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Getting cash abroad can be expensive, especially if you use the currency exchange booths at the airport. A better way to get cash when you travel internationally is to use the ATM once you arrive. However, even though the exchange rate is generally better than the currency booths, you’re still likely to get charged ATM fees. Unless you have a Charles Schwab Debit Card and High Yield Investor Checking Account.
How does it work?
The Charles Schwab debit card can be used at any ATM, both domestic and internationally. You’ll still get charged the fees on your account. However, Charles Schwab will reimburse the fees at the end of the month into your checking account.
The Charles Schwab account isn’t the only bank that reimburses fees. There are other ones out there. Two other major US banks that reimburse debit card foreign transaction and ATM fees include Capital One and Discover. The Capital One 360 account doesn’t charge a fee, though you have to use an ATM within their approved network. Discover Bank also reimburses fees, but the acceptance is limited outside of North America when compared to other banks.
In addition to getting your fees reimbursed, here are some additional reasons why I prefer using my Charles Schwab debit card:
1. Provides an additional layer from your main checking account:
I love the fact that I can load my Charles Schwab account prior to my trip and use it as my debit card. In the event that it were to get stolen or compromised, I wouldn’t have to worry about having my primary bank account exposed or drained. I still carry my primary bank debit card with me, but it stays in the hotel safe.
2. Encourages smaller cash withdrawals:
I generally prefer to use credit cards whenever possible, so I don’t like to carry a large amount of cash. Since I don’t have to worry about fees, I am less inclined to withdraw a large sum of cash. Using my Charles Schwab debit card allows me to withdraw smaller amounts of money as needed.
3. Saves time:
Rather than trying to find an ATM with a specific network or bank, I can use any ATM, which lets me focus more time and energy toward my vacation.
4. Great customer service:
I’ve been very happy with the level of customer service at Charles Schwab. Since we are in Los Angeles, they do have a few branch locations nearby, which is convenient. Though I’ve always found their online and phone support to be excellent. In fact, I’ve also started investing with them since I found their fees to be competitive.
If you are interested in opening a Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking, please use our referral link AND code (REFER6ZT8H). You’ll get $100 when opening a new account. There is no minimum balance or deposit needed.
Do you have any experience using the Charles Schwab debit card or another card while traveling abroad? If so, please share in the comment section below.
- “Foreign ATM and Debit Card Transaction Fees by Bank” (NerdWallet)
- “The Best Way to Withdraw Cash While Overseas” (Million Mile Secrets)