When all else fails, U.S. dollars are the closest thing to a global currency that we have today. It’s the most commonly accepted currency, not only at exchange booths, but even at shops and restaurants in other countries. If there are no ATMs in sight or your cards have been stolen, an emergency backup of U.S. dollars will get you out an emergency situation.
I just checked with fidelity. If you have an account with them and they give you a debit card that is attached to that account it is also free atms worldwide and they reimburse any fees the atm charges. I also asked about the foreign transaction fees and the debit card is visa and visa charges a 1% fee. That fee is way better than the 3% of other cards. That will be a big savings traveling over seas. I hope this helps someone.
Hi! There’s something else going on when you are purchasing internationally. When you swipe your card in another country or even online for a purchase in another currency, you are at the vendors’ mercy. Your credit or even debit card may not charge you a fee for foreign transactions, but they aren’t exchanging the rate for you either. So one shop may say the currency rate from Euro to USD is $1.67 while another may say $1.25. The really crazy part is that even though that’s what they are charging as vendors to convert your money, the exchange rate could be closer to $1.07 that day. Best to pay with cash.
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when i went to canada, i use my TD Bank checking account’s ATM card to withdraw canadian dollars from Toronto Dominion Bank’s ATM machine to pay zero atm fee. i had schwab accounts for almost 10 years but never used it. (Opened it for $200 bonus around 2006 but stay dorment thereafter.) so, you reminded me that i should requested a schwab atm card and be ready anytime. thanks for great posting.
Credit and debit cards with no foreign transaction fees are the cheapest, easiest ways to get money and make payments overseas. Credit cards are accepted worldwide, and ATMs are internationally networked through the Visa/Plus and Mastercard/Cirrus networks. You enter your PIN and withdraw your cash just like you would at home, while the exchange rates are automatically handled by the banks.
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. and Charles Schwab Bank are separate but affiliated companies and wholly owned subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation. Brokerage products and services are offered by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., member SIPC. Deposit and lending products and services are offered by Schwab Bank, member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.
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