UBank No Longer Charging Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fees or Foreign Exchange Conversion Fees

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I just received this email from UBank today in regards to their USaver Ultra transaction account, this is now matching the Citibank Plus transaction account I normally use for overseas ATM withdrawals:

What’s changing?
Starting today we’ll no longer charge you a $4 withdrawal fee at ATMs overseas, or the 2% Foreign Exchange fee for Ultra card withdrawals and purchases. And while we’re talking about overseas transactions, just a reminder to always make sure you press Credit while making a purchase or withdrawing overseas. Great news if you travel or make purchases from overseas.

We’ve also updated the terms and conditions to:
- flag that merchants might charge you a fee when you use your card with them (these fees aren’t charged by us, but we wanted to ensure you knew);
- confirm that the eligibility criteria for your account (eg, having Australian mobile number) need to be met at all times while you hold your account;
- clarify how we treat information about joint accounts; and
- tidy up some information that was out of date.

When do these changes take effect?
- The new USaver Ultra terms and conditions, which incorporate these changes, apply to your account straight away.

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Comments

  • +7 votes

    This is good.

    • +12 votes

      Now, if we could have UBank activate Apple Pay and NPP, that'd be great, thanks.

      • -2 votes

        Melbourne-based 28degrees credit cards have no annual fee and support Apple Pay. 28degreescard.com.au

        • +3 votes

          That is a credit card. This is a bank account. They serve different functions for a lot of people, especially with regards to NPP.

        •  

          @ilikeradiohead: I know Citibank has Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, but unsure if their debit card Citibank Plus is eligible….

          Citibank Plus is pretty much the same product as this, everyday bank account with debit card.

  •  

    Just read about this change this morning actually. Very happy about the change.

  • +5 votes

    Really good.
    Has better interest rate than ING 2.87% vs 2.8% and a higher balance limit 200K vs 100K.
    Easier criteria to hit the bonus interest min $200 deposit a month and no 5 transactions for ATM free.
    Easier process to sign up than Citi in my experience, had to go to PO for ID checks for Citi for everyone I knew.

    But ING still better if overseas ATM providers will charge you to use their ATM.

    • +1 vote

      Its great but customer service is not as great as ING if you have an issue.

    • +2 votes

      I couldn't sign up for Citi - poi was sent through auspost then citi cancelled my application so i said stuff it and signed up with Macquarie who will refund australian atm charges and no overseas atm fee (though they won't refund), and all this with no hoops to jump through each month like ING (no min deposit or transactions). I visited 14 countries in europe in December/January 17/18 and no atm's charged me a usage fee but im sure you could get charged atm operator fees overseas. Macquarie was 100% online application for me as well.

  • +9 votes

    wow very nice. don't need my citbank plus anymore considering all my savings are in ubank

    • +2 votes

      I would suggest comparing the exchange rates between the two banks, my NAB travel card offers about 6% less dollarydoos than my Citi card

      • +1 vote

        Agree will need to read tnc

      • +14 votes

        The exchange rate is set by either visa or mastercard. Unless you have a specialty travel card that you load money on to.

        • +1 vote

          Upvote. I've been finding the Visa (which UBank uses) exchange rates are a less favourable than MasterCard.

      • +5 votes

        Travel cards are not the same and interest rates are usually set by the bank.

    • +5 votes

      Handy to still have Citibank as it is Mastercard whereas ubank is visa (at least mine are anyway). I've been in situations overseas where only one is accepted (usually where one sponsors an event, e.g. visa sponsored the world cup so at all games and fan zones you could only pay with visa or cash)

  • +9 votes

    Also, remember that Live Sweeps won't work when choosing "credit", so you'd need to have enough money in your Ultra to cover the withdrawal.

    •  

      I have had sweeps work when I have used credit before, has it changed?

    • +1 vote

      I actually prefer it that way. I want to limit the amount of money that may be spent if the card was lost overseas.

      • -8 votes

        Australia is the worst place to lose your card.

        We have the highest spending limit without requiring a pin.

        • +1 vote

          No way, you don't even need a pin in a lot of countries.

