugh.

        I walk off, then, a block away, I log into my bank account and realize what happened. Hitting “reject conversion” twice gave me the favorable US rate – I was only charged $108 instead of $121 for 100 Euro. Except, WHY WAS I CHARGED $108 TWICE???

        It immediately dawns on me that the FIRST attempt I had made at the Multibanco ATM, the outdoor one I’d tried a minute earlier, must have ALSO dispensed my cash, and I hadn’t stuck around long enough after getting my card back to hear it start whirring. I sprint the two blocks back to the machine and poof, my cash is gone with a receipt for 100 Euro sticking out of the machine.

  11. When using a multimillenium atm in portugal and it asks without conversion or with conversion. I called up my card and was told to use without conversion and then on the second screen it said without exchange fixed rate or with conversion and applied fixed rate. So I didn’t hit anything but still gave me my money. So I was charge 9.13 plus a $3.00 fee. So I don’t know if they gave me the right answer. Because on the first page where it says with conversion it had American flag on it. That was my first time and only atm near me. So I hope you can help me if choose to use the atm again. Thanks

    • I was at the airport and investigating the Euronet ATM. When I saw 13% fee I backed out. It then said you will still be charged the fee. In disbelief I cancelled again and my money came out. This is a criminal enterprise. Please someone in Portugal do something about them.

  12. I can confirm what everyone has been experiencing. I went to a named bank ATM and allowed the day or conversion and €200 ended up being $273 (end of May). Did it again today (middle of June) and refused the conversion (twice, Per the instructions) and the transaction was €244. Didn’t even bother with the yellow and blue ATMs which are omnipresent throughout the city

  13. I has gotten worse. I withdrew e100. If i Received the actual exchange rate it would have cost me $121. The actual was $134 plus the “mulitbanco” charged me an undisclosed fee of e5 ($6). Then my bank charged me $5. So all in $45 in fees for e100

  14. Today I withdrew cash in Portugal for the first time. It was not a good experience.

    I was surprised to find that all the large banks in central Porto had Multibanco machines exclusively. These charge a commission of TWELVE per cent! When I noticed this figure I tried to cancel the transaction (I saw ‘Do you accept’ and hit no, thinking I was saying no to everything, not simply the exchange rate).

    Euros withdrawn: $190
    Cost to me in Australian: $329
    This is $33 in pure fees charged by this wretched machine. The limit of 200 is, of course, a particularly cynical way of making you have to come back as often as possible.

    I have no experience of Euronet, but I find it bizarre that the article gives a tacit thumbs to Multibanco machines. Euronet ATMs cannot conceivably be worse. Never while travelling have I been scalped like this by an ATM. BEWARE.

    • Hi Steve,

      Trying to work out what’s going on here.

      If you said you no you don’t accept, that means you don’t accept the exchange rate offers (smart move) and instead the exchange is provided by your own bank. Is it possible that your bank charges really high fees for withdrawals abroad?

  15. Always use a MULTIBANK machine and if you can get a Halifax Clarity card before you leave the UK. NEVER accept the machine conversion offer. This will give you just about the best rate possible when withdrawing cash. Best John

  16. Although i was fairly sure that it was best to say no, having to press it twice of course, i decided to try both ways. On the 22nd december i took 100 euros and said no, checked my account and was charged 94.08 pounds, on 24th dec i also withdrew 100 euros but took the yes option and was charged 101. 58 pounds, so ripped off for 7.50. So always say no.

  17. We made a €200 withdrawal yesterday at one of these Euronet ATM’s in Tavira. A check of our account at home revealed an exchange rate of 1.75% vs a selling rate of 1.58% against the Canadian dollar.
    Usurious treatment.

    • I just withdrew 200 euro from ATM in faro I then just checked Internet banking and I am £206 exchange rate is 1.12 euro to pounds so I should have got 230 euros so been ripped off 24 euros and my bank has still to charge me…2.99 and 2.99 on withdrawal and exchange. So 200 euros has just cost me £230.00 a feckin joke
      Should have been £186.00

  18. Thank you for the information. This is our 7th year visiting Carvoeiro and sadly this year we are finding that a number of bank cash machines are not accepting our Canadian debit cards and when we find one most of the time we get asked twice during the transaction if we want to use Multibanco’s exchange rate. Their rate is approximately 15% higher than our bank charges so one must be very careful when using them.

    This is a sad turn of events as it seems as though Portuguese banks are now trying to cheat unsuspecting visitors.

