How to access banks in Sweden using your bank card?

Perhaps you are a tourist, a foreign student or a business person visiting Sweden, you will need to spend money. One of the ways you can access money is through the ATM, using your home country’s bank debit card. Many banks allow you to withdraw from your home country bank, using their ATMs. One problem is that you cannot bargain the exchange rate being used and might not know until you check your balance. Exchange rates are used to show how much a currency is worth in terms of another currency. The rates fluctuate daily. Go to to find the current exchange rates. You can also download smart phone applications that show the current exchange rate and can do appropriate conversions so you won’t be short changed.

As earlier stated, ATM is the easiest way to obtain cash and there are numerous ATMs in Sweden, from the Airport to the train stations; everywhere. Almost every Automated Teller Machine (ATM), has an English language menu option, thus alleviating the worries of lack of knowledge of the local language. It is better to withdraw with ATMs in banks, as banks give the correct exchange rate, unlike some exchange agencies that might give distorted rates.


  • Most European ATMs do not accept long PIN codes, unlike most American keypads, so it is advisable to tell your bank to provide you with a 4 digit PIN code for easy transaction.
  • Memorize your PIN in numbers, as European keypads do not have letters but only numbers.
  • DO NOT use your credit card at the ATM, otherwise you will be charged highly, as your transaction would be treated as a “cash advance”. Ensure to use only debit cards.
  • Before using an ATM, check that the logo or symbol on your card tallies with that on the ATM, otherwise it wouldn’t accept the card.
  • Be aware that your bank will charge you either in percentages of withdrawal or with a flat fee; hence it is advised to avoid multiple withdrawals and withdraw big amounts at once. By this you will reduce the fees charged.
  • Always try to have a backup card, due to the risk of having the ATM eat your card. Although this is no longer rampant, it is still a risk that should not be taken.
  • Always endeavor to check your daily withdrawal limits placed by your bank. Some ATMs also have withdrawal limits. You can request for such limits to be raised.
  • Avoid third party ATMs that have no affiliation with banks. They may have higher fees.
  • Ensure to be security conscious when using the ATM, as you are a foreigner and are a potential prey for pilfers and robbers.

Give a traveler notice to your bank, so they know that you will use your card in a foreign country. This is because they might be forced to block your account once they see a suspicious transaction, for your safety.

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