Many people need to travel abroad frequently, and they usually ask the question: what is the best debit card to withdraw cash from ATM abroad? We all know that in some countries, credit cards are not as broadly accepted so you often need cash. However, most debit cards have exorbitant fees when withdrawing from privately owned ATMs or those of different banks, not to mention foreign transaction fees. Charles Schwab is a magical bank, the Charles Schwab debit card has NO ATM fees worldwide!
1. Ally: Strictly speaking, Ally does charge a 1% fee, but because it’s low, I thought it was worth mentioning. Per their FAQ page, “If you use an ATM in a foreign country, you may be charged a fee of up to 1% of the transaction amount for the currency conversion and/or cross border transaction. Ally only reimburses ATM fees charged by other banks if the ATM is in the US.”
7. PNC: Though PNC does not have international partners and will charge you a $5 fee per transaction plus 3% of the transaction amount, if you are a Performance and Performance Select customer, these fees are waived. You can get a complete overview of the fees by inputting your zip code here. Per their terms page on service charges, the fee for the first two domestic or international non-PNC Bank ATM transactions made on your Spend, Reserve or Growth accounts during a statement period will be reimbursed to your Spend account at the end of the statement period. Fees in excess of two per statement period will not be reimbursed, and remember this might not include the fees the foreign bank charges you for withdrawals – so if you are taking money out, be sure to do it in two big withdrawals rather than lots of little ones and you might be able to dodge the fees.
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PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union) has the Promise Visa with no Fees, including no Foreign Transaction Fees. It works really well and has no annual fee, but you have to be a member or pay the 15$ entrance fee. I also take along an AmEx just in case I need their services. However, the last time I called to tell them I was leaving the country, AmEx told me I no longer had to inform them I would be using the card outside the country. I think I find this a little more disconcerting than convenient.
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