Unless you are traveling at the high end of a budget Colombia is primarily a cash society for travelers. This means that you’re going to need to access your funds on a regular basis. Most Colombian ATMs have fees associated with taking cash out. So here’s our guide to getting cash in Colombia the cheapest possible way. We cover Colombia ATM withdrawal limits, the best ATM to use in Colombia as well as ATMs that don’t charge for withdrawals in Colombia, and the best bank to withdraw money in Colombia.
Our ATM fees Colombia guide is updated on a regular basis, so if you see anything different from the fees posted let us know in the comments and we’ll update it for everyone to read. Please check the comments for the latest fee information.
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED AND AFFILIATE LINKS MORE INFORMATION IN OUR DISCLAIMER
Key Things to Know About Colombia Currency, ATMs and COP
- The Colombian currency is the peso.
- It is usually either called Peso or COP
- There is ALWAYS a line at a Colombian ATM.
- The Spanish word for ATM is Cajero Automatico – but most people will understand if you ask for an ATM
- Lines at Cajero Automaticos (ATMS) always move slowly. You’ll be incredulous at how slowly they moved.
- Colombian Peso notes come in denominations of 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, and 1,000.
- You will find old and new versions of these notes. It doesn’t mean (at all) that they are fake, just that they have changed and the old ones have not been taken out of circulation. Older notes have ‘000’ to show the thousands whereas newer notes have ‘mil’ to indicate this.
- All of the zeros on the older notes can make them hard to read in a hurry. Take your time when handing over cash. The advice we were given was to put a finger over the last 3 zeros on a note, which makes them easier to read.
- Colombian Peso coins come in denominations of 1,000, 500, 200, 100, and 50.
- You will also find different sizes of these coins, again, things have changed and the older coins have not been taken out of circulation.
Banks with ATMs in Colombia
All the major banks in Colombia have ATMs, although in some smaller towns and villages you may only find a bank branch and not an ATM. In more remote locations, like Puerto Nariño in the Amazonas region, the closest ATM and bank is a 4 hour round trip on a fast boat (and no, no one takes credit cards there either). Be sure to plan ahead, especially when you understand the Colombian ATM fees that you might be charged.
There are ATMs at all the airports in Colombia – find out more about arriving in Cartagena and what to do there
You find several Bogota airport ATMs, (inside security), we found (and used a BBVA ATM Bogota airport, airport ATMs at Cartagena and Medellin too.
Using your Cash Card or ATM Card the Most Cost Effective Way in Colombia
There are two types of fees charged on the use of a foreign ATM card (whether it is credit or debit).
The fees charged by your bank or card provider for taking cash out in a foreign currency. You have COMPLETE control over this. If your provider currently levies a charge on taking cash out of your account in a foreign currency then you should get a new account ASAP. It will save you a FORTUNE in fees. We use and recommend Wise (formerly Transferwise) – read our guide to using it here, or learn more and sign up for a FREE Wise Multi-Currency Account here.
The fees charged by the foreign bank either because they levy a fee on non-in country cards or because they charge a fee to non-client cards. You have a MEASURE of control over this and that’s what this article is about – how to reduce the cost of using ATMs in Colombia.
ATMs in Colombia
There are in general, lots of ATMs in Colombia. Usually, most of them will have a long line of people waiting to withdraw money from them but always check, as it may also be just a random collection of people standing around.
There are three differences between ATMs in Colombia.
- The amount of cash they will dispense at one time
- The number of withdrawals you can make each day
- The fee they charge per transaction
If you are travelling to more remote places like Puerto Nariño there are no ATMs at all and the closest ATM to the Tatacoa Desert is in Villavieja, so you’ll need to plan ahead with your spending. Not all of the ATMs in Colombia are marked on either Google maps or Maps.me. Where we found ATMs that weren’t marked on maps we’ve referenced them in our articles on those particular areas. (So for instance, the Davidienda ATM in Popayan and the Davidienda ATM in Salento are NOT on maps)
We always travel with a portable safe from PacSafe, to secure our cash, electronics and passports in our room, or even attached to a tree when we’re snorkeling.
How to find an ATM in Colombia
ATM’s are rife in Colombia, apart from in some smaller towns or more out of the way places, but just because you see a map entry for a bank in Colombia doesn’t mean that there’s an ATM there. ATM’s and banks don’t necessarily co-locate. ATM’s in Colombia are called “Cajero Automatico”. Or Cajero. You might see signs for Cajera too. If you’re asking for directions, then this phrase will help you.
¿Donde esta un cajero automatico?”
How to Use an ATM in Colombia
Using ATM in Colombia is similar to using an ATM anywhere in the world, but there are some quirks. Each Colombia ATM will have a limit and usually a line next to it (the photo above is an anomaly!)
Unless they are inside a bank, an airport or a shopping map most Colombian ATMs are in a small self-contained room (where there’s likely to be air conditioning) with a door.
Some Colombian ATMs will offer you the option of language when you insert your card.
If no options for language are offered, then English “translations” are usually underneath the Spanish.
- It is normal to leave your card in the machine for the duration of the transaction.
- If you want to make more than one transaction it is usual to have to remove and reinsert your card for the next withdrawal.
- Select withdrawal
- Select which type of card / account (checking/credit etc.)
- Select the amount you wish to withdraw. It is usual for the machine to NOT indicate your or their limit, but just to advise that you can’t take that much out if they don’t allow you to take that much out. Where known we have indicated the limits for foreign cards.
- You may be offered the option to “check the cost of withdrawal”. This never worked for us.