          Lose your card in Japan and someone can just sign your whole card away in one shot (if you're stupid enough to sign the back of your card with your real sig.)

        •  

          @Shibbyyy: Waitasec… you're saying it's generally a bad idea to sign the back of your card with your real sig? And does everyone else do this as a security measure and I've been living under a rock (entirely possible)?

        • +1 vote

          @Shibbyyy:

          You can't use your own card if you can't reproduce the signature at the back. The other thing is that it doesn't matter how you sign, as the thief will copy whatever is there. Hard to understand what were you trying to say.

        •  

          @mrau: I was in Korea/HK 2 weeks ago. When I was buying duty free on my card, they only accepted signature (no PIN) and even then they didn't even check how it was signed against my card. So overseas in an Asian country, I don't think it will be that hard to spend someone's savings…

        •  

          @niffy: most of the stores do not check the signature. I had a replacement card once and went to shop to buy something. They lady at the counter asks to show the signature. I realized that I didn't sign the card. I asked the lady for a pen to sign the card on the spot. :)

        •  

          @racetolive: Yep as my experiences. Most don't check, and because of how prominent PIN usage/contactless is these days, I actually don't tend to sign the back of my card. Then there'll be that one time where a cashier/staff member notices, and I'll just sign my card for them in front of them.

    •  

      Interesting.
      CREDIT certainly works for me.

      •  

        I've had it work perfectly up until now. I use the OzB trick to keep ultra at $0. Since this news, I found that FB can't charge the card [because you may have reached your card limit], but paypal can. I see a lot of 'pending' transactions lately tho.

    •  

      I've had ATM withdrawals decline, sweep not work, regardless of the "account type" selected.

    • +2 votes

      Also, manually sweeping money before an OS withdrawal could be tricky if they still require an SMS security code for transfers, if you don’t have access to your AU SMS while OS.

    •  

      What is a "Live Sweep"? Tried googling and didn't find it.

      This doesn't sound like a problem unique to selecting "Credit" though. This would be the case on your ING, Macquarie and Citibank account when selecting "Savings" too, would it not? You can't withdraw if you don't have enough cash.

      • +1 vote

        The Usaver Ultra Sweep is a feature only relevant to the Ubank account.
        Here is how it works:

        The Sweep moves money on your behalf - so you'll always have some money on hand, and some money enjoying big interest.

        MIN amount of cash you need to have available on your Visa Debit Card: Any time your Ultra drops below the MIN amount of cash you need, we'll send some cash over from your Linked USaver account to top you back up.
        MAX amount of cash you need on hand every day: If your Ultra gets an influx of cash that takes you above the MAX amount of cash you need, we'll automatically send the surplus to your Linked USaver account to earn big interest.

  • +2 votes

    This is awesome, might be time to switch to uBank, thanks for the heads up!

  •  

    Does anyone know what the FX conversion rates should be like? Should they be as good as Citibank or BankWest Zero Platinum card? I might test this next time I'm overseas.

  •  

    Does this mean it also outdoes the Bankwest Zero and 28D cards as a way of getting cash from overseas ATMs? They had the $4 fee or % charge, but often still competitive enough rate vs overseas exchange places.

    • +1 vote

      Bankwest Zero and 28D have been charging for overseas ATM withdrawals for years (Bankwest always has). The only other card I know which does not charge is Citibank Debit Plus. It seems this card is near identical.

      • +1 vote

        ING Direct doesn’t charge, does it?

        • +10 votes

          I think ING Direct even refunds the fees charged by the overseas ATM owners, in addition to not charging their own fee.

        • +2 votes

          @foundit:
          so far with my international withdrawals, you are correct, everything refunded

        • +3 votes

          @foundit: Yep, works really well for me abroad. I've seen some ATM owners charge the equivalent of A$12 or even A$18. ING is so much better than my old option (Citibank Plus debit card), as withdrawing cash is completely fee-free at any ATM – I used to have to research or shop around for the right ATM. Stuff doing that while on holiday!

