Traveling effectively and stress-free requires careful planning. A key element of that planning is to cover the topic of finances. This subject itself can cause stress among travelers. After all, you’ll need cash on your trip but you can rack up a lot of fees if you’re not careful. You’ll likely pay $5 or more each time you use an ATM, and you can also expect a 3% foreign exchange fee if you’re traveling internationally. If you visit a foreign exchange bureau you can expect even higher fees. You can avoid some of this money-related travel stress by carrying a travel-friendly debit card.
Here’s a look at one of the best debit cards for folks that frequently travel internationally:
The High-Yield Investor Checking Account debit card from Schwab Bank is a simple card with features that are extremely friendly to frequent international travelers.
Take, for instance, ATM fees. You’ll still pay ATM fees when you withdraw money using the Schwab debit card, but at the end of the month, Schwab will reimburse you for all of those fees, regardless of whether that ATM was located in the U.S. or a foreign nation. The reason Schwab is so liberal with these ATM fees is that there are only two physical branches in the entire world. It understands that the majority of transactions will be done at non-affiliated ATMs.
The Schwab card doesn’t charge those annoying foreign exchange fees either, saving you that 3% add-on each time you draw cash or use it to purchase while traveling.
Schwab isn’t the only bank with reduced fees for travelers–they’re just the best. For example, the Visa Gold Check Card from Fidelity will also reimburse you for ATM fees, but they will charge you a 1% foreign transaction fee. On the flip side, the TD Bank Visa debit card doesn’t have any foreign exchange fees but they do charge $3 each time you draw cash from an ATM that isn’t affiliated with TD Bank.
The Schwab debit card doesn’t require you to maintain a minimum balance, and you won’t pay any maintenance fees. If you open it strictly as your “vacation account,” you can also earn 0.15% APY, so it’s almost like you’re getting paid to go on vacation!