Though not a traditional tourist destination, Bangladesh offers stunning natural scenery and an abundance of wildlife, making it more and more popular to adventurous travelers. And while debit and credit cards are becoming more and more common all over the world, you’ll still probably need some cash on hand during your time in Bangladesh. How do you get it? That’s as easy as having a bank card and finding an ATM. Read on to learn more.
In Bangladesh’s bigger cities, like Chittagong or Sylhet, ATMs are common and easy to find. Outside of these population centers, though, it might be a little trickier to find a place to withdraw Bangladeshi Taka.
Try these tools for finding ATMs for some of Bangladesh’s largest banks:
- Sonali Bank ATM locator
- Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited ATM locator
- Dutch Bangla Bank Limited ATM locator
- Janata Bank Limited ATM locator
There are also a number of foreign banks with a presence in Bangladesh:
You may also be able to find an ATM that shares a network with your debit or credit card using these tools:
- Maestro ATM locator
- Mastercard and Cirrus ATM locator
- Visa, Plus, and Plus Alliance ATM locator
- Discover ATM locator
- American Express ATM locator
While “chip and PIN” cards are becoming more common all over the world, Bangladeshi ATMs are still largely unable to read chip cards, so make sure your card also has a magnetic swipe strip to ensure you’ll be able to access your cash.
While the maximum amount you can withdraw will vary between different ATMs, some travelers reported that they were generally unable to withdraw more than 20,000 taka per transaction at ATMs in Bangladesh. However, if you need more than that, you can make more than one withdrawal per day. Your bank may also have a maximum daily withdrawal limit for your card which you need to consider.
Before travelling internationally, it’s always a good idea to tell your bank where you’re going, when you plan to go and for how long. That way, the bank knows not to flag your card for suspicious overseas activity and shut it down. If your card does get shut down, it can be a real hassle to get it working again, especially if you’re in a different time zone from your home bank. When you talk to your bank about your trip to Bangladesh, you may also want to see if your card has a daily withdrawal limit. If it’s not high enough for your trip, see if you can raise it temporarily to give yourself the ability to get more cash once you’re on the ground in Bangladesh.
Want to learn some tips and tricks to avoid ATM fees in Bangladesh? Read on.
When you use a foreign ATM machine, it may give you the option to view the transaction in your home currency rather than the local currency. This seemingly helpful service, called dynamic currency conversion or DCC, actually allows the ATM to set its own exchange rate and charge you for whatever markup there may be. This basically amounts to a hidden fee that allows the ATM owner to profit from your withdrawal. You’ll have to do more math, but always choose to view transactions in the local currency when using foreign ATMs to save on fees.
Other fees can vary, but you may encounter Bangladeshi ATMs that come with fees per transaction, or your home bank may charge flat fees or percentages as withdrawal fees, or foreign transaction fees. Check with your bank before you travel to see what kind of fees they may charge you, and pay close attention at the ATM terminal to see if the ATM comes with any fees for usage.
See if your bank reimburses ATM fees or doesn’t charge for foreign transaction fees. If not, you may want to get a new card that offers those perks, allowing you to reduce your ATM fees or avoid them altogether. Avoid ATMs at the airport or in hotels, as they tend to have higher fees than bank ATMs. And if possible, make larger, less frequent withdrawals so you get hit with fewer per-withdrawal fees.
If you, a friend or a relative has a bank account in Bangladesh, transfer money there ahead of time to skip ATMs and their fees altogether with TransferWise. TransferWise moves money at the exact mid-market rate, so there are no exchange rate markups or hidden fees. You just pay a small, fair transfer fee that’s spelled out upfront. TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts that allow users to send, receive and manage money in multiple global currencies all at once, making it even easier to use money overseas.
Whether you’re staying in Bangladesh for the long-term, or are just making a quick visit, these tips should make your time abroad a little easier. Good luck and safe travels!
While not traditionally considered a tourist destination, Bangladesh is growing in popularity. And with its fascinating history, breathtaking panoramas and...