5. Fidelity: Clients with Cash Management accounts receive the following waivers: “All Fidelity ATM withdrawal fees will be waived for your Fidelity Cash Management Account. In addition, your account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using a Fidelity Visa Gold Check Card linked to your account at any ATM displaying the Visa, Plus, or Star logos. ATM reimbursements will be credited to the account when the transaction posts. Please note, there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account.” In practice, however, several readers have noted being charged percentage fees of 1-3% by Visa because it processed withdrawals as cash advances, so be sure you select withdrawal and checking account from the ATM.
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.
Greg Johnson is a personal finance and frugal travel expert who leveraged his online business to quit his 9-5 job, spend more time with his family, and travel the world. With his wife Holly, Greg co-owns two websites – Club Thrifty and Travel Blue Book. The couple has also co-authored a book, Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You'll Love. Find him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @ClubThrifty.
The jury is still out on whether it’s safe to rely on car and travel insurance that is sometimes provided by credit cards, and unfortunately, the only way to know for sure is to file a claim after the accident has happened. If you’re concerned about insurance, its best to be safe and purchase it from the car rental company, but if not, you might as well pay with a credit card that offers car insurance and hope for the best if you do end up in an accident. We generally try to use American Express cards when thinking about insurance, as they are managing the insurance on the cards worldwide, whereas Visa/Mastercard insurance is often handled by the card’s issuing bank, and may not be as straightforward to redeem.
Regarding your daily withdrawal limit: many machines set a daily limit so even though your Schwab account may offer up to $1K withdrawals, the ATM itself may not. Sometimes they tell you the limit (I see $500-600 fairly often) though other times you’re left guessing. You can work around this by making a second withdrawal at a different ATM, something simple to do in Macau but potentially a downside in remote areas that might not have a second machine nearby.
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