    • Hi Terry,

      I’m not sure what the situation is as it’s mainly been Canadians who’ve had this issue (based on the comments here). If it was a case that Portuguese banks wanted to cheat visitors, I would expect a lot more comments from other nationalities as well.

      Don’t get me wrong, Portuguese banks aren’t saints. It just doesn’t make sense that they would target Canadian visitors and not the rest of the world as well.

    • Just say “No” to the currency conversion request. You have to reject the conversion TWICE. Tricky, isn’t it? Whatever conversion rate your bank gives you, it will be much cheaper.

  19. Currently in Madeira where two different bank ATMs (including Santander) asked us to accept an exchange rate equivalent to a 13E charge on a 100E withdrawal. This is not obvious until you get out your calculator. I am shocked

  20. We started a withdrawal at an ATM at the airport in Lisbon and then cancelled it when we saw the fees and exchange rate however the amount we entered has now appeared as a pending deduction on our bank statement. What has happened here – we are now less 190 euros in our bank account and never actually completed the transaction or received the cash?

    • Hi Suzanne,

      This is probably more of a question for your bank, but I imagine it’ll stay as pending for a few days (especially if it took place over the weekend) and then disappear.

  21. Very interesting information…thanks for posting. One thing I have noticed in Portugal (The Algarve) is that when we used our credit card in the local Intermarche supermarket, we were asked for ID. Similarly, we saw another English couple asked for ID using their credit card in a restaurant. Luckily, in our case, the till operator was lenient and let me sign the chit, but warned that if I wanted to use my card again, I must bring ID. I must stress this was a credit card, not a debit card. I don’t know if you need ID for a debit card.

  22. Hi
    I have been fined Eur 6.62 for passing a toll station. I have the reference numbers for paying using a Portugese bank but I am now back in the UK and we don’t seem to have the same system for paying bills. Any ideas?
    Thank you
    Ann Thomas

    • Hi Ann,

      Not sure.

      It sounds like you have the multibanco payment system which, as you say, is unique to Portuguese banks.

      I think you’ll need to contact them and say that you need to do a bank transfer and ask them what you should use as the reference number. They may have a system for paying by card as well.

      Failing that, https://www.pagamentodeportagens.pt/ is supposed to be suitable for non-Portuguese residents to use.

  23. First of all, I am grateful that you provide a stern warning about EURO-NET ATM machines and their rip-off tactics. So I knew I had to stay with Multibanco machines. I am using a Canadian-issued debit card and a Canadian-issued credit card (VISA). After more than two dozen occasions, I can state with conviction that all Multibanco machines refuse the debit cards with the same screen “Operation not Authorized”. However, a cash advance on the VISA card worked on two different occasions (on the same machines that had just refused my bank debit card), and again, I am grateful for the advice to decline (twice!) the “offer” of a portuguese bank conversion.
    I checked my credit card statement, and the rate I obtained is sensationally close to the official conversion rate. I will now have to pay “cash advance interest” until I have the opportunity to square up with my bank, but that amounts to less than 10% of the penalty I would have paid, had I used the EURO-NET rip-off machines. So, overall, I am happy that the VISA cash advance worked, but I am still puzzled, why Multibanco refuse Canadian bank cards. I have used the same bank card successfully (this year!) in Shanghai, Hongkong, Paris, Zurich, San Francisco, Vienna and Venice (and at home in Canada), only to have had it refused in Porto and Lisboa. Go figure…

    • Hi Meinrad,

      Thanks for the advice. That’s all really useful.

      No idea why it’s getting refused. It doesn’t make sense, but at least you had a backup 🙂

      • “Operation not Authorized” message appears on all Multibanco cash withdrawal attempts when we use our RBC bank cards. It used to work fine last month and now it doesn’t…
        Tellers in the bank are of no help. They suggest to check with your bank…
        We did there’s nothing wrong with our cards according to RBC customer service.
        Visa cash advances go smoothly, no problems there.
        It’s a mystery…

        • Hi DJ,

          No idea unfortunately, but it does seem like there’s an issue with Canadian debit cards as Meinrad had the same issue.

          At least you’re able to do cash advances.

          • Hi,

            I am also from Canada and currently travelling into Portugal. I have a Desjardins card. I was able to withdraw money 2-3 weeks ago but I now get the same message as DJ and Meinrad.

            My institution in Canada couldn’t help nor did the people at the banks I visited..

            Any idea what could cause such problem recently?


          • Hi Tristan,

            I have no idea. It mainly seems to be Canadians that are having this problem, so it’s strange that none of the banks in Canada know anything about it.

