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No-fee ATM withdrawal bank for Indonesians abroad

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  • No-fee ATM withdrawal bank for Indonesians abroad

    Dear humans of this forum. Hello.

    Ok that's not a very charismatic greeting but I signed up here with a question in mind, even though I plan to make myself more useful to y'all later. I've been a lurker and have gleaned quite a bit of useful information from this forum...and I'm new to Indonesia but won't be new soon... and I hope this question in particular leaves some worthwhile answers for the rest of you.

    I have an Indonesian human who wants to visit me where I am, which is mainland China. Visas and such, flights, no problem. Cool. The lingering question is, how will said human withdraw money from his/her bank account? I think we all know Indonesian banks, like so many things in Indonesia, can be either brilliant or crap depending on who you talk to and what you've signed up for. Now, without giving away too much, I am a US citizen and I have one of these:

    https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab...ecking_account

    which, if you look at the fine print, makes clear that it rebates ATM fees everywhere in the world, no minimum balance, no other silly terms required, just...you have the card, you take money out of the ATM, done. Very useful in Indonesia, where at most I'm getting 3j per withdrawal (hi Citibank ATM's that I've seen like...2 of). If I was getting dinged $5 + 1-2% currency conversion fees for every withdrawal, that could add up, but I'm not. Cool, so I got that problem solved. I rock up, pull out my 300k for a few day's needs, and lout about Jakarta not needing to think about where I put my pink stack, and I know I'm not gonna get a better rate at a money changer or something. One less headache. That applies all over the world, including mainland China, where I've tried it out extensively (and where the pink stack is also a problem...100rmb/15usd highest denomination...that's not much improvement over IDR 100k/7 USD...why...and why are they both pink). This is a fact that continues to delight me.

    In China, I've found similar setups. Sure, they limit the amount of currency you can convert and you have to register your passport blah blah, but as long as you maintain a minimum balance, if, say, I wanted to pull 3j from my RMB account vs. my USD account, my China bank has partner banks in Indo where that's a no-fee thing (hi Citibank! kisses!). Visa debit card involved in both cases. I say Indonesian banks can be either brilliant or crap because why does BCA have all these ATM's and only take Mastercard? Wtf BCA! This coulda been beautiful. If I had a Mastercard thing that would do what I just described, I would love you so much BCA, but I don't, and now, well, we're fated to never be together.

    So, given that this is true for me and that I've found these banks in the US and China who cover my ass like this, it only seems logical that there are banks in Indonesia who would do the same for an Indonesian human traveling abroad. If I was an Indonesian, and I wanted to travel specifically to China, but generally to anywhere, and wanted to not worry about withdrawing money from my bank account at an ATM, where would I bank? What is my minimum balance, what are other qualifications, what are the things I need to know?

    In order to make this question more useful for non Indohumans, I offer that based on my own research of banks (not insubstantial, if I may), people not of Indonesian origin are generally allowed everything Indonesians can get, provided the visa paperwork is in order. Mine was...not, so I have no actual experience to speak of, but I did go into offices and annoyed quite a few bank employees, so I think it's fair to say that anything anyone suggests here will be universally applicable to humans. Given how happy I am with my US and China banks, I look forward to finding out Indonesian banks are just as awesome. Thank you for reading and for your answers.

  • #2
    Originally posted by jerkmember View Post
    ... I have an Indonesian human who wants to visit me .. mainland China ... how will said human withdraw money from his/her bank account? .. I say Indonesian banks can be either brilliant or crap ... it only seems logical that there are banks in Indonesia who would do the same for an Indonesian human traveling abroad ... where would I bank? What is my minimum balance, what are other qualifications, what are the things I need to know? ...

    I already had/still have accounts in international banks (ABN Anro , HSBC , and others) , my country's banks (around 5) , Indonesian banks (more than 5) , could not find any which gave/gives me a free international money withdraw/currency exchange . HSBC for example gave me a free international transfer fee but charged me around 4% in exchange rate (tied operation) . Yes , mainly Americans and Europeans can benefit as you/they don't need to exchange currency in some cases (but HSBC will still make money as it requires minimum investment balance) .

    I also guess that the international ATM withdrawal service is not cheap to the bank , as it involves the Visa/Plus or MasterCard/Cirrus fees in 2 countries + local bank's ATM fee (I used to pay total cost of around 4%).

    Instead of using ATMs abroad , I would suggest your Indonesian visitor to exchange his/her IDR in Chinese currency in Indonesia , before going to China . Indonesia offers (probably) the world best/cheaper money changing services (exchanging IDR to USD in the references below cost around 0.1%) .


    http://www.panin.co.id (Panin Bank exchange rates - need to be client)
    https://www.gmc.co.id/ (money changer , Bandung)
    http://vip.co.id (money changer , Jakarta)



    Last edited by marcus; 05-04-18, 12:37.

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