- You will usually be offered the opportunity to be charged in either Colombian pesos or in your home currency. ALWAYS accept Colombian pesos, you will get a MUCH better exchange rate. As an example on a withdrawal of approximately 900,000 COP, by accepting to be charged in GBP, the cost would have been an extra GBP 5.00.
Always ask for a receipt.
Always put your card and your money away, zipped back into your wallet and bag before leaving the ATM.
Comparison of The Best ATMs to use in Colombia
This section outlines the ATM fees in Colombia.
|Bank Name||Maximum amount (per withdrawal) for foreign cards||Fee per withdrawal|
|BBVA||300,000 (x 3 per day)||ZERO fees**|
|Colpatria||900,000 (max 2.7 million/ day)||ZERO Fees***|
|Banco Caja Social||700,000||Reported to be zero fees, although we were not able to use successfully|
|CorpBanco||400,000||Reported to be zero fees although we didn’t find a CorpBanco in our travels|
|ATH Cajeros Automaticos||600,000||10,500 COP|
|Banco de Bogota||600,000||10,500 COP|
|Banco Popular||600,000||10,500 COP|
The following are Colombia ATM fee reports from readers with the date of the note so that you can use this further information to decide on which ATM to use in Colombia.
* 23 Jul 2019 – Davivienda doesn’t charge a fee, but for some reason, they use a terrible exchange rate. Under 3,000 COP per USD when the mid-market rate is 3,200 and all the currency exchange windows offer 3,000.
** 23 Jul 2019 – BBVA only dispenses 50k bills, even for a 100k withdrawal.
*** 23 Jul 2019 – Colpatria – first 100K is dispensed in 20k bills. The current maximums for Colpatria are 900k per transaction and 2.7M per day.
**** 27 January 2020: Pinchita – allowing 800,000 with zero fees.
In the course of our 6 weeks in Colombia, we’ve made a total of 21 ATM withdrawals. We had one hiccough where communications between Starling Bank and Colombia were down and we had to use a backup card, but through management of where we used ATMs, apart from the hiccough, we paid zero fees to Colombian banks.
This meant that we saved USD $87.85 (GBP 65.85) on fees to the Colombian banks by using the table above.
It’s well worth shopping around and spending a few minutes to make your dollars go a little further.
If you’re reading this on public WiFi and plan to book a trip, a walking tour, or accommodation, then check out my guide to the best VPNs for Colombia and why (and how you should protect your personal login details).
Currency Exchanges in Colombia
You’ll find currency exchanges in all major areas and even on the streets in border towns, but the exchange rate you get won’t be great, it does make an easy option for using up “end of country cash” or making sure you have a few notes in your hand as you walk into a new country.
We always travel with the XE currency converter app loaded on our smartphones, it’s a quick and easy way to understand costs in your home currency. You can download it here.
If you’re traveling to other countries, then our guides to ATMs and ATM fees are here – Guatemala ATM fees, Chile ATM fees, Laos ATM fees, and Japan ATM fees.
Travel Tips for Exploring Colombia
- Read about Colombia in these incredible books
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
- Download and install a VPN BEFORE you travel to Colombia > discount coupon here
- Book the best Colombia tours and guides on GetYourGuide and Civitatis
- Save money in Colombia with a Wise debit card
- Book Buses in Colombia with Bookaway
- Book accommodation in Colombia with Booking.com and Hostelworld
Final Words on ATMs in Colombia
We hope this article on Colombian ATM costs helps with your budgeting and travel experiences in Colombia. Let us know if your experience is different or if you have updates on the costs of cash withdrawals in Colombia!
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150 thoughts on “Colombia ATM Fees – Charges and how to save money”
March 5, 2019
The fee at Bancolombia is now $14.500.
Thanks for the great information.
Thanks so much for the update – now updated on the table!
Excellent information. It is very important. Congratulations.
An American friend, now living in Medellin, said Colpatria & Scotia are merged, but only the original ATMs at Scotia-locations (still branded as Scotia or re-branded to Colpatria) still charge a fee – and some locations (malls?) still have both ATMs. So apparently you must be observant if there’s a fee or not. He also said the original Colpatria’s don’t charge a fee.
Also he said Banco Pinchincha is an ATM fee-free bank.
He agreed that while Daviviendo doesn’t charge a fee, their exchange rates are not as competitive as the other fee-free options.
Thanks for the update!
Awesome information! I was always using bancolombia’s atm and paying it’s high fees. I didn’t know there were banks that didn’t charge atm fees! This is great!! Just wondering if colpatria bank offered you a good exchange rate? What would be more cost effective Atm vs money transfer ? Say wester union, sorry for such a long post! Thanks
March 16, 2022…Colpatria appears to be “the” ATM to utilize. Today I used Colpatria ATM to withdraaw the standard “900,000 COP”…end result, my bank charged ten-cents conversion fee, actual conversion of dollars to COP was/is about $1.25 (by MY bank)…other words total cost of accessing $900,000COP determined to be $238.14 US drafted from my U.S. bank account.
The rate now in december 2020 in bancolombia is 21.500 cop
Hi, Great article! Just one thing. The person on both sides of the 1000 pesos note is Jorge Eliécer Gaitan (Politician). People behind him are just all his followers.
Rats, you mean I shouldn’t believe everything I hear on a walking tour? 😉
Actually Castro was a follower and he was visiting Bogota when Gaitan was killed
Actually Fidel Castro appears… in the crowd
So I just returned from a week and a half trip to Armenia, Colombia and I used Davivienda and Bancolombia atms while there. I used our Schwab Debit card for withdrawals and as far as I can tell, we got a poor exchange rate of about 2300 to 1 for Davi and 2700 to 1 for BanC. It was always withdrawn in COP and I did it both in Spanish and English on the machines but that made no difference. I’m not sure where I went wrong?
