• long running

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


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- tidy up some information that was out of date.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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        • @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.

        • @kaihoc: Then I would have to remove the my Thai sim from my phone and replace it with the Aldi Sim, and then reverse the process once the code has been received. It's easier to just get the code sent to a family member. I am not sure why my comments above were downvoted? Weird. Even the Ubank rep on the phone suggested this is the most foolproof method. No roaming SMS charges incurred either.

    • +2

      Just have roaming enabled on a sim card you keep active?

      I'm with telstra and just spent 4 months overseas for work earlier this year. Left my telstra sim in a spare phone I brought with me and it received SMS fine (on prepaid but didn't recharge it while I was away to save $$$).

      • +3

        im with kogan, no roaming even if i want to pay they just dont have the feature

        • nothing stopping you getting another sim to pop in when you're going OS. Update your phone # before you go. Or you could even you an old phone (or get a cheap $10-20 phone) and keep it in that.

        • +1

          It is the only reason I haven’t go for their 365days plans. The price is good but I do need the roaming service to receive SMS code when traveling. I have a very bad experience because of this. Finally I have to make international call back to He bank in Australia and update the mobile number temporarily……

        • +1

          @supabrudda: This is true but that is so inconvenient.

          Imagine having to call up to change it for 5 bank accounts, and then coming back and having to call them up again.

          You could maybe setup SMS forwarding? Not sure if that's a thing.

          Otherwise, if you can plan it out better, don't be on Kogan when you need roaming. For all we know, he might be on a 12-month Kogan prepaid plan though.

        • @illumination:
          Would this work with a new TravelSim?

          Has an Australian number, but you'll get it overseas (you may have to pay for each sms)

        • @foundit:

          You just need a SIM that is able to receive SMS overseas (i.e. roaming). But I was trying to point out that having to change numbers just for an overseas trip, only to then change it back again upon your return is a tad annoying.

          So if main SIM happens to be the travel SIM, great. But I doubt it is!

  • -1

    Need to check their exchange rates.

    • +2

      will be VISA rates same with any other cards with visa logo

  • +1

    posted by someone on whirlpool:

    I've just spoken to someone at UBank and they have clarified that: "When you're overseas, you need to press credit – but unfortunately Live Sweeps don't work when choosing credit, so you'd need to have enough money in your Ultra to cover the withdrawal."

  • pressing 'credit' to withdraw cash from ATM wont charge 'cash advance' fees?
    The Ubank card is a debit card, isnt it?

    • +3

      yes wont be cash advance
      yes it is debit.

    • I've always thought that when you withdraw cash using a credit account you get charged interest on that withdrawal immediately unless your credit account is positive….

      Happy to be proven wrong.

      • +2

        if you withdraw from credit card, yes… because you are borrowing bank money…

        this is from debit, ie you withdrawing your own money… no one will be crazy enough to charge to take your own money out….

        • 28 Degrees is crazy enough

        • @muncan:

          That's because 28 Degrees is a credit card, not a debit card..

        • @muchan: credit card will always charge for cash advance. its just 28 degree was stupid to allow but then they realised their mistake. big banks will never allow that

      • Credit card you are correct but not credit account on a savings/transaction bank account as you are withdrawing your own money.

      • with a debit card to quote you your credit account is positive…. since you (in theory) can't go into a negative balance.

  • +5

    beware: ING is still better because they refund local ATM fees.

    • -3

      Macquarie also do this.

      • +4

        No, Macquarie does not reimburse operator fees.

    • +2

      UBank is part of NAB so you get fee-free ATM withdrawals in Australia when using NAB, CBA, ANZ and Westpac ATMs

      • +3

        All Australian cards get fee-free ATM withdrawals when using NAB, CBA, ANZ and Westpac group ATMs

      • +1

        and also redi atm

        • So can CBA card holders use Redi ATM without any fees?

    • +2

      ING is not just local

      • +4

        correct. anywhere in the world.

        • To be exact, provided you use it more than 5 times a month? And have min balance no?

  • +2

    Citibank would still be better than the uBank account due to the fact certain countries have Citibank ATMs, therefore avoiding possible fees.

    • +1

      Not really "better" imo.

      The advantage of withdrawing from a Citibank ATM with a Citibank card is:

      • You can see your remaining balance on screen (which in fact, I think some other ATMs can do?)
      • You will be advised on screen the AUD amount you are withdrawing
      • You can see a Citibank ATM and know immediately you won't be charged a fee


      • Citibank ATMs can range from being fairly common to completely non-existent, depending on which city/country you are in
      • I don't think a Citibank card would charge you an ATM fee with a Macquarie/Ubank either, although I think this may be again dependent on Citibank in the city/country. If this is true, it makes point #3 above irrelevant.

      Having said that, there's no real reason to a Citibank Plus account because it doesn't cost anything.

      edit: Looks like Citibank do charge ATM fees in some cities, but would the fee not be charged just because you're a Citibank customer from another country?

