I travelled to Brussels last week, and I needed a bit of cash to pay for my taxi at arrival. So I innocently got 150euros from the ICE exchange bureau at Waterloo station, paying with my Visa debit card. I have just checked my bank account and they have actually taken another 2% (£2.32), without telling me. It does not show anything on their receipt. I think that is a bit rich as they had already taken a £4.50 commission. I have now been told that if I had paid in cash, they would not have charged this additional 2%. In total £6.82 for exchanging £111.00, that is a total 6% charge, what a rip off! I am glad I did not need a larger amount...
Never buy cash with cards - you will always get charged over the odds, and unfortunately this has always been the case. It will be your card issuer charging for the cash, not the exchange agency; this would be why it did not appear in your receipt.
I have an account with Nationwide, the problem is I never find a cash dispenser accepting their bloody card...So I always have to use my Barclays visa debit card abroad. This time I needed money quickly to get a taxi and I did not have time to look around for a cash dispenser at Brussels station.
What I don't understand is that I have used my card many times before at airports to get currencies (up to £2000) and I was never charged any additional fee.
What I deplore is that they could let people know that an additional fee is applicable when you get currencies on your debit card.