Wow, that does seem like a pretty horrific exchange rate – I would contact Schwab and see what the issue is.
Todd, next time try sending money to your self (use your name exactly as showing in your passport and p/u there with the a code given at the time you made the transfer (without those you cannot p/u your money) from Rincocito Musical or Vigo from NY/NJ/FL etc. and pick up your funds at “Super Almacen Olimpica (SAO)” there is an exchange agency inside (We used Centro Comercial el Portal. Av Bolívar #19 N.46 – Armenia, Q. Colombia. Normal fees are charge to change up to $999, there is no fee for pickup your funds. You will know how much you will be receiving. NJ 201 487-1018 call them for other locations around your area.
This ! Use World Remit or other transfer service and send money for yourself to pick up at Bancolombia. Great exchange rate, really small fee. No fee to pick up. You might wait a little bit longer in a teller line than an ATM… but send yourself a million or two and call it a while. And you can pick up at so many banks, no need to specify ahead of time.
Davivienda currently allows 400.000 per withdrawal, no fees.
Thanks so much! Its changed so quickly! I’ve udpated the table.
when I used Davidienda now, they asked me to choose their exchange rate (bad) or to reject this exchange rate. never had problems to get at least 4300pesos for one euro with zero fees.
Davivienda now allows 2’000’000 per withdrawal, no fees.
Thanks a lot for sharing the information! Very useful
The comparison table published by Sarah is not taking into account the exchange rate.
Even with Zero Fess per withdrawal you may end paying much more money with a poor exchange rate.
Thanks Hector – its somewhat difficult to publish details of exchange rates, as this post gets readers from many different countries. I hope that readers are able to take advantage of fee free ATM withdrawal cards from their home countries.
I used Colpatria today at the new Viva mall in Medellin. There was no ATM fee, however the maximum withdrawal was $600,000.
Thanks so much for the update! I’ve updated the table of costs! Hope you’re enjoying Colombia!
Is colpatria giving a good exchange rate?
May I know what bank card u use ? I have bank of america
Hi, is the exchange rate mark up the same at each bank? Thanks!
The charges in the table are those levied by the Colombian bank – the exchange rate will be that applied by YOUR bank, our experience (over 5 + years) has been that its usually the daily visa rate that we get charged, but some readers have been charged somewhat higher rates. I would check with your bank / card provider how they calculate it.
Excellent article, wish i had this info long ago! Here are my findings from July 6th, 2019 in Manizales, Colombia:
BBVA, location: Sancancio – CARRERA 27 66-3 17001:
Schwab Bank: $100,000 COP -> $31.18 USD (calculated rate $3,207.18 USD/COP), no ATM fee.
Etrade Bank: $100,000 COP -> $31.18 USD (calculated rate $3,207.18 USD/COP), no ATM fee, + 1% FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE: $.31 USD.
Published USD/COP exchanges on websites, July 6, 2019:
VISA: $3,205.13 USD/COP
Google: $3,208.5 USD/COP
Bloomberg: $3,211 USD/COP
Yahoo Finance: $3,207.18 USD/COP
Yahoo was the closest to the actual rate received. Both Schwab and Etrade waive/refund all ATM fees, but Schwab also waives the transaction fee. Will report back on fees at Banco Caja Social and CorpBanco the next opportunity.
Don’t forget to request payment in COP before handing over your credit card to avoid the Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC)!
Thanks so much for the details! And a great reminder about DCC!
Yesterday I took some cash out of an servibanca ATM at the airport El Dorado. And they charged me $14500 instead of 12000 as shown in the table.
Thanksfor the update Tom, I’ve verified that and updated the table! Happy travelling
Hi Sarah. Some of the fees are outdated and colpatria now charges fees. 18000 on the max 900000. 2000000 is highest max withdrawal on foreign cards I have seen with davidavienda (spelled right?). I’ve been here 14 months. Bank of Colombia and Bank of Bogota are a ripoff.
Thanks so much for this excellent info! Here’s current info for 3 of the banks. Davivienda doesn’t charge a fee, but for some reason they use a terrible exchange rate. Under 3,000 COP per USD when the mid-market rate is 3,200 and all the currency exchange windows offer 3,000. BBVA and Colpatria don’t charge fees either and both use a fair exchange rate. I prefer Colpatria because the first 100k COP are dispensed in 20k bills. BBVA only dispenses 50k bills, even for a 100k withdrawal. The current maximums for Colpatria are 900k per transaction and 2.7M per day.
Thanks Olaf! Really appreciate the update!
Olaf’s info is spot on and still 100% correct as of today 15th of October 2019.
We have been in Colombia a month now and have had consistent 900k, no fee withdrawals from Colpatria ATMs each time with the currency notes as Olaf detailed. Exchange rate has been consistently good as well.
Thanks Bruce, appreciate the update
Withdrawal limits for some banks can vary from city to city, so keep that in mind. I have been in Cartagena, Colombia, off & on for 7 years and have not had an issue with Davivienda’s exchange rates. I actually did an experiment in Oct 2019 withdrawing the same amount of cash from 3 fee-free bank ATMs in Cartagena all on the same day: Pichincha, BBVA, & Davivienda. All gave me the identical exchange rate which was very close to the XE rate for the day.
Oh, and both Colpatria & BBVA will work for MasterCard (not always a given).