  • +3

    It’s great that we have another option now. Citibank, ING, Macquarie, Ubank. 2 Mastercards and 2 Visas.

  • +2

    Been with Ubank for a while now, but haven't really used their debit card services as such as i only use ubank for savings and not day to day use.

    Might have to rethink my strategy for travel and online purchases as I currently rely on 28 degrees. If ubank have zero ATM fees for overseas transactions and no transaction fees might consider ditching 28 degrees!

    28 degrees does have apple pay which 'can' be useful but not pre-requisite.

    • Pointed out in comments above but keep in mind you can't withdraw money from a 28D, so they address slightly different needs. The advantage of the 28D is that you can hold money in your bank account longer, earning/offsetting interest as opposed to having money taking out immediately of your Ubank account.

  • So if I was to choose a visa debit which one is better? ING or ubank??

    • +2


    • +7

      There are other factors to consider than withdrawal fees. However, for that alone:

      ING will refund vendor fees as well.

      But Ubank do not require 5 card transactions a month.

      You decide what's best.

      • +1

        Had a read….so with ING, in order to get the 2.5% international transaction fee and ATM fee rebated, you must deposit $1000 and make 5 transactions on the card the month before. So, if I'm not going to use it for online international purchases and only as a travel card, then I can just deposit $1000 and do 5 small transactions the month before any planned holiday and I should be covered right?

        • +1

          Yes that is correct.

        • +4

          The only trick is that the transactions need to be cleared before the end of the month… don't do what I did and do 5 x 1c transactions at the self checkout at Coles on the last day of the month … which didn't clear until the first of the month.

        • +3

          That's exactly what I do. The easiest for me is just to use it once a month before I travel and make 5 Small payments of $1 each as part of my weekly shop at woolies/coles self checkout using the mixed payments option. I have always previously used the 28degrees/Citibank options when travelling which work fine.

          But now I don't care about local ATM fees when I use the ING card. Last month I withdrew money from an ATM in a Casino on a Ship and was charged US$15 for the withdrawal, which ING credited. Happy days.

        • +1


          This is exactly the mistake I made, but to be clear, you can do that. Just don't use PayWave because that goes through as a Credit transaction. You have to insert your card and select Savings to ensure it gets immediately posted.

          Inserting and selecting "Credit" would be the same as PayWaving, i.e. not immediate.

    • +3

      Another factor is PayID. ubank doesn't support it, despite being part of NAB.

    • +1

      What @haemolysis said

      The vendor fee can make a big difference in America whereas not so much in Europe.
      When I was in NYC a few months ago, I was charged $2 USD withdraw fee for $300 at a citibank machine in the MET.
      And subsequently charged $14 for $40 at a citibank machine in a chemist.
      But ING rebated it all. :)

      • +1

        I use ING card in Chile, because many ATMs there charge an ATM operators fee of CLP5000 (>$AUD10 - ouch)

      • My trip to USA in 2015, both my friend and I were trying to run our cash down to $0 before we left and we pretty much succeeded.

        Last stop before going to the airport, had time to kill so decided to go to the science museum - free entry. But $10 parking. Between us we were down to less than $5.

        Closest ATM we could find was across the road at the petrol station. We ended up paying a US$6 fee to withdraw the money to pay for the parking.

  • Thanks. I was annoyed when Citibank switched to MasterCard

    • +1

      to be honest, not much different between visa and master. one day visa slightly better, other days maybe master. just like woolies and coles.
      unless you transact in thousand dollars, wont make any differences

      • Only because I've come across some small online retailers that haven't accepted Mastercard in the past. Mind you, haven't seen that in a while now though

        • About the only place I can think of that doesn't accept Mastercard is Costco in the US, who only accept Visa because of a deal they have with Citi and Visa.

          Accepting Visa and not Mastercard or vice versa should not be a thing within Australia as all the local banks and payment processors have negotiated rates with Visa and Mastercard for merchant processing.

        • +2


          Accepting Visa and not Mastercard or vice versa should not be a thing within Australia as all the local banks and payment processors have negotiated rates with Visa and Mastercard for merchant processing.

          This is true, but don't forget that one of the main selling points of using cards like Citibank, ING, Macquarie, Ubank is not their domestic product but rather, how you can use it overseas. For some that use it on a day-to-day basis in Australia anyway, great. Nice and easy, but others (like me) might use Credit Cards for the majority of their transactions in Australia because using these transaction accounts will net you no return in the form of either cashback or points.

        • I had the opposite in Europe, where the machines for the train tickets, at the staffless train station, only accepted Mastercard, not VISA.

  • +6

    This is interesting. Citibank Plus has been very cost-effective but their app and website are the worst banking experience I have ever seen. You need a pincode to access a pincode for another pincode - or something along those lines.

