Until you know the best banks to use and the ones to avoid, escaping ATM fees in Greece is a bit like a game of Russian Roulette. Depending on which bank you choose, the fee for making a cash withdrawal from an ATM in Greece can range from €2.00 to €3.00. Then again, if you choose the bank carefully, or just make a lucky choice, you can make a withdrawal without paying any charges at all.
When I first arrived in Athens, I tried to make a withdrawal, from an ATM owned by Piraeus Bank. The machine wanted to add a charge of €3. I don’t like paying to access my own money, so I cancelled the transaction and redeemed by card.
After a little wandering around I found an Attica Bank and the ATM dispensed the money I wanted without charging any extra fees at all. Guess which Bank’s ATMs I’ve been using ever since.
One day when the ATM outside the Attica Bank wasn’t working I had to go looking elsewhere. I went to Alpha Bank. The machine wanted to charge me €2.50 and a message on the screen informed me that this would be on top of any fees my own bank charged me (in my case zero). I cancelled the transaction and continued my search.
My next port of call was NGB (i-Bank). This time the ATM only wanted to hit me with a fee of €2.00. That’s a lower cash withdrawal fee than Piraeus Bank and Alpha Bank wanted to charge me, but I was still unwilling to pay it. Two or three euros here and there can add up to a lot of money by the end of the year. I work hard for my money. I’m not going to throw it away.
So, if you are visiting Greece and want to make a withdrawal from an ATM and avoid paying any fees at all,
Attica Bank is the one to use.
UPDATE (January 2020)
If you check out the comments section below this post you will see Attica Bank now charges for withdrawals and there is no longer a way to avoid paying ATM fees in Greece. However, NBG is apparantely the best bank to use because its ATMs only charge €1.40 (Thanks for the info Alexandros 🙂 )
Apparently the best ATMs to use in Greece are the ones belonging to Optima Bank.
Panagiotis was kind enough to provide this information in a comment. Spyros also left a comment confirming he had made a cash withdrawal and did not have to pay any fees. Thanks for sharing guys 🙂
UPDATE (April 2021)
It looks like bad news. Things seem to have changed again. If you check the comments section below, you will see Jason, tried to withdraw cash from an Optima ATM and noticed the transaction would entail a €3.95 charge.
So, it looks like there may no longer be any banks in Greece that don’t charge foreign visitors a fee for using their machines.
If you know different, please share your knowledge by adding a comment. The information you provide may help fellow travellers to save money.
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