Colpatria charge 14.000 + as of yesterday have set a bad exchange rate. In £ I was charged £10 for 900,000 in the exchange rate plus 14,000 in fee -. A shame as I’ve been using this bank for a long time and was the best.
Yep. I canceled my transaction after an 18000 fee appeared onscreen. Back to angry bird davidavienda or whatever the name is. 2000000 max is the highest withdrawal per transaction I’ve seen yet. Colpatria was 900000 for foreign bank cards.
Hello to all of you,
Thank you for the table showing the fees, what was the markup percentage charged by the each local ATM on the exchange rate?
In other words, which colombian banks gave you the best exchange exchange rate regardless of withdrawal fees?
Once I travel there and try it, I’ll post my results.
There wasn’t a markup that I’m aware of, it was charged at the midmarket rates. The exchange rate we got was extremely similar across all the providers, it was simply the charges levied by the ATM provider that differed.
On 08/29/2019 at Servibanca, a withdraw of 780,000 pesos + 14,500 fee, They charged $229.76 US dollars at Charles Schwab Bank checking account. As usual, Schwab Bank refunded 14,500 fee at the end of the month.
Hi, I have been withdrawing cash from Bancolombia at a cost of 18 000 cop. Had to do some research to find this info thanks! Now using Colpatria and even the exchange rate is better than Bancolombias.
Hi,I just had a crazy thing happen. I was using ATH Atm then I used the same day a different ATM, bank Servibanca and found difference in exchange to be quite large between both, with a better rate with Servibanca. So now I have been using Servibanca. Yesterday I took out 2 withdrawals of 600,000 Colombian pesos and was charged $239.14 per transaction, this comes out to 2,509,000 as the exchange rate for yesterday, if I look on current exchange rate for yesterday it was 3,322,000. This is robbery what they have done. Then today I took out money again, 600,000 and I was charged $184.96 exchange at 3,243.000 this makes more sense. Then I realized it did the same crazy change last week as well. Is their anyone to complain to? to call to see what happened, did machine make a mistake, makes no sense. We’re talking like a 50.00 dollar loss per each transaction.
Otherwise, where do I list that people beware with Servibanca, first time ever this has happened that a bank has given me such a drastic reduction in current days exchange listing.
( I travel often to Colombia )
Thanks for the update Liz! Sounds weird! I wouldn’t even know where to being to complain or who to talk to about it!!
some ATM offer you exchange rate going through great britain pound AND giving you horrible rate….when this appears just reject AND than it goes on normal way AND you get the normal very good exchange rate.its a robbery what they do but nothing to do about.some Davivienda ATM do the same but not all.
Just used a Banco de Bogota ATM and they stuck it to me. I have been in Colombia for 6 weeks and not had issues with ATM until today. Other banks have been fair. Banco de Bogota charged a fee of 13,500 COP, which would not be so bad, but they got me on the exchange rate. I ended up paying $200 for 600,000 COP, so about a $19 fee in total. It was the only ATM within walking distance of where I am right now and I needed cash.
Allan. Use banco pinchita they don’t charge and have a very good exchange rate.
Thank you for your article it has useful information! As a Colombian I just want to clarify something: The guy in the 1000 pesos bill is not Fidel Castro. If you want to know his name is Jorge Eliecer Gaitan a socialist leader that was murdered on April 9, 1948 due to his ideas.
On another note I wonder whether someone has experience with Transferwise in Colombia. According to what I red they have excellent exchange rates and given that different ATMs do not charge fees it might be the best combination: Transferwise card + Fee-free ATM. Anyone has tried this?
Hi Nelson, we were told that Castro was in the crowd, not the main figure. Cheers, Sarah
Banco Pinchita is the best bank to use for cash withdrawals. No charges and a very good exchange rate. I only wish I had found this out sooner and saved a lot of money. Please update your page as it’s not accurate!
You can also withdraw 800,000 at a time.
Thanks for your update, as I say in the post, its readers updates that keep it acccurate, so thank you for you comment.
Great article. I’m Colombian and I leave in the U.S. I’m pretty shocked at the low exchange rates compared to the daily value of the dollar. I was wondering if you know of a site that publishes the daily exchange rates per ATM in Colombia. My aunt loves Davivienda but I am noticing the rate is terrible. Thanks for the info.
its not Fidel Castro ob the 1000 note,it’s galán,presidente candidato who got killed in bomb attack during speach.. Davivienda Zero fees,avoid bad excitante rate ,refuse the GBP rate they first offer you AND than you can continúe getting best rate.visa card only 400.000 each Time,Mastercard 2 million.
Regarding the theme of accepting the ATM’s exchange rate, or leaving it to your own bank: I think it depends on your bank. I’ve regularly compared accepting my bank’s exchange rate, or Davivienda’s, for example, and save about $5-10 per transaction by NOT accepting their exchange, but using my home bank’s.
That’s a general rule that we ALWAYS follow. I can’t think of a time when DCC has been better. And especially if you use a financial institution like, say Transferwise, which has seriously low rates, its hard to beat.
Thank you so so much for this post. I didn’t even realize there were places to take out money that don’t cost a fee. Much appreciated!
