HSBC Debit Cards in the USA and Allpoint ATM Network

Hi OzBargainers!

I'm travelling to the US in October/November, and I'm researching different options for currency. I'm going to take a bit of cash, a credit card and a debit card in case I need to withdraw more cash. It's easy to compare what local banks will charge for using international ATMs, but I'm finding it really difficult to find out in advance what an ATM network in the USA will charge me for using an Australian debit card. Now that rebates are all done or being phased out, I'm trying to get a sense of what options there are. I'm finding it impossible to make an informed comparison, because what an international bank charges for using their ATMs is so variable.

HSBC offer fee free withdrawals internationally from international HSBC ATMs - confirmed with their customer support - but on checking the US HSBC site, they make a big deal out of fee free access to the Allpoint network ( and they seem to have machines everywhere. I've asked HSBC US and HSBC Australia if I can use Allpoint ATMs freely and neither could give a definitive answer.

So that brings me here - has anyone tried this particular combo (ie Australian HSBC debit card with US Allpoint ATM) and can they confirm whether or not they got hit with fees? Obviously they'll squeeze me with exchange rates, but at least I can crunch the data on that and make a like-for-like comparison.




  • +1

    How many cash transactions are you planning to do? Wouldn't every day global debit card solve your problems?

    Take enough cash at the beginning of your trip and pay your purchases with the debit card?

    • I guess that's another unknown element for me. I'd imagine I can pay for just about everything on card, but don't really know how it's likely to work while road-tripping through rural areas, buying random stuff at flea markets or off Craiglist (etc) or if there's any kind of black/grey economy (like waiving tax for cash purchases).

      (Edit: I'm possibly overthinking it all, but my last big family trip was to Thailand and Cambodia where cash was very much the norm - and it's been a long time since I've been to the US.)

      • +1

        Maybe prepare US$1000 in cash for couple of weeks? You might have plenty of left after your trip though :)

        I guess you need an odd $10-20 in your pocket every day for tips as well, 1 hello = $10 i guess, i've never been to US though :P

        • the good thing about USD is you probably end up using it. For example, in SEA or South America. Or if you buy currencies overseas you'll get a better rate than with AUD.

  • +1

    I’ve just come back from the US last week. I used my Citibank debit card for cash withdrawals from ATMs. I tried to find the bigger Banks….. Wells Fargo, Bank of America etc. The transaction fee varied between US $3 to $5 . I found most people were using cards with tap and pay although frequently they had to sign a paper receipt!

    • Thanks Sheila. I can live with flat fees like that. I got burned in Thailand where the ATMs were charging me 700 baht ($35!) per transaction before I figured out that the cash exchange booths had to compete a bit harder against one another and offered decent rates.

  • +1

    revolut has a partnership with allpoint

  • can you use the allpoint ATMs in australia with your hsbc card for free?

  • I'd allow about $50 cash a day. CitiBank ATMs are easy enough to find around the USA to withdraw from for free - I've done this in the past.
    I usually have a little spare cash and use the debit card where possible.

    Cash is definitely needed in rural areas - I've driven around Nevada and Arizona and it's definitely needed, but there's also enough "small" built up areas that accept debit/credit cards.

    Another thing to do is look up ATMs for HSBC in the areas you're planning on going through to plan how much cash to have every 'x' days then stock back up on cash, rather than carrying a large amount all the time - I certainly wouldn't carry large amounts of cash.

  • How did you go with this - I am wondering exactly the same thing.

Login or Join to leave a comment