Singapore turned out to be more expensive than I anticipated, so I later took out 100 SGD (~$79) and 60 SGD (~$47) in later ATM trips. These small ATM transactions being fee-free is a huge draw of the card for me. With my previous ATM card, I would have paid a $5 fee for using an ATM abroad plus whatever fee the ATM’s owner levied. That would have worked out to about 20% of the value of the cash I was taking out on a $50 withdrawal!
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.
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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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3. Charles Schwab: Receive full reimbursements at the end of every month for any ATM fees incurred, anywhere if you have the Schwab Bank Visa Platinum debit card, a High Yield Investor account, or a Max Rate checking account with at least a $5,000 balance. Per the Charles Schwab checking account page: “Unlimited ATM fee rebates apply to cash withdrawals using the Schwab Bank Visa® Platinum check card wherever it is accepted. ATM fee rebates do not apply to any fees other than fees assessed for using an ATM to withdraw cash from your Schwab Bank account. Schwab Bank makes its best effort to identify those ATM fees eligible for rebate, based on information it receives from Visa and ATM operators. In the event that you have not received a rebate for a fee that you believe is eligible, please call a Schwab Bank Client Service Specialist for assistance at 888-403-9000. Schwab Bank reserves the right to modify or discontinue the ATM fee rebate at any time.”
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