SCAM ALERT: Beware of Euronet ATMs' hidden extra charge

High transaction fees aside, the Honest Guide has revealed how this company makes money from unsuspecting consumers.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 01.03.2024 12:15:00 (updated on 01.03.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague-based vlogging channel Honest Guide has uncovered how Euronet cash machines (ATMs) charge consumers extra money without their knowledge – notwithstanding the ATMs’ high transaction fees. 

Paying to 'see' your balance

In a video recently released on the Honest Guide’s YouTube channel, Janek Rubeš explains that Euronet ATMs – not affiliated with any bank and dotted all around central Prague – present two options after inserting a card: “Cash and Balance” or “Other.” Instinctively, most people select the first option. However, Euronet charges a fee when people choose this – even if no balance is displayed (and, as shown in Rubeš’ video, it is not). 

Many people, however, are unaware of the extra charge – it may take up to several days for the fee to appear in a customer’s bank statement. Despite not being affiliated with any Czech bank, the Euronet fee still allows Czech banks to profit: the fee is split between Euronet, the payment card issuer (such as Visa or MasterCard), and the consumer’s bank.

The executive director of Euronet’s Czech branch, Ondřej Kozák, has defended the firm. “We introduced the Cash & Balance functionality in good faith of increasing comfort for clients so that they can know the balance on the account,” he told Czech media outlet

He added, "The client’s bank always charges fees, and in most countries, banks do not charge any fees for this service." 

This, unfortunately, is not entirely true in Czechia’s case. Whereas some banks – Raiffeisenbank and Creditas, for example – require no fees for showing an account balance on Euronet ATMs, others charge surprisingly high amounts. Moneta Money Bank bills the highest, at CZK 50, while ČSOB, Komerční banka, and Unicredit all charge CZK 25.

Rubeš notes that Euronet charges money to “display” a bank balance even if the transaction is terminated; no money is withdrawn from the ATM. Kozák responded to this issue by saying: "We are currently testing the system and looking for a way to fix this.”

Euronet ATMs already have a relatively negative perception in Prague – for locals and tourists alike – given a foreign-card transaction fee of between CZK 99 and CZK 199 just to withdraw cash. 

Banks in Czechia are unhappy

Czech banks see Euronet’s move as unfair. "We consider the method of client communication at Euronet's ATMs to be misleading, and we are initiating negotiations to rectify this," Filip Hrubý, a spokesman for Česká spořitelna, told

"The ATM operator should ensure that the screens inform the client transparently and truthfully about the services offered, and that these services are actually provided to the client,” ČSOB spokeswoman Michaela Průchová told financial-advisory site Pení The company labeled Euronet’s actions as a “gross error.”

Getting your money back

Hrubý also notes that Česká spořitelna customers can reclaim the money spent on the Euronet fee via the George digital-banking application. Visa regional manager Petr Polák told Pení that customers who feel they have been unfairly charged by Euronet should directly contact the ATM company and apply for a so-called chargeback to get an appropriate refund. 

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