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What type of ATM abroad gives you the best FX rate?

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rated:
In a country like Japan or HK? I will be using my online banking card which has no ATM fee

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rated:
If you are just talking rates don't let the ATM do the conversion as it will likely be much worse then the rate your bank uses.

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I thought ATMs of some banks would give you the best rates for cash abroad? What's a better method to get cash then? I have the Fidelity cash management account

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Schwab and Cap1 do not have a bank ATM conversion fee

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indebted said:   In a country like Japan or HK? I will be using my online banking card which has no ATM fee
  On my experience the exchange rates of most bank ATMs are similar -- you need to be aware of fees -- sometimes several dollars -- that are tacked on -- but they'll tell you that. In Japan many ATMs will not accept foreign-issued cards -- luckiny the post office bank does, and there are post offices everywhere, almost all with ATMs, and Seven Bank, owned by 7-11 does as well ,and depending upon locale there are lots of 7-11s, too. 

 

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in HK, the money changers are very competitive in the tourist areas such as Tsim Sha Tsui (spelling?).  7.70-7.75 per USD, if you change $50 or $100 bills; also be sure the bills are newish, no wrinkles etc.  7.75, almost the "official" rate may take some effort and sometimes not worth the trouble to search.  most do not charge commission but safer to ask.

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The actual FX rate is usually decided by Visa or MC (depending on what logo it carries). The thing to watch out for is fees that your bank charges on top of that, fees the ATM operator may charge.

As has been mentioned, do not opt for dynamic currency rate where the ATM displays an exchange rate. They are almost always worse than what you would get from Visa/MC.

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Due to withdrawal limits, the fees usually dwarf the conversion rate on ATM transactions.

You could try a couple different ones in rapid succession to test the rates if you really care. The flyertalk consensus is that they're all within 1% of each other and it's not worth trying to optimize.

rated:
Just to spell it out because it sounds like OP has not done this yet/recently:

When you go to an ATM, any ATM and pull out, say, $1,000 HKD *Some* ATMs (and even stores with CC terminals) will ask if you want to process the transaction in HKD or USD. ***ALWAYS CHOOSE THE CURRENCY OF THE COUNTRY YOU ARE IN***

If you choose HKD 1,000 HKD will be deducted from your bank account and your bank here (Schwab hopefully) will say "Ah, indebted took out 1,000 HKD, that equals $127.79 at the current rate of exchange" and you'll see a debit for $127.79 on your account statement.

If you choose for the ATM to process the transaction in USD they'll do something like "Ah we have a guy here, we'll trick him, and tell him the exchange rate is 7.5:1. They'll transmit a USD Debit of $133.33 to your bank acct. The machine will spit out $1,000 HKD and you'll have spent ~$7 on the whole process.

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indebted said:   I thought ATMs of some banks would give you the best rates for cash abroad? What's a better method to get cash then? I have the Fidelity cash management account
  
The FX rate is determined by your ATM card, not the ATM. For example, if you use your Fidelity ATM card, the Plus or Star ATM network will do the FX conversion. Fidelity is a good card for this so definitely use that. You are correct to understand that ATMs usually give you the best rates for getting cash abroad. However, if the ATM has fees, that is often as costly as a bad exchange rate. Also, if your ATM card has a fee assessed by the issuing bank, that too can often be more costly than the FX rate.

As others have noted, if the ATM offers to do the FX conversion for you, always say no. It's never as good a rate as you will get from your Fidelity ATM card.

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