Hello, thanks for the information. I’ve been living in Cali for about a year now, and have wondered for some time if I should favor one bank or the other when making ATM withdrawals. I wonder if there has been a shift since this article was posted in the way fees are charged. I don’t think I have noticed foreign transaction fees for a while, even though a bank’s atm says they may be charging one. What I have noticed is quite a discrepancy in the exchange rate the banks give. Right now the value of the dollar is high, around 3800. I went to the drugstore and grocery store and the atm yesterday and used my debit card on all transactions. I later looked online to see how the amounts I paid in pesos translated to dollars charged to my account. The grocery store paid 3600 or so, and the bank and drugstore paid around 3300. I’m wondering now, if instead of charging separate fees, it is just all worked out in the exchange rate. Or even in your lists from a year ago, if a bank charged a higher fee but gave a better exchange rate, it could theoretically be cheaper to use a bank that charged a higher fee.
If anyone has new info here I’d be interested. Thanks.
I apologize for posting before checking my own bank and not knowing what I was talking about. My institution charges .75 for withdrawals at any other bank (not bad). But when the Colombian banks say they are going to charge something like 13,500 pesos, I never see that fee. In the US, if I use a different bank, and withdraw say 100, my bank will charge me .75 and the other bank will add their fee and charge that to my account, so the cost may be $103, plus the .75 from my bank. Are the Colombian banks taking that fee of say 13,500, and just doing the same thing, essentially charging my bank their fee by taking it out in the exchange rate?
Also, I didn’t see that there are recent posts here when I first began reading. Thanks again.
The amount charged varies but expect to pay somewhere around 7.2% at Davivienda. Your banl receipt will what you paid for your wirhdrawal and you use xe.com to calculate the difference.
‘bank’ and ‘withdrawal’
Also, I don’t often see the option to choose pesos. Is this at all banks in Colombia?
Not at all, we always withdrew in pesos, there were only a few that offered the option for our home (GBP) currency, but we’d always go for local currency where possible.
I’m in Cartago, Colombia now & your information will hopefully be helpful tomorrow.
I will let you know if anything differs from what you have here.
I will say you have one category listed as “Withdrawal amount for foreign cards”, it may be better if it said “Maximum withdrawal amount for foreign cards per transaction” to make that more clear as I think that’s what you mean.
Just a thought, thanks again.
Thanks Philip, great idea, I’ve changed that! Good luck
I used to use Davivienda until they started charging 7% on exchange rate since around April, 2020. CITI bank is now scotiacolpatria. Does anyone know how much scotiacolpatria charges? Alternatively what ATMs are cheapest to use currently in Colombia, August 2020.
Right now, they do not charge this percentage, but offer youa bad exchange rate, that you can skip 😉
Great info. Thanks to all who posted information and a big thanks to Sarah 🙂
Thank you for your web site.
I am an American living in Manizales, Colombia for 12 years. Social security deposits are deposited in my American credit union in the USA monthly- I withdraw monthly at an ATM (Banco Colombia) here in Manizales. My Credit Union charges no fees in the states. Banco Colombia was charging me 15000 pesos per transaction on all amounts up to 600,000 pesos (the limit). Now starting on the 5th of Jan. 2021 they charge 21,500 pesos for a 600,000 withdrawal PLUS a 6.49 PER CENT MARK UP ON THE EXCHANGE RATE that wasn´t charged before in the last 12 years. In other words on the 5th of Jan. 2021 I received a 3186.514 exchange rate instead of 3394 exchange rate. On a 600,000 peso withdrawal the total dollar amount withdrawn from my Credit Union was $195.04. So the big problem isn´t necessarily the up charge on the OPERATION COST (although that´s significant also) but the 6.49 % MARK UP on EXCHANGE RATE. At the bottom of the ATM receipt reads the following: I HAVE BEEN OFFERED A CHOICE OF CURRENCIES FOR THIS WITHDRAWAL. CURRENCY CONVERSION WAS PROVIDED BY BANCOCOLOMBIA. I really didn´t have a CHOICE if I needed to receive the 600,000 pesos. You can see where 6 or 7 of these withdrawals monthly adds up in charges.
I thought this message would help you and your readers but also WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ELIMINATING SOME OF THESE CHARGES??? By the way I spoke with another American who has had to face the same problem starting last week.. If someone can help us people using ATM´s here in Colombia and help reduce the cost of converting American Dollars (in this case American Dollars in a debit card not physical cash) to Colombian Pesos it WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!
Thank you Sarah and all the best to you and HAPPY NEW YEAR,
I also had one bad experience last year with I put in for 600,000 peso withdrawal and didn´t receive the 600,000 but the receipt showed I did. I spoke with the Banco Colombia agent inside the bank and she said to call my bank in the USA. I did but haven´t received a reply and probably won´t by now. You would think the responsibility should be Banco Colombia not my Credit Union in the States. It´s the only time this happened in the 12 years I´ve been here using the ATM´s monthly.
The responsibility is the bank in the United States. I am a Canadian. I have had 3 withdrawals of 2 million pesos from davienda and never received the money. 3rd time today actually. My bank in Canada investigates and gives me the money 5 weeks later. These banks in Colombia will not do anything for you. They are all crooks
Davivienda charged us a fee of $18.000 in November 2020 , with a really bad rate.
Most the ATM’s “skim” their exchange rate differs by as much as 300 pesos to USD. Charles Schwab have ) atm fees so Clopatria bank is the best ATM to use closest to the actual exchange rate. I took money from 4 different ATMs within ten minutes then checked how many pesos I got per USD.
I lived in Colombia, but since last year receive my payment on a US Citibank account.
As January 2021.
Colpatria doesn’t charge a fee per withdrawal, allowing max 900.000 per transaction. It used the official exchange rate of the previous day.
The atm advice that 5 withdrawal per day… But I was able to do it up to 7 withdrawals.
Servibanca charges 16000 per transaction and use a not convenient exchange rate. Aprox 200 cop lower than official exchange.
