ING removes international ATM operator fee rebate from August 1

Australian ING customers heading abroad will notice a change in the amount of money they get back in overseas fee refunds, as the bank scraps its international ATM operator fee rebates.

ING announced earlier this year it would no longer be offering up to five rebates a month of international ATM operator fees from August 1.

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Withdrawing cash from an overseas ATM usually brings an international fee from the customer’s bank for withdrawing the money, a currency conversion fee and an operator fee from the ATM.

The international operator fee is charged by the ATM owner for using their service, not by ING, and can differ between operators.

ING then charges a $5 withdrawal fee each time a customer takes out cash using their Orange Everyday account at an international ATM, which it then refunds.

While the bank is ditching the international ATM operator fee rebate, ING will keep its refunds for international ATM withdrawal fees, domestic ATM operator fees and international transaction fees.

“We regularly review our products to ensure they deliver on customers’ needs and provide value whilst being sustainable for the business to maintain,” it said in a notice to customers this week.

“As a result, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to no longer rebate the international ATM operator fee.”

Customers who meet monthly eligibility criteria — deposit at least $1000 into a personal ING account and make at least five settled card purchases — can access up to five domestic and international ATM operator fee rebates each month.

They will also receive unlimited rebates on international transaction fees, which are charged as 3 per cent of the transaction amount when using a card for purchases overseas or online shopping from international vendors.

‘Real blow’ for customers

Several frustrated customers previously said the international rebates were what drew them to the bank in the first place, and they were seeking alternatives.

“Not happy you are removing the international ATM (operator) rebate! This was the main feature that keeps me,” one customer said on Twitter.

“Of course this happens as I’m planning a trip around then. Time to look for a new card,” another customer shared on Reddit.

“There goes the last reason to keep my ING account open,” another said.

RateCity research director Sally Tindall earlier said the decision to axe refunds for third-party ATM fees was a “real blow” for travellers.

However, some customers may look beyond it to stick with the bank’s 5 per cent ongoing savings rate, she conceded.

“Before you head to the airport, think about how you’re likely to pay for things and how much cash you’ll need,” Tindall said.

“While many popular holiday destinations will let you tap for almost anything, in others cash is still king.

“A $5 or $10 dollar fee might not seem like much when you’re busy enjoying your holiday, but if you need cash regularly you could find you’ve shelled out more than $100 in … two weeks.”

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