          • Hi Janice,

            Sorry to hear that, but thanks for sharing! Hopefully it’ll be useful to others that are in the same boat.

  24. Apparently there is a new screen and it appears that you have to opt-out TWICE now to have your own bank do the conversion rate – can somebody confirm exactly what the second screen means ?

    • Hi Simon,

      Yes, they ask you twice. You need to click no to the conversion rate each time.

      I guess it’s another attempt to convince you to go with their conversion rate.

  25. Hi James, I’m presently in Lisbon and was worried about ATM fees and wanted to share my positive experience. I heeded your advice and stayed away from the Euronet ATMs (which really are everywhere!). I looked for an ATM that was attached to the wall of a physical bank and found two at a BPI bank location. Nothing on the ATM or its user interface lead me to believe it was officially a BPI ATM but since there were two and they looked pretty similar to how an American bank would do an ATM, I rolled the dice anyways. When using the ATM, I needed to decline the Euro-> USD conversion twice (Want to convert? Are you sure you don’t want to convert??) and I was never prompted for a bank fee the transaction (like I’m accustomed to in the USA) which really scared me. The ATM supported up to 6 digits for a PIN, but mine was only four.
    My US bank is Ally, whose service states they charge “up to 1%” for foreign transaction fees. The Euro -> USD conversion rate was 1:1.10 on the day I took out the money. I took out €200 which showed up in my Ally statement as $222.85. I don’t know if the ATM charged a fee or Ally charged me very little, but that comes to a cost of only $2.85 for using the ATM. I’m happy!

    • Hey Richard,

      Thanks so much for sharing your positive ATM story! So glad I could help.

      Yes, the 6 digit pin is a bit confusing. I should make a note of that in the article.

  26. My wife’s wallet was stolen in Lisbon. She is about to go to Porto. Anyone know of any touchless ATMs in Porto where she’d be able to get cash via our ATM card that she just set up with Apple Pay?

  27. I need to pay a bill to a private doctor in the Algarve, what is the sequence on an ATM machine, I have the identity and reference numbers, do I assume the payment is for private and obviously not state, always confused with the ATM

  28. I was in Lisbon 2 weeks ago and used my US ATM card at several MultiBanco ATMs from different banks. In every case, I was given the option of allowing the local bank to do the conversion to dollars (and it told me what the conversion would be) or allow the network (Visa, Mastercard etc.) to do the conversion. Allowing the network to do the conversion always gives a better rate, though the ATM will ask you if you really want to make a transaction at an unknown rate. The rate I got was about $1.13 per euro and there was no ATM fee charged by the Lisbon banks. Visa/Mastercard will charge a fee of about 1% and your US bank may also charge a fee.

    I was also warned not to use the Euronet ATMs since they have high conversion fees as well as other fees. These are not bank ATMs.

  29. GOOD DAY
    just used an atm MB in lisbon
    i took out my 200 eur limit and was charged 248.59 usd despite the exchange rate being approx 1.12
    do i have any recourse

    • Hi David,

      Did you accept the ATM’s conversion rate for or did you select to let your bank do the conversion?

      If you accepted the ATM conversion rate, I don’t think there’s a lot that you can do. If your bank did that conversion then you’ll be able to get in touch with them. No idea whether they’ll do anything about it, but at least you can speak to them.

      • Hi James, I am not sure you are familiar with the use US ATM cards in Portugal; I tried 3 different US based cards in portugal and they were all the same, the ATMs don’t give you an option to accept or decline the conversion, it’s not based on the US bank ( 3 different one same rate ( 1.254 when the actual rate was 1.135)) insane markup, its what we call in America a Rip-off, luckily i only made the mistake once on a 200 euros so it cost me $24 extra dollars, but i have not found one bank here that is a good option for US based cards, when i do i will report it.

        • Thanks A. Smith,

          Yes, it sounds like the ATMs are treating US cards differently. Do you remember which ATMs you have tried already?

  30. In Lisbon I could get 600 euros in one ATM transaction/withdrawal but only 200 in Porte de Lima. Does anyone know what the maximum is in Porto please?

    • Hi, luckily not every withdrawel machine is in the hands of ATM. Just avoid these machines. There are still a lot belonging to banks. The. Caught me once and than no more. Jou just have to look…

    • At an Multibanco ATM (and I would advise you to avoid any other) the maximum allowed withdraw amount is 200 €, but you can do two such withdraws per day, so up to a total of 400 € per day.