Bancolombia as July last year, allows up to 10 withdrawals each one up to 600.000 but again, uses a Non convenient exchange rate (aprox 300 lower than official exchange rate)
Here’s my experience last week in a few different ATMs:
Banco de Bogotá (Villavicencio)
Exchange rate: 3.335,29
Margen de Cambio 7.10%
Total on my account: USD 182.89
Transaction fee: 21,500 COP
Total on my account: USD 171.67
(I should get the fee back from my bank, too)
So the difference is fairly significant
Thank you Sarah for the great article and thank you to all the helpful commenters.
Yesterday I did a little experiment in Cali: I withdrew 500,000 COP from 3 different ATMs: Bancolombia, Davivienda, and Colpatria. All were using my same Schwab debit card (they reimburse all atm/transaction fees).
For reference, that day May 27 2021, Google listed the exchange rate as 1 USD = 3740 COP
Bancolombia ATM listed the exchange rate as being 3483 COP, but it was clear that it was taking 6.5% markup (aka fee). In reality this is more like a 6.9% markup according to the rate listed on Google but it might just be intra-day changes in the rate that vary bank to bank. I was also charged a 21,500 COP feed to use the Bancolombia ATM but Schwab will reimburse that to me at the end of the month.
Davivienda ATM listed the exchange rate as 3496 COP but was clear that this was 6.1% markup. In comparison to the google rate this was more like a 6.5% markup. Davivienda did not charge a fee.
5 hours later I went to a Colpatria ATM (aka Scotiabank since I understand there was a merger but this ATM in was only labeled Colpatria). I didn’t look at the Google rate that afternoon but the historical data on Google says it was close to 3733 COP around the time I made the transaction. The Colpatria ATM asked me if I wanted to see the fee I would be charged but when I hit yes the transaction failed and closed out. I tried again and opted not to see the fee. The ATM did not show me any other info like exchange rates but the money was dispensed. I got 500,000 COP and my $133.85 USD was taken from my account. This works out to an exchanged rate of 3,735 COP!!! I’m pretty sure I was not charged afee, but I won’t know for sure if I was charged a fee until Schwab refunds my atm fees at the end of the month but assuming things haven’t changed in the 2.5 years since this post was originally published, Colpatria is fee free!
In sum: I’m using Colpatria only from here on out!
WOW! thank you so much!
Today June 7 2021 exchange rate is almost 7.10% less per USD than current rate in the market so I witdraw 520 pesos and they charged me 563.065 so its about $11 at the end that you pay extra
I have been living in Colombia for 8 years. Till recently I have always used Bancolombia for withdrawals. However the rates have recently skyrocketed. Therefore I started using davienda. Their machines are bad. I have had to wait 6 weeks for my money 3 times. Because the machine does not fully process the transaction and withdraws my money from Canada. Without giving me funds. Therefore my bank in Canada had to investigate. I recommend you do not use Davienda.
I’m a US expatriate living in Colombia for the past 6 years I live 8 months out of the year in Colombia.
Davivienda Bank is the lowest paying exchange rate. I use 90,% of the time Colpatria/Scotiabank there are a subsidiary of Citi Bank exchange rate varies according to current rate I also use Bancolombia and BBVA.
With my With Citi Priority bank account I don’t pay Citi ATM fees or general charge transactions or currency Conversion in Colombia.
To get a Citi Priority Account the deposit required 0, if you maintain more than 50k every month you won’t pay 30 dollars monthly fee.
The conversion rate in Davivienda, Bancolombia was 3,642.97 and 3,613.00 COP, whereas it was 3928.56 COP on Google.
Then I tried BBVA and Bank de Bogota. There conversion rate was pretty good.
Bank de Bogota 3,910.48. there was a withdraw fees 13,200 COP.
BBVA 3909.30 COP. No fees.
Transaction fee: 21,500 COP
Total on my account: USD 11.49
Transaction fee: 0 COP
Total on my account: USD 549.00
Bank de Bogota
Transaction fee: 13,200 COP
Total on my account: USD 8.49
Transaction fee: 0 COP
Total on my account: USD 12.79
What bank does tour card belong to?
I have Wellsfargo and I get screwed with Atm fees + international atm fee
Los bancos que no dicen X cantidad por día es que solo permiten 1 vez o varias veces retirar?
Depende. Usualmente, es la cantidad. No la cantidad de veces que se usa la tarjeta. Creo que donde no hay detalles en el artículo no tenemos la información, pero cuando recibimos dinero del banco lo hubiéramos usado una vez.
Every atm i have gone to has always charged me a fee. Im with bank of america. What can i do?
Best things to do are 1) check what BOA’s policy on charging for foreign currency is – do they levy a charge if you’re charged in pesos for instance, if not, never accept dynamic currency conversion 2) if they do charge perhaps look for a different card and account 3) Always check whether the charge is coming from the ATM provider or the bank- its hard to tell sometimes, but its often the bank (in your case BofA) that charges and not the ATM provider.
I Literally just paid a little over $22,000 COP at a Bancolombia ATM to withdraw $600,000.00. They are also paying USD at $3,700.00+ whereas the exchange rate at some exchange houses is $3,800.00+ COP. I don’t know if that means anything, or makes a difference to anyone currently here. I am originally from here but reside in the U.S. I have been able to use my credit card (J.P. Morgan Chase) at a variety of establishments.
Uber however will not allow me to USE a new form of payment, which was added here in Colombia, where I had to create the account. Also, using Uber (even in cash) is far cheaper and relatively convenient than renting a car, as there are license plate regulations that only allow car use every other day Mon-Fri.
