Friday, January 10, 2014

ATM and Foreign Transaction Fees. How To Avoid Them


[Disclosure, I receive referral Bonus if you use the link and the referral code below to sign up for the account. I appreciate for your support]

Traveling Frugal is awesome. I feel very accomplished when I am able travel for less. During my travel I love to use my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, as it does not have foreign transaction fee, and get 2X for travel expenses. At the same time not all Credit Card comes with no foreign transaction fee, you also have to watch out if the merchant is charging you Dynamic exchange rate . But I also hit obstacle when I was not able to use Credit Card, and Cash becomes only option. I was not very frugal when it came to using cash. Listed below are my experiences.

1.       When visiting Agra, India (this was before my miles and point obsession), the hotel clerk told me it would cost more if I paid with Credit Card. The rate was way cheaper with Cash

2.        After I was dropped off from airport to Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris, the Taxi driver told me he only takes CASH, same happened in London.

3.       I love street foods, most of the street food takes only CASH, I came across restaurant by tower of London that would not take Credit Cards

4.       Tipping the Bellboy requires CASH

5.       If you’re visiting a developing nation, you have to use more CASH than Credit Card.

6.       Before going to Europe, I exchanged USD for Euros and British Pounds from my Bank, later to find out I was screwed because when exchanging currency from Bank they give your very bad exchange rate,  and when I returned I had some Euros left which I wanted to deposit back to my account, guess what I got screwed again as I got les USD for Euros

7.       ATMs are available everywhere

So on lot of this above scenarios I had to hit up ATM to withdraw cash.  ATM is available everywhere, problem is when the customer get HIT with ATM fee, twice one by the issuing back and one by your bank for using different ATM machine. You also get charged with foreign transaction fee, so withdrawing 10 could cost you more than 5. So it’s advisable to withdraw large amount.

The only bank that I found that was completely free was Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account. Below are some details, for more information on other features and fees

What are the fees and minimums?

·         Monthly service fees: $0

·         Account minimum: $0

What do I get with this account?

·         Unlimited fee rebates from any ATM worldwide1

·         A 0.10% APY variable interest rate on any balance2

·         Free bill pay on and Schwab Mobile

·         Apply for Schwab Mobile Deposit™ to deposit checks from anywhere

·         Free standard checks and a Visa® Platinum debit card

·         FDIC insurance up to $250,0003

·         A linked Schwab One® brokerage account with no fees or minimums

The bank uses Visa Debit Card; Visa is the one that deducts funds based on the exchange rate

On the other Note, (my experience)

·         Bank of America does not charge any fee for using Barclays Banks ATM in London

·         Citi Bank has lots of branches worldwide, check with Citi Bank if there is a branch or ATM available to whatever location you’re going

·         I couldn’t find a Chase Bank Branch or ATM in London, I called the bank and checked online didn’t find one





No comments:

Post a Comment