When it comes to traveling, there are a few things I have learned when it comes to using a debit card overseas:
a) Do not use my main ATM/Debit Card when I travel
b) Find another bank where I put my budgeted travel money and it must be free, no foreign transaction fees and offers their own personal debit card
After experiencing the “Foreign Transaction Fee” fiasco a few years ago of using my ATM/Debit Card and paying nearly $500 in foreign transaction fees, I decided to go with the card that most travelers recommend and that is the Charles Schwab High Yield Checking Account.
It’s easy to get your account started and there is no minimum dollar amount. After transferring money from your main account to your Charles Schwab High Yield Checking Account, the more money you have in there, you earn a little money back (A 0.10% APY variable interest rate on any balance) just for having money in there.
And right after you transfer your money, you will be issued checks and an ATM/Debit Card.
A few days before your trip, contact Charles Schwab and let them know that you are traveling. So, they can have it on file and your card is good at all places that take Visa.
When you travel and make a purchase, where many bank institutions charge a small percentage fee for a foreign transaction, and similar to other banks and credit institutions that may offer no transaction fees, while the foreign transaction fee goes through at first, Charles Schwab immediately credits the fee. So, there are no surprising foreign transaction fees with this card.
As mentioned, there are no monthly service fees and there is no account minimum.
When I travel, I just bring my Charles Schwab card (which I only use strictly for traveling) and a backup credit card and that’s it.
I can see why many travelers use the Charles Schwab High Yield Checking Account. It’s so convenient and their customer service is fantastic!