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.

I signed up for a Charles Schwab debit card to use during my travels abroad in Europe this summer and am so glad I did. Because so many countries use more cash than cards and I didn’t want to carry around loads of cash. I found myself taking out cash nearly every other day. The Schwab debit card saved me so much money: I never used a currency exchange kiosk and got the best exchange rate possible by taking cash out of ATMs and getting reimbursed for all withdrawal fees.


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