          Note though: you have to satisfy ING's usage threshold. Under the current promotion, ING refunds ATM owners' fees as long as you deposit $1,000 or more per month and make 5+ card purchases that are settled (not pending) each month.

          https://www.ing.com.au/everyday-banking.html

        • +1 vote

          @foundit:
          Can confirm this on my most recent trip. Just need to make sure you hit the criteria of $100 dep PM and 5x Card Transactions.

        •  

          @KingNgope: $1,000 or $100?

        • +1 vote

          @foundit: Definitely is $1000.

        •  

          Offer will apply for the next calendar month when you perform the following during the current calendar month:
          * Deposit at least $1,000 from an external bank account to any personal ING account in your name (excluding Living Super and Orange One), and
          * Also make at least 5 card purchases that are settled (not pending) using your ING debit or credit card (excluding ATM withdrawals, balance enquiries, cash advances and EFTPOS cash out only transactions).

          I was going to do this for an upcoming trip but just realised I had to have done it a month in advance and I'm flying out in two weeks time. My backup is the CBA Platinum AMEX card for fee free international transactions but I think I get charged for ATM withdrawals though (which I really won't need anyway).

      • +3 votes

        Macquarie Bank

      • +4 votes

        Citibank can potentially work out better than UBank if a Citibank ATM is available at the overseas location (for the avoidance of ATM fee)

    • +1 vote

      The Bankwest Zero and 28D cards were never the best way to withdraw from an ATM overseas, even back in the day when they didn't have a $4 or % charge. Why? Because if you overpaid your Credit Card by, say, $500, and you spent $600 on it, you could no longer use it to effectively withdraw money.

      i.e. your 28D was only "effectively" a debit card only if it was in Credit. It limited its flexibility as a product and this is why it always made sense to hold a Citibank Plus card alongside it.

      If you could not get a Citibank Plus, different story, but it's a Debit Card so it wasn't exactly hard to get.

      Different story now. There are more Credit Cards that waive foreign transaction fees, and more debit cards that do the same and charge no overseas ATM withdrawal fees.

  • +8 votes

    I’ve been pretty happy with UB. Was with ANZ, and wasn’t getting interest, switched over and got my interest last month. I mean, I felt like a moron for being with ANZ for so long, but I guess better late than never.

  •  

    Have applied for a 28 Degrees card as we are heading to the US for 3 weeks. Is this a better option? Would we load cash on this and pay with credit and also use it to withdraw cash as needed? Thanks in advance.

    • +2 votes

      28 degrees are CREDIT CARD this is for taking local currency from ATM.
      different purposes just like apple and android.

    •  

      Yes. This will be best for ATM use. For in store transactions can use either.

    • +2 votes

      You don't want to use 28 Degrees to withdraw from ATM, it's treated as a cash advance. You want this, Citibank Plus, Macquarie or ING. If you meet the criteria, ING is the best as you will get ATM operator fees reimbursed too.

      • +1 vote

        yeah crazy some people still cant see the difference between 28 and citi/ing.
        its crystal clear, one is CC one is DC

        • +7 votes

          There was a loophole that was closed (in 2013 I think) where you could put the 28 Degrees card in credit and withdraw with no fees. That's long gone but maybe the legend lives on ;)

        • +3 votes

          @dazweeja: That wasn't a loophole. That was a feature from day one and they got rid of the 28D main selling point.

        • +1 vote

          @dazweeja: yes that was a good deal back then as I used to travel with just my 28Degrees as it offers a Credit and Debit function! Now I combine the 28 Degrees with ING Direct for overseas travel.

        •  

          @chiwi: That's my winning combination also. Also carry a Citi+ as backup, but have never needed it. Also, ING works in Cuba, most other cards won't!!

        • +2 votes

          @chiwi: I used to have 28 degrees, but now prefer Bankwest Zero Mastercard, as it offers complimentary international travel insurance as well. Neat if you use the card to buy your airfares.

          https://www.bankwest.com.au/personal/credit-cards/no-annual-...

        •  

          @GOCAT9:

          Also, ING works in Cuba, most other cards won't!!

          Interesting. Why is that?

