Comparison of Withdrawals from Macquarie, Citibank and ING Accounts

So I posted this as a comment but thought it might be more useful as an individual post to generate discussion and for others to share their experiences using the cards.

I was recently in Taiwan and deliberately withdrew an equal amount of cash from all 3 cards, and noticed some interesting results:

Date # ING Macquarie Citibank Foreign Currency Amount (TWD) xe.com
10 Aug 1 $44.27 (0.65%) $44.12 (0.99%) $44.33 (0.52%) 1000 $44.56
10 Aug 2 $22.13 (0.67%) Not Used $22.27 (0.04%) 500 $22.28
11 Aug 3 $31.29 (-0.42%) $31.24 (-0.26%) $31.51 (-1.12%) 700 $31.16

In bold were the best rates.

  • Macquarie consistently offered the best rates
  • Positive percentages are good. The higher the better (i.e. you are being charged more)
  • Negative percentages are bad. The higher the worse off you are (i.e. you are being charged more)
  • Keep in mind one of the transactions is still pending, so the final figure might be slightly different (will update when this happens)
  • The percentage in brackets represents how much better/worse off the rate was relative to xe.com
  • I took the xe.com rate of 19:30 (xe.com's time) on the day of the transaction
  • The rates offered by the cards is sometimes better than what xe.com suggests (see transaction #3) - I have personally experienced this before but certainly not often. It is also possible that the xe.com rate I've taken of 19:30 is not quite accurate, relative to when I withdrew.
  • Keep in mind ING is still the only card that will reimburse you (assuming you've met the activation criteria) for any ATM fees charged by the ATM specifically
  • This means if you're in an area where ATM fees are charged everywhere (I've heard Vietnam/Cambodia/Thailand?), ING is more than likely still going to be better, because ATM fees charged by foreign ATMs are going to be more than the difference you'd save in the superior rate
  • Can't remember specific time of my transactions, but would've been between 12-10pm Sydney time.

Does anyone else have any similar experiences?

Does this table look better, or does the table above look better?

Date # ING Macquarie Citibank Foreign Currency Amount (TWD) xe.com ING Margin Macq Margin Citi Margin
10 Aug 1 $44.27 $44.12 $44.33 1000 $44.56 0.65% 0.99% 0.52%
10 Aug 2 $22.13 Not Used $22.27 500 $22.28 0.67% 0.04%
11 Aug 3 $31.29 $31.24 $31.51 700 $31.16 -0.42% -0.26% -1.12%

Comments

  • +3 votes

    Thanks for posting this. It's something that I've wondered about too as I also have these 3 cards specifically for international ATM withdrawals. I've only used the Citibank card so far though.

  • +1 vote

    I also thank you.

    It raises more questions though, like why would one card on the Mastercard network have a different rate to another? For all I know, I could have 2 Citibank cards and even they would give different rates.

  • -2 votes

    Yeah, unfortunately the $5 withdrawal fee on the MTA pretty much negates any benefit you would get from using it overseas.

    https://www.macquarie.com/au/personal/important-information/...

    International cash withdrawal $5 per withdrawal

    •  

      Although on the main page they state free international withdrawals… Might ask them whether it's actually free.

      •  

        Might ask them whether it's actually free.

        It is. I've used on maybe two separate trips since it was announced as free in Dec 2017.

    •  

      Appears that this is their standard fee but they've got some sort of promotional waiver on it at the moment. In fact, I'm not sure exactly how promotional it is as there doesn't appear to be an end date.

      It was posted as a deal here. To be honest, I didn't think it was a promotional waiver until I read the text below the $5 fee on the link you shared:

      From time-to-time, we may make special offers relating to this fee – check macquarie.com/personal for details of any current offers.

      edit: You beat me to the reply lol

  •  

    Citi bank is giving free money?….

  • +1 vote

    Keep in mind one of the transactions is still pending, so the final figure might be slightly different (will update when this happens)

    your comparision might be premature. you really need to wait for the final amounts.

    • +1 vote

      Wouldn't disagree, but I've still got transaction #1 as a finalised transaction across all 3 accounts.

      •  

        you should be able to get the rates for the settlement date from the respective visa/mastercard sites. if they are settled on different dates then you will get different rates

        macquarie seems to process things in the morning say, 8 or 9am

        •  

          Ok the transaction settled!