    • Hi Peter,

      The majority of the time it’s your bank that charges you and not the ATM (Portuguese ATMS don’t charge for withdrawals). The key to avoiding these bank charges is, unfortunately, to find a bank at home that doesn’t charge you for ATM withdrawals abroad (or at least charges something reasonable) before you go abroad.

      Once you’re here, there’s not a lot you can do.

      Some banks charge a withdrawal fee or a percentage + a withdrawal fee. If that’s the case with your bank, it makes to make as few ATM withdrawals as possible.

      Depending on your bank it may also be better to pay for things by card. It may not, though. It really depends on your bank’s individual terms.

  31. At any ATM Never accept the conversion shown on the screen,, NEVER ,NEVER !!!! ONLY ACCEPT THE BANK RATE ON THAT DAY AND SAVE A FORTUNE !!!! Left side of Screen.
    I just took out 600 EURO and their exchange rate was 1089 AUS ,the Bank Rate on the day i was charged was 980 AUS.
    Nice little profit for the Mastercard….

  32. Hi James,
    I am traveling to Lisbon for the 1st time and don’t have time to obtain any euros before leaving. I was planning on getting euros at the airport when I arrive so I can buy metro tickets and whatever else I might need before getting to my Airbnb. Do you have any better recommendations than what I am planning? I see Ellen didn’t reply yet above, are the conversions using an ATM that bad and should I get 200 euros some other way? Thanks

    • Hi Eric,

      As far as I know, it’s mainly down to your bank. Some banks will charge a fee, some a percentage, some a combination of both. There are also some banks that don’t charge you for withdrawing abroad or refund the costs.

      Money exchange services at airports are generally known for giving poor conversion rates. ATMs offer better rates, especially if you don’t accept the ATM’s conversion, but it does depend on what fees your bank will charge you. This should be something you can find out from their website.

      I would have a look at the bank’s fees, but I would lean towards using the ATMs over the exchange services. If you decide they’re a better deal, you’ll be able to find them (e.g. Unicambio) around Lisbon.

  33. I just returned from Portugal and was charged $133 in one case for 100€, in another case $125 for €100. My US bank reimbursed ATM fees worldwide, the extra 18% was due to ATM grossly inflated conversion rate. Live & learn.

  34. I’m in Portugal at moment and did a withdrawal at Multibanco and they convert at 1.25 per euros and for $100 eidos paid $125.13 crazy overcharged? I need help will be here for the next 6 days thx

    • Hi Silvana,

      The first thing I would check is what your bank charges for foreign ATM withdrawals. Sometimes it’s a fee, sometimes it’s a percentage, sometimes it’s both.

  35. Hi James,

    I have a UK debit card (Starling Bank) that doesn’t charge any fees at all for use abroad. However, I read on another post that most Portuguese ATM’s charge a fee for withdrawals from foreign bank accounts. Do you know if this is correct?

    • Hi Gary,

      You’ll be pleased to know that’s not correct (unless that’s a specific issue with Starling). I have used several UK debit and credit cards in Portugal over the years, and it’s the UK bank that adds the charge and not the ATM here in Portugal.

      I don’t have a Starling account, but I have used Metro Bank (who also don’t charge for ATM transactions in Europe) and there is no charge from normal ATMs (e.g. a Portuguese high street bank). The ATM will offer you an exchange rate, but it’s better to let your bank do the conversion.

  36. Hi, I am new to Portugal and yet to adopt using multibanco…one problem I face is everything in Portugal while operating it…is it possible to see options in English on multibanco?

  37. Multibanco is currently charging about 10%
    per debut-card transaction. How does one avoid this wretched rip – off?
    Thank You.
    William Thacker

    • Hi William,

      Do you mean the multibanco ATMs or card payment machines inside shops and restaurants?

      Generally, the easiest way to avoid these charges is to get a better bank account in your home country. Some bank accounts are just more travel-friendly than others.

      In the UK, for example, a lot of people use Metro bank or the Halifax Clarity credit card. Other people use Revolut or N26.

      I believe in the US, Charles Schwab Bank is the most travel-friendly bank for travel.

      If you’re based in Portugal, however, it may make sense to open a Portuguese bank account. Although most charge fees, it can be cheaper than paying ATM charges every time. You can then use a service like Transferwise to transfer from another currency to Euros.

      • I’m using a debit card from a US Credit Union and was informed there were no fees for foreign bank atm transactions. The rate of exchange at a ‘Multibanco’ is generally between 1.26 and 1.28 (shown on the screen), when the dollar is trading at 1.135 and 1.15 Thanks much for your 1st reply.
        William Thacker


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.