Whether you’re looking for charming architecture, a thriving nightlife, stunning natural scenery or world-class wine country, Hungary is the place to go. This up-and-coming tourist hotspot has something for everyone, which is probably why international tourism there is on the rise.
With its modern cities, you won’t run into much trouble trying to use plastic in Hungary. But street vendors abound, and if you want to try some traditional langos, you may need to have a little cash on hand.
Here’s how to find and use ATMs in Hungary.
ATM’s are widely available in Hungary and can be found in airports, bus and train stations, shopping center and banks. If you are in a city, you are likely not far from an ATM. In smaller towns, they may take a little more effort to find but are still common.
To find a local bank ATM in Hungary, try these locator tools:
- Budapest Bank ATM locator
- CIB Bank ATM locator (available via online banking or app with an account)
- Commerzbank ATM locator
There are also a number of international banks that operate in Hungary. Find their ATMs (and major ATM networks like Visa and Mastercard) with these locator tools:
- Citibank ATM locator
- Maestro ATM locator
- Mastercard and Cirrus ATM locator
- Visa, Plus, and Plus Alliance ATM locator
- Discover ATM locator
- American Express ATM locator
US, UK and Australian debit cards should mostly all work in Hungary. If you have any doubt, check the decals on the sides of ATMs to see which networks they’re compatible with. Visa and Mastercard are most widely accepted. Hungary is a little bit behind much of the world when it comes to bank cards with microchips, so if you have a chip card, make sure it also has a magnetic stripe, as those are more commonly accepted.
All Hungarian ATMs accept 4-digit PIN codes. Some ATMs will accept up to an 8-digit PIN, but these are less common.
Maximum withdrawal limits vary depending on the type of ATM you use in Hungary, but you can expect to be able to withdraw around 100,000 HUF per transaction, with no total daily limit. However, your bank may have a withdrawal limit for your account, so if you plan on withdrawing a lot of cash in Hungary, you may want to contact them to see about temporarily raising your limit.
It’s always a good idea to let your bank know before you travel, especially internationally. Otherwise, your card may get flagged for suspicious activity and shut off, leaving you without access to your money. Add in time differences, and it could be a while before you’re able to get your card working again. Let your bank know ahead of time when and where you plan to travel and for how long to avoid this hassle.
It’s an unfortunate truth that using ATMs can come with paying fees. Here’s how you can best avoid them at Hungarian ATMs.
When you use your foreign debit card at an ATM in Hungary, the machine may give you the “helpful” option to view the transaction in your home currency, rather than in Hungarian Forints. While this service, called dynamic currency conversion, might seem like a nice way to skip having to do the math yourself, it actually allows the ATM to to set its own exchange rate, often marked up from the mid-market rate. That way, the ATM owner makes a profit on your withdrawal from the hidden markup you end up paying. Instead of using this “service,” always choose to view your transaction in the local currency when using a foreign ATM. You’ll have to do the math yourself, but your wallet will thank you.
Fees can really vary when using foreign ATMs. The ATM owner may charge a fee for withdrawals. Your home bank may charge a flat fee or a percentage as a withdrawal fee. You may also be charged by your home bank for foreign transaction fees. It’s a good idea to check with your bank, and pay careful attention at the ATM terminal to see what fees you’re being charged.
By choosing the right debit card for foreign travel, you can save on ATM fees, since some banks reimburse fees or don’t charge foreign transaction fees. Travelers in Hungary suggest using local bank ATMs rather than privately-owned ATMs (like Euronet), as the fees tend to be lower. It’s also a good idea to try to avoid ATMs in hotels and airports, as they often have higher fees to target tourists. Lastly, make infrequent, large withdrawals to save on flat, per-withdrawal fees.
If you or a friend or relative has a bank account in Hungary, transfer money ahead of time with Wise. Wise moves money at the exact mid-market rate, or the exchange rate you see when you Google it, without any hidden fees. All you have to pay is a small, fair transfer fee. Wise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, with consumer debit cards for EU residents, making it even easier to access your money in places like Hungary.
Check out how to make your first transfer with Wise. And give it a try.
Whether you’re moving to Hungary or just taking a short visit, good luck and safe travels!
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