        • +1 vote

          @sitdowndisco:

          That wasn't a loophole. That was a feature from day one and they got rid of the 28D main selling point.

          I don't think it was a "selling point" in that it was never something openly advertised.

          Even then, this was only advantageous to those who only had a 28 Degrees and not a Citibank Plus, which isn't logical as the Citibank is in fact easier to get given that it is not a Credit Card.

          If you had a Citibank Plus, it wouldn't have made any sense to use this feature of a 28D.

        • +1 vote

          @illumination: If they are an American company it won't work in Cuba. America citizens have to load up a Canadian prepaid debit cards to withdraw money from an atm. They also charge an extra 10% commission when converting US dollars on top of the 3% commission.

        •  

          @drmarshall: Amazing bit of trivia. Never knew that.

  • +6 votes

    "confirm that the eligibility criteria for your account (eg, having Australian mobile number) need to be met at all times while you hold your account;"

    when we are overseas, taking money from ATM they wont send any sms codes, right?
    because my mobile number cant go roaming even if i want to (kogan) - i cant receive smses or calls.
    so if i dont have autralian mobile phone number while overseas basically i am against their t & c ?

    •  

      Yeah that is confusing - another issue to be clarified.

    • +2 votes

      They require an SMS code for transactions done in their mobile app, like transferring funds or paying via bpay.

      Never been asked for an SMS code for an ATM withdrawal, although when travelling with Citi in the past, they did call my (not-roaming-capable) Australian number to confirm it was not fraudulent. I found out when my next ATM withdrawal was declined and called them, and they removed the fraud flag. I'm sure you would be able to do something similar with UBank should the situation arise.

      •  

        They require an SMS code for transactions done in their mobile app, like transferring funds or paying via bpay.

        agree with bpay, but how about from saving to ultra? also need sms code? sorry i should just try myself haha lazy

        • +2 votes

          They don't SMS you at ATMs and I'm sure they don't for transfers between you own accounts as they are known/trusted accounts that are linked by the bank.

        • +1 vote

          With linked accounts (in your name) which have been verified for at least 10 days, you can send up to $5k without the need for an SMS, any amount above this would still require an SMS.

    •  

      "confirm that the eligibility criteria for your account (eg, having Australian mobile number) need to be met at all times while you hold your account;"

      Read that again

      so if i dont have autralian mobile phone number while overseas basically i am against their t & c ?

      and then this.

      While you're overseas, you are still "holding a UBank account". You still have an Australian number (linked to the Ubank account).. so no, I don't see that as you breaching their T&Cs.

  •  

    Great news! Although I'm guessing it still won't be possible to move money in UBank while overseas :(

    Will probably keep my Citibank Plus account for now, even though UBank aren't charging for overseas ATM withdrawals the ATM operator will still likely charge a fee.

    • +1 vote

      Yes - clarification on this would be good. I have used Citibank debit the last few times overseas but it's the only time I even have money in my account.

      Would be good to streamline my bank accounts as I already have a uBank for savings.

    •  

      why wont be possible? from saving to ultra, just need internet connection, right? at hotel wifi etc

      • +2 votes

        Might be because every time you want to transfer money out UBank requires you to confirm with a code sent to your registered mobile phone number, and you'll likely be on another SIM.

        • -2 votes

          We are living in Thailand at the moment. I have just put a family member's Australian mobile phone number on my account profile, and every time I need an SMS code for a Ubank online transaction, said family member just Whatsapp's or Viber's me the code. Works well. But then again I am grateful to be part of a very kind and supportive family.

        •  

          @nortyjak: how easy/fast to change mobile numbeR? can be done 100% online and no delay/waiting period? ie for example at airport 20 mins before flight i want to put family number, would that be possible?

        •  

          @dragonindespair: Yep absolutely, just need to call them, its the only way. But it will update instantly. Happy travels!

        •  

          but all you need to do is to move money into your UB account (or between your own UB accounts) - that shouldn't require SMS from UB's end

        •  

          @nortyjak:

          Why not just getting a cheapest prepaid sim with roaming service to make it easier? E.g. Aldi just $15 for 365 days. I was using this method and it was great.

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