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  • Betsey

Here's How You Can Stop Paying ATM/Foreign Transaction Fees

When traveling, one of the first things most people think about is money.

How much will I need? Which currency will I use? Which credit cards should I use traveling? What fees will I have to pay with my credit cards and debit cards? Not every place you travel will even accept credit cards so it is important to have some local currency on hand. Many local stores, businesses and street vendor don't accept credit cards. For these times, it’s best to have a debit card. This way you can withdraw money in the local currency to use as you please.

Benefits of Using an ATM over Money Exchange

1- You get the most up-to-date exchange rate. Often, in the airport, or other travel terminals, the money exchange kiosks will have worse exchange rates than banks.

2- You don't have to pay fees the money exchange places charge. Money exchanges typically add fees on top of the exchange rate, giving you even less return.

3- There are more ATMs than exchange places. So, you don't have to take out all your cash at once.

Because of all this, we rarely take out money at our home bank before we travel. We'll find an ATM as soon as we get to our location.

If you are looking for a great travel debit card option and you have a US social security number, we suggest the Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account. Even better, to get a free $100, you can use the Referral Code: REFER7AJQ9WCH

Disclaimer: We are NOT making any money by telling you this information. This is an honest opinion based on our experiences. We personally use this debit card and suggest it for many reasons: What we like about the Schwab Checking account:

1. No Foreign Transaction Fees This debit card has zero foreign transaction fees, which means you wouldn't be charged $$ every time you need to use an ATM or make a purchase with your debit card, no matter where you are.

2. No Account Minimums The Schwab debit card does not require you to have a minimum balance. This means as long as you have some money in your account, you won’t get charged a fee. Logically, be careful not to withdraw more money than you have in the account or else you will get charged.

3. No Monthly Fees Some cards charge a monthly fee. It doesn't seem fair to pay money to a bank to keep your money in a bank that makes the bank money.... This Schwab High Yield debit card account does not charge a monthly fee. 4. ATM Fee Reimbursement: Instead of charging a fee for using an ATM that is outside of their network, all ATMs are free to use for their High Yield Investor Checking debit card holders. *If an ATM does charge you a fee, Schwab will reimburse you automatically. We've always been reimbursed without any issues.

How to Open a Schwab Debit Card Account: To sign up for the Schwab Debit Card follow the link and Apply. They are currently running a promotion to people opening up a new account. You can earn $100, just for signing up. Here is the referral code: REFER7AJQ9WCH

Traveling Tip: This a great debit card to have on hand for ATMs however, you will still want to use a CREDIT CARD whenever possible to earn points/miles and avoid having your debit info hacked. If you’re being smart about your air miles and using credit cards to save money, Your debit card will not earn you air miles or give you cash back as a credit card will.

For a list of our favorite credit cards that don't charge foreign transaction fees check out our March Hack post to see what we personally use and suggest.

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