No one has change but ATMs can be coaxed to help a bit

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No one in many countries seems to have any change, yet banks, currency exchanges and ATMs love to distribute high denomination bills. For those that rely on ATMs it is worth taking note of available bills, then selecting “other amount” and entering an amount that forces it to cough up small bills. A trade-off has to be made with transaction fees, but at least you can avoid getting stuck exclusively with large notes.

This morning The Rapid Traveler used his Schwab debit card, with its ATM fee rebates, in Mexico (Schwab killed its superb credit card but its checking account is alive and well). The ATM nudged him to 500, 1000, 1500, etc so it could unload its 500 MXN notes. He needed about US$100 so selected 1400 and did get two 500s but four 100s. His hotel broke down the 500s rather than bothering with multiple ATM transactions that might raise a security flag.

ATM keypad 4/4

Photo by redspotted

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