Banks… Never be on your side

Ok the subject titled is a bit harsh but bear with me on this. After2 ½ weeks of volunteering on a Scottish B&B in rural Argentina (a story for another blog) we were able to take stock of things such as finances, further travel itinerary etc….

It dawn on us that over the last 27 weeks we have been leaking money from an unexpected source: Banks… the amount of fees that we get from withdrawing from a Debit card or the sporadic use of the credit card for dinner i.e. Anniversary Dinner. The amount charfed to our acount is horrendous

Every time we withdraw money from an ATM using the debit card we get charge 2.5% fee in some countries you get hit twice such as Chile you get charge for the privilege of using the card in a local ATM and get charged at the UK end.

We have estimated that we have lost in fees alone around £1500 or ($2500 USD) throughout our trip. Right from the beginning we have had to withdraw as much as possible cash to avoid getting constantly hit.

We bank with HSBC and have done so for a number of years; now you would think been a customer of the worlds biggest bank they would cut some leeway in fees even when you go into an HSBC in another country but noooooo you still get charged at the UK end for the privilege of getting to your money as HSBC like other banks ( BBVA, Scotia, Santander) are different subsidiary companies not linked to one another.

Ultimately Banks are a business and they are there to make money but this alternative to having low interest rates and having a charging system when you take your own money out (Not credit) is not right. Is as if they are doing you a favour.

The amount of travellers we have encountered throughout our trip multiply for the amount times they need to withdraw and a lot of money is lost on this. Surely a better system can be brought in instead of penalising tourist for withdrawing money.

My chosen Pictures for today: Receipts and a ATM….

bank slips


A ATM display in Santiago - they use the dollar sign


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