Card terminals at shops and hotels will often detect that your card is from another country and offer to bill you in your home currency. Never choose this option – always pay in the foreign currency! The exchange rate offered will be inflated by the card terminal, so if you’re using one of the credit cards recommended above, you will receive a much better exchange rate.
Neither the brokerage nor checking account has a minimum account balance, so I leave my brokerage account balance at zero because I am only planning on using the checking account for its ATM benefits (Sarah Page: I’ve also done the same in the past, but a reader commented on this post on 6/27 that his account was closed for lack of a balance over a significant period of time, so you may want to maintain a small balance). Here’s a little more info about the two linked accounts:
While I'm grateful for free ATM transactions with Cap. One, it's very mportant to know that live customer support is limited to daytime hours in the United States. If a transaction is refused, you are stuck until they open back in the US. Also you can't use mobile deposit outside of the US, even if you have a US bank check to deposit. The ONLY advantage for travelers with this account is with the ATMs. Otherwise, this account can end up being more of a liability. It's great back in the US, but not for overseas travel.
In conclusion, please note that survey sites are another great source for extra cash paid regularly. There aren't exactly online jobs that pay weekly, but you can only get paid as often as you have money pending. Even though the cash out threshold is low on these, you won't be able to cash out if you aren't getting survey invites and qualifying into the surveys. But if you have money in your account, the potential is there to get the money almost as soon as you need it.
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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.
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Amy, good catch on that one. However, the site itself is updated regularly, it’s just that the content of that page and the info it gives haven’t changed so they didn’t need to change or “update” it. When everything is the same there is no need to update the content. If you look at other stuff that actually need updating (for example the copyright year notice in the footer) you can see that they do update them.
When applying for your Schwab checking account, you will also be required to open a Schwab brokerage account if you don’t already have one. This brokerage account is opened automatically when you open a Schwab checking account, but don’t worry: the brokerage account is free and has no minimum deposit or fees. Schwab may do a credit pull to obtain your credit report in order to be approved for an account. This is the only drawback of the Schwab debit card, but considering you don’t need to pay any extra or put any money into the brokerage account, it’s not a deal-breaker. I leave my brokerage account empty and go on my merry way, getting reimbursed for ATM fees worldwide.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card earns 2x miles on all purchases that can be redeemed for any travel at any time. Miles don’t expire and there’s no limit to how much you can earn. As a new cardmember, you can earn 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of approval, equal to $500 in travel. The card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year.