    • +6

      if you dislike citi website dont ever go near hsbc. total crapier. used to have device/token. like wtf need to carry it around….

      • Agree HSBC is crap, but 2FA using device/token is most secure.

        • -2

          most secure? until you've lost it, then your thief has secure access and you have crap all

        • +4


          Rubbish. They use a 2 factor authentication device which needs a PIN to generate the code which makes them the most secure. Losing you device simply means ordering a replacement. Unless the their knows your login, has your device, PLUS the pin, they can't touch your money. Tell me how that's not secure?

        • @clubhonda: you can use your smartphone for SecureKey nowadays… minor improvement

    • +3

      UBank's app and website are no shining light on the hill…

  • +1

    mobile roaming as a requirement for a bank account. - mmmm.

    • if they reimburse the cost, i dont mind!

    • Just says you need to have an Australian number while you hold the account. Nothing about roaming. In fact, doesn't even say you need to have this Australian number registered to your Ubank account, but I think we can all agree that if we're trying to argue this, it's quite obvious this was not the intention of this rule.

      In fact, now that I think about it, what exactly is their intention with this rule?

  • Travelling to Japan soon and come across this. Great post. Thanks OP.

    • You do not need ING in Japan as ATM's in 7/11 do not charge fees so this one and Citibank plus are fine.

      • yeah they do.. 200 Yen is the charge

        See here: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/359796

        • +2

          I went to JP May this year. Citi bank plus no extra charge from any 7Bank

      • Yea but why limit yourself to 7-Eleven?

        There are other ATMs in Japan that do charge ATM fees.

  • +1

    Excellent news. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

  • Just wondering if I were to use this card at a 7/11 in Japan. Am I saving withdrawal fees? And also what is the most efficient way to convert my aud to yen? Cna I essentially use any Atm there and the rate is sourced by ubank?

    Thanks in advance if anyone can help me

    • +3

      The fact that Ubank no longer charge ATM fee does not mean that overseas banks have stopped doing so.
      Ubank are saying that they will not charge you an ATM fee themselves (nor will they charge a foreign transaction fee).
      Local issuer may still charge you - so you need to check.
      ING go one step further than that by saying that, if you do get charged a fee for using an ATM, they will refund it.

      Regarding the use of "free" debit cards in Japan, you may be disappointed to hear that 7-11 now charge small amount for local withdrawals.
      Same applies at Japan Post, which also used to provide free withdrawals.
      That means that it is now more or less impossible to get free cash withdrawals in Japan.
      Worth reading this info on the very similar Citibank plus card on the Whirlpool wiki

      • +1

        hmm.. interesting about japan. more reason to kill my citi plus card then.
        28 for CC and ING for ATM. thats the best combo

        • I still have these others as backups better than the travel cards that are around

      • The good thing is that there are Citibank atms around Japan.

      • +7

        Came back from Japan yesterday.
        The ATM in 7-11 is still free (Macquarie Bank - Mastercard).
        Other ATMs wanted to charge about 100-200 YEN.

      • +6

        7-11 only have a fee for Visa, not MasterCard so this one will incur a fee but others (Macquarie, Citi/MasterCard) do not. ING will reimburse the fee.

    • +1

      7-11/7Bank and Japan Post ATMs charge nothing, at least one of them should be easy to find.

    • +4

      I'm just back to Australia from 2 weeks trip in Japan. I've used my Citibank plus card all the time at 7/11 ATMs, no mention of ATM fee and I've got the best possible rate, very happy so far.

      • Thanks for everyones reply, i will be going with citibank and have this bank incase as well as ING
        but i think i'll be using Citibank as my staple, seems the most simplest in terms of use

  • Should I be loyal to ING or move on?

    • If you are going to SE Asia keep it.
      You can always have more accounts and have a choice.

      • -1

        I see.. what's with SE Asia? Does ING have any edge?

        • +1

          ING will refund ATM fee.
          E.g. in Thailand the fee is about $9.

        • @yabol: I understand that.. but won't Ubank refund it as well?

        • +2

          @virhlpool: no ubank will NOT. period.
          the only one that will, is ING. period.

        • -1

          @dragonindespair: But the title of this post says that UBank will refund it (or not charge it) as well. Am I missing something?

        • +11


          There are 3 fees if a card is used overseas.

          Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fees
          - UBank, Macquarie, Citibank does not charge this.

          Foreign Exchange Conversion Fees
          - UBank, Macquarie, Citibank does not charge this.

          Overseas ATM Operator Fees
          - UBank, Macquarie do NOT refund fees
          - ING does refund fees

          Therefore ING is the winner here.

        • @sssbp: thanks for the info so ING will charge a conversion fee when withdrawing at atm?

        • +1


          My bad, forgot to include ING in my last message haha

          ING doesn't charge any of the first two fees and refunds O/S ATM Op fees

    • +4

      They are not loyal to you by implementing the $1k deposit and 5 transactions.
      I think you know the answer

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