Thanks so much for the update Mikhail!
Any info on Banco de Occidente?
what atm use the plus network in medellin ??
March 16, 2022…Colpatria permits withdrawal up to $900,000 COP…no U.S. currency withdrawal…I have made three such withdrawals in succession. As my bank covers ATM fees there is not an issue with numerous withdrawals.
Was in Colombia March 2022. Bancolombia (airport) and Davivienda (Chapinero) both charged me a $5 fee.
Comment from 2022: Davivienda provides you an “offer” of the value (in my case in euros) to be taken from the bank. DO NOT accept this offer! IN a withdrawal of 2 million pesos (around 500 euros), when I would have accepted the “offer” it would have been 519 euros, and when rejecting it, only 478 euros were taken out of my account… a very easy way to save around 40 euros!
Hi Esther! Thanks – and yes! A welcome reminder NEVER to accept dynamic currency conversions – you’re always better off without their “offer”!!
Coloatria allows for 2,000,000 COP withdraws
Hello thank you so much for the great info and all the updates are great!
I moved 2 months ago from Lenanon(middle east) to colombia
I receive money through western union and the exchange rate is crazy
changes everyday and sometimes they don’t give me the full amount I tried calling western union but they never answer
I think right now the fee in BBVA is 5$!!
The fee is 15.000COP with BBVA nowadays.. It used to be free.
In the analysis I miss the exchange rates the various banks are using, e.g. to convert euros to pesos. I’ve not made an analysis, but notice bad exchange rates with the banks that don’t charge withdrawel fees. did you take that into account?
Hey Sarah, thanks for this wonderful article and table. In the interest of having the most current data, we used a Davidienda ATM yesterday (2nd June 2022) and it allowed withdrawals from a US Citibank account of up to 2millionCOP. But as you’ve highlighted, the exchange rate was 200COP less than the live rate.
Thanks so much for the update!
I have been reading this website for a while( since last year when I came in Colombia as a tourist) and found it quite useful. Now that I am engaged to a Colombian girl and live here for most of the year and therefore using the cash machines on a regular basis, I can assure everyone here ( mostly us British and the Americans ) that there are significant changes in the policies of the Colombian banks.
To my mind, there is currently NO bank which is commission free on ANY transaction anymore. I used BBVA on a regular basis for the whole period last year ( 2021 ) and it was indeed free with each transaction. As you know BBVA allows only $300,000 COP per withdrawal. When went to withdraw last weekend ( 27th Aug ) as usual to my surprise it charged me $14,000. As of now EVERY withdrawal of $300,000 will cost you $14,000. ( and you need more than 1 ) . As a result of this I went to Pinchincha bank ( their staff is very helpful ) . It was NOT free ( although you would get 0 comission on the receipt ) but it charged me £2,38 per transcation. Fortunately, you can use only one transaction up to $900,000 COP withdrawal ( but techincally i withdrew $1,000,000 COP) .
Things are tightening up and you need to be quite vigilant when using any cash machine now. I tried Colpatria as well but as they are with Scotia bank you can t view how much would they charge which is quite unhelpful.
Definately Pinchincha is on the list but the problem is that it is quite rare to be found.
I have been using Colpatria for years with very good rates. Last week they stung me and now give a charge plus terrible rates. Now going to see around for best value. Currently using Bancolombia. In total 900,000 cost me £22.90 charge / 120,000 pesos OUCH!!!
i had been getting cash from BBVA ATMs w/o fees until this morning when it added 15k (5%) to a 300k withdrawal.
Excatly ! And now David also confirms my previous post. That happened since 27th August , David
those 2 : Colpatria Pichincha still have no fees correct ?
Absolutely not ! All banks have fees now.
Pinchincha charges the best ( at least you are clear of what it would be ) It has charged me 4.72 COP for a $500,000 withdrawal and $0.39 COP for $150,000 but I guess it depends. Colpatria ( a part of Scotia Bank) does NOT reveal the transaction fee upfront and that is the disadvantage !
Colpatria charge + exchange rate is now one of the worst!! Avoid
I have some friends who wish to setup a US bank account for their nonprofit business. Their main establishment is in Cali, Colombia. Can you recommend a US bank that has branches or some affiliation with a Cali bank that the member in Cali can use to deposit/withdraw funds from the ATM? Thanks.
Great article. Help me to start my Colombian adventure
Breakdown of a 300,000 peso ($64.09) withdrawal from a BBVA ATM today (in USD):
ATM fee: $3.12
1% foreign exchange fee $0.64
Diff between actual rate and given rate: $1.50
Total: 8% in charges.
Since my credit card charges 2% on the exchange and no other fees, and I get at least 1% back in “rewards,” paying by CC is way better.
I recently opened a Scotiabank/Colpatria account, I’ll report back on what kind of rate I get on bank transfers from my US bank.
By the way, Scotiabank ATMs just started charging a 6% foreign exchange fee on top of the base ATM fee. The charge is revealed and you are asked if you want to continue with the transaction.
Darn. So that would be another $11 or so one loses at the maximum 900,000 withdrawal.
Don’t continue with the transaction (select “Decline Conversion”), and you will have a better rate (no mark up).
I have read reports online about Colpatria/Scotia Bank no longer giving you the option of allowing your bank to do the currency conversion (which benefits you). Can anyone confirm or deny this?
I just stopped using colpatria because they began charging a fee. Because the dollar is up so gringo prices go up accordingly.