          The figure ended up being $31.24 (showed as $30.75 when pending), which is quite a large difference ($0.49 is a 1.5% difference from the value shown when pending).

          However, it still suggests you're best off by withdrawing from the Macquarie Transaction account.

        • +1 vote

          @illumination:

          the banks just use the respective visa/mastercard exchange rates. you get the rates from

          https://www.visa.com.au/travel-with-visa/exchange-rate-calcu...
          or
          https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/get-support/conver...

          there might be a difference between visa & mastercard, but if two cards, say two mastercards, are processed on the same date then the transaction amount should be identical (assuming 0% foreign transaction fee)

        •  

          @mtg:

          if two cards, say two mastercards, are processed on the same date then the transaction amount should be identical (assuming 0% foreign transaction fee)

          This is very logical and what I would have assumed to be the case.

          The only explanation I can then think of to explain why it's not the same in my case is that the time of withdrawal is also taken into account…?

        •  

          @illumination:
          Have a look at when the transaction is settled as this can very depending on the bank.

          As a very general rule:
          - Mastercard rates are normally better than visa.
          - Even if the trx is done on the same day, most banks normally will use the rate at the time the trx is settled (normally 2 days after). Depending on ur bank, the transaction can get settled faster/later. I think from experience, ing settles later tahn citibank for overseas transactions
          - some banks do put on additional margin into fx… They still want to make money. My experience with ing and citibank is that the margin is very low or non existent. U can compare ur final rate (after rounding up/down) with the wholesale rate on the website. Be mindful that the dates may be US or Eurpoean dates.

  • +2 votes

    Ok, I've got another example. Again, Macquarie is #1. I'd be curious to know how Ubank compares now that they also waive the same set of revelant fees. Transactions were done within 5 minutes of each other.

    Used the rate at 12:00 UTC on 26 Aug which was around the time the transactions were made.

    Date Trax# Deducted Bank Foreign Currency Amount (MYR) AUD-MYR Calculation Margin
    26 Aug 1 $33.68 ING 100 0.33206 $33.21 -1.43%
    26 Aug 2 $67.23 Macquarie 200 0.33206 $66.41 -1.23%
    26 Aug 3 $33.85 Citibank 100 0.33206 $33.21 -1.94% |
  •  

    Sample size too small. Go whirlpool they had 100x the sample size. MasterCard rate is better than visa. Macquarie uses MasterCard rate.

    •  

      Forgot to reply to this.

      Sample size too small.

      Yea I can't disagree that <5 transactions is really not many.

      MasterCard rate is better than visa. Macquarie uses MasterCard rate.

      This still doesn't explain why the Citibank rate is worse, because Citibank also uses Mastercard.

      The only explanation I can think of is that Citibank maybe have their own bank rate that they go off?

      edit: I think aussiebargain's got it - it's the date that the transaction is actually posted. This also suggests you could end up having a better rate than xe.com, if the rate actually moves in your favour between the time the withdrawal takes place and the time the transaction actually gets posted.

  •  

    Thanks for posting this, I was going to use citibank for my hong kong and taiwan trip next year but seeing how I already have a macquarie account which I use with my partner regularly, this can now be the go to card to withdraw. Can I ask where you withdrew, is it just in 7-11?

    • +1 vote

      Sorry for the delayed response but seeing as your trip is not until next year, sounds like it's not too late!

      Can I ask where you withdrew, is it just in 7-11?

      No, I withdrew from a random bank which I can't remember the name of, but I've withdrawn in Taipei from numerous different ATMs including the metro stations and random ATMs just outside bank branches. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever withdrawn from 7-Eleven in Taipei haha.

      •  

        thanks heaps!

      •  

        just for anyone who reads this in the future, 7-11 charges $4 per withdrawal byt you can withdraw fee free with macquarie at any of the banking corps ATM for Taiwan and Hong Kong (you can’t use macquarie in citibank ATM) and the rates are really good too.
        Plus! Macquarie has a rate calculator you can use to quickly convert stuff to AUD when you shop.

        •  

          Thanks for the update! Also I just randomly remembered the bank I withdrew from in the metro station had "Cathay" in the name. Cathay United Bank or something? greenish logo.

          Plus! Macquarie has a rate calculator you can use to quickly convert stuff to AUD when you shop.

          Oh where is this? Don't think I've heard of this.

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