Spring break and the long Easter weekend is upon us, and for many people, this means that it’s time to travel–and to spend.
However, there are a number of ways to save money when you’re traveling, especially when you go abroad, and one way is to avoid hefty ATM fees that come from withdrawing your funds via foreign services. Depending on your bank and where you withdraw the cash, some withdrawal fees can cost you anywhere from $5.00-$7.00 per transaction, plus anywhere from three to five percent of the amount you’ve taken out. Whether you didn’t feel comfortable traveling with cash or had to withdraw the money unexpectedly, these fees can add up over the course of your trip, especially when you shop for souvenirs in those quaint little shops that only