ATM fees Italy

ATM Fees Italy – all you need to know

ATMs in Italy, and being able to access them is important, because no matter how many places there are where you can use a card, there will always be somewhere where cash is better.   Our guide to ATMs in Italy covers where to find ATMS, and how to use them.  We go over the best way to reduce ATM withdrawal fees and the brand of ATMs that you should avoid at all costs.   There’s also key information on PIN numbers in Italy.  Here’s our guide to all you need to know about Italy ATM fees.


Currency & Payments in Italy

The local currency in Italy is the Euro, the euro symbol is €.  And while you can pay by card for many things in Italy, there are times when you’ll want a little bit of cash.  Walking tours, tips, and street food are three examples (don’t miss my guide to Genoa food, which has some super street food!)

Cards on the Mastercard and VISA network tend to be widely accepted.  American Express and Diner Club are less popular and not accepted in as many places.  It’s always wise to travel with at least two cards.  And those cards should be foreign-fee-free, otherwise, you’ll end up with some hefty charges.  We travel with, use and recommend the Wise travel card – and there’s more on it here.

If you’re on a set schedule it’s also easier to prebook your transport and accommodation before you leave home.  I mean, c’mon, you’re heading to Italy, it could be the holiday of a lifetime, and the last thing you want to be doing is sitting in a hotel room on the internet looking for a place to stay.  (You could of course get yourself a SIM card for Italy and search while on the train… but better yet do it before you leave home!)

Where to Find ATMs in Italy

You’ll find ATMs in all the towns and cities in Italy. You’ll find ATMs in Ski Resorts in Italy, but not in some of the smaller villages.  We always have a plan when we travel of how much cash we’ll likely need (and a wee bit extra for emergencies) and always a plan as to where we can get more cash.

There are usually ATMs in the wall outside (or even inside) most banks in Italy.  The word for ATM in Italian is “Bancomat”, so if you’re stuck and looking for where the nearest ATM is you can always ask for Bancomat or search Google for that term.

Types of ATMs in Italy

There are two types of ATMs in Italy, those that are associated with a bank, like what I’ve said above, and the Bancomat that’s outside a bank.  And you’ll find specific bank-branded Bancomats at places like airports.  The five most popular banks in Italy, so you have an idea as to what names are trusted, are

  • Intesa SanPaolo
  • Unicredit
  • Poste Italiane
  • BNL, Banco Nazionale del Lavorooste
  • ING Italia

And then there are those ATMs in Italy that are standalone.   They are generally known as either standalone ATMs (although there is a large network of them) for-profit ATMs, or independent ATMS (which means that they are independent of a bank, or banking network).  The ATMs like these that you will see in lots of places are Euronet.  Euronet ATMs charge between €1.99 and €4.99 per transaction.  They are generally known as a very expensive way to withdraw cash from ATMs.


Wise card

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Which ATMS should you avoid in Italy?

You should usually avoid using Euronet ATMs for withdrawing cash in Italy (and anywhere else).  Euronet ATMs are known as “for-profit” ATMS.  Businesses are paid by Euronet to host these ATMs either inside or outside of their properties.  They are very profitable ATMs, and that means they cost you a lot of money.

As well as the fees, they also charge a very large mark-up for what’s called Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC).  Dynamic Currency Conversion is a fancy term that simply means “instead of being charged for this withdrawal in the currency of the country that you’re in, you’ll be charged in your home currency”.  Sound good to you?  It’s not.

Why you should avoid Dynamic Currency Conversion

Dynamic Currency Conversion, also known as DCC, is a payment option that allows you as the cardholder to be charged for a transaction in the currency of your card’s issuing bank rather than the local merchant’s currency.

For example:  You’re in Italy, where the currency is the Euro.  You’re American, your bank card was issued in US Dollars.  DCC lets your card be charged in US Dollars rather than Euros.

Dynamic Currency Conversion means that the card machine you’re using chooses the rate at which the currency conversion is done.  And trust me.  It is NEVER in your favor.  By a long way. 

Those Euronet ATMs that I mentioned above?  They often charge up to 13% on top of the currency that you’re taking out.  Plus the fee for using the ATM.

Limits on Withdrawal Amounts from ATMs in Italy

There are two different types of withdrawal limits when using ATMs in Italy.  The first is any limit that is set by your card issuer or bank.  They will always have a daily (and possibly monthly) limit that you can withdraw.

There’s also a limit at Italian ATMs of €250 per day.

Paying with Cash or Cards in Italy

So many merchants in Italy now accept payment by cards, whether that’s debit cards or credit cards, so you should only need to use cash for small items – like cups of coffee, or perhaps for tipping.

FAQS about using Italian ATMs

Here are the questions that we had and so sought answers for when traveling to Italy and using ATMs.  If you have questions about Italian ATM fees that we haven’t answered, then drop us a comment.

Will my debit or credit card work in Italy?

All major debit and credit cards are accepted in Italy, although Diners Club and American Express tend to be accepted in fewer places. Most stores and restaurants will have a sign displaying which cards they accept in the window.

What are the withdrawal limits at ATMs in Italy?

There are two different types of limits at ATMs in Italy, the first is the limit that the ATM provider sets, which is usually a daily withdrawal limit of €250.  The second type of withdrawal limit on ATMs in Italy is that which your own bank sets on you, so check you know what it is – and bear in mind time zone changes when you’re trying to withdraw cash.  If you have a limit in a 24 hour period, then it’s based on your home bank’s timezone, not where you’ve traveled to.

What to know about PIN numbers in Italy

ATMs in Italy ONLY accept PINs that are FOUR digits long, so if you have a PIN that is longer than this, then you should change it (and check it works) before leaving home.  If you don’t have a PIN set on your card, then you won’t be able to withdraw cash at an ATM in Italy.

What are the ATM withdrawal fees in Italy?

It depends on which ATM you use to withdraw cash.  There are large fees at Euronet ATMs, avoid them where you can.  Banks such as the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (or BNL) participate in the global ATM Alliance, which waives international ATM access fees.

Travel Tips for Exploring Italy

Final Words on ATM Fees in Italy

While most merchants in Italy these days accept cards (either debit or credit) there are always times when you’ll want a little cash – perhaps for a coffee, or a tip.  Our ATMs in Italy guide covers which ATMS to avoid in Italy, where you can find fee-free ATMs and important information on PIN usage in Italy too.

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