By now we all know to look out for foreign transaction fees on the credit cards that we use while traveling abroad – no one likes paying a 3% premium simply to make everyday purchases just because you’re not doing so in the US. But what might slip your mind is whether or not your ATM card will charge you fees for withdrawing cash abroad, which can be equally if not more onerous than the fees credit cards charge. In fact, it can actually be two charges – a flat ATM use fee of $2-5, and a transaction fee that’s usually a percentage of 1-3% of the withdrawal. So you can really save by knowing what your bank charges.
Whether you need euros, shekels, pesos or pounds, making a withdrawal from an ATM is generally the easiest and cheapest way to get cash abroad. The biggest advantage of exchanging money with your ATM card is that all cash withdrawals, regardless of size, are exchanged based on the wholesale exchange rate, which is usually reserved only for very large interbank exchanges.
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!
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