Confirmed. They fix the exchange rate, benefitting them. Fee plus bad exchange rate = 7% of my withdrawal today.
I’ve been here for a year. Never accept the conversion. I was using colpatria until just recently when they began charging 18000 per transaction. Nope. So back to davidavienda (not sure I spelled it right we call it the angry bird because of the logo). Angry bird allows up to 200000 per transaction. I have to call Wells Fargo to reverse the $5 fees after they build up and they always do.
ZERO Fees at all ATM are gone. These days always 18.500 each withdrawal on every bank
BBVA used to be my go to ATM in Colombia, but I’m here now and they are now also charging fees. 22MIL per transaction. I’ll try the others on the list before I leave. Here’s to hoping one of them still offers free transactions.
Hi there! any luck?
A quick update -, possibly only relevant to San Andres , BBVA most certainly charge fees – roughly in line with BancoColombia . Unfortunately when combined with the paltry 300,000 limit , means it becomes a very expensive option if you need more than pocket money .
Citibank and Colpatria Colombia.
Citibank sold all Colombian branches to a Canadian bank that owns Colpatria in Colombia. I just withdrew 2.7 million pesos and was charged $54000 in atm fees. The exchange rate was $4800 pesos to a dollar . Basically they made money paying a lower rate plus the outrageous $54000 pesos ($12 us ). Sadly citibank is not in Colombia anymore . It did not charge atm fees and the exchange rate was decent. Colombian banks are abusive and a rip off .
I used Banco Caja Social on Dec. 11th, 2022. There’s no fee and the exchange rate is almost the same as XE.
Colpatria started using a horrible exchange rate and high fees. As of 12/12/2022 their effective charge is about 15% of funds. It used to be good.
BBVA LETICIA COLUMBIA JAN 5, 2023
15000 COP fee for 300000 COP
Withdrawal. Canadian credit card
I appreciate your website; however the article on Colombia ATM Fees is out of date.
* In December 2022 Pichincha announced closure of offices and ATMs, fact I confirmed today visiting 4 different ATMs in Bogotá, all closed.
* 03.01.2023: Banco Popular: max 1.500.000 witdhrawal, with very bad exchange rate, fee COP $24.500.
* 14.01.2022: BBVA: max Withdrawal continues to be 300.000, however with COP $15.000 fees, so you loose money.
* 14.01.2023: Colpatria: max. withdrawal $900.000, with fee of $18.500. Acording to official exchange rate, 900.000 would be today 177 Euro, however, the withdrawal cost me 192 Euro.
I am quite sure that Davivienda now is also including a fee. So there is no ATM anymore free of fees in Colombia. The best thing you can do, is checking out the the bank with the best exchange and then go for a high widhdrawal, so the proportion of fees is a bit lower.
Thanks for the updated Federico, I do make it clear to check the comments from the most recent travelers
You are a lttle out of date … Bancolombia rips you for almost 24k pesos for 600k withdrawal.colpatrie&Davivienda charge 18k on 900k (better), servibanco asks 600k for 1.6 million (even better) and BBVA wins hands down on my account with 0 pesos -thats right – zero pesos on 3x 300k withdrawals, but only on my credit union debit card.. They charged 15k on 300k withdrawal against a Visah-backed debit card. Must be the network.
I have withdrawn money from BBV in Medellin airport yesterday and paid 15.000 fee.
Here is the latest I have experienced today
$15,000 on BBVA
$18,500 on scotiabank
Another one at the airport was $24,500 and I think it was Bancolombia
I use a Wise Debit Card so I am not sure if the bank would convert as the card can handle COP and then converts by their own really excellent fee.
Colpatria Is not zero fee , it’s actually owned by Scotia bank based in Canada, I am a Canadian and use Scotia bank Canada debit card to withdraw and they we’re charging me a fee around 29000 cop for max withdrawal, so if it’s not free for even its parent company, chances are it’s not free for anyone
Thanks James, appreciate the update!
Hi James, What is the best ATM service in Colombia for a Canadian Scotia Bank debit card? I am visiting next week and initially planned to use Colpatria.
scotiabankcolpatria is now costing 20900! for 900000!
Thanks Roger, I’ll be updating the tables this month and will include your experience and WOW that’s a lot!!!
BBVA now charge 15,000 Colombian pesos per 300,000 withdrawal on non associated cards.
Bancolombia fee is now 25,000
And rate they use is 4700 but online conversion rate to euro is a 5100
Thanks Daniel – did you use Dynamic Currency Conversion? And is that the mid-market rate?
Davivienda – I was able to withdraw at no fee, today.
BBVA – tried to charge me COP 18.000
Using Bancolombia’s Red Aval I was prompred to accept a very low exchange rate. When I DECLINED I was issued the cash at a far better rate. Always decline!
Totally agreed. ALWAYS, ALWAYS decline their rates!
At the end of February 2023, there were ATM fees in Cartagena at BBVA, Bancolombia and Colpatria. After seeing the fee at the BBVA ATM at the airport, I moved on to the Bancolombia machine and proceeded with my transaction (but didn’t compare the fee to BBVA). I withdrew COP 600,000 and the fee was COP 24,290. Later that day, I withdrew COP 900,000 at Colpatria (Scotiabank) and the fee was COP 20,900. Colpatria “includes 6% over wholesale rate” according to the ATM machine and the receipt. Also, there were no lines at the ATM machines at the airport nor at the Colpatria (Scotiabank) in the Bocagrande section of Cartagena.
Although it was our second time in Cartagena (third time in Colombia), I found your information very helpful – thank you!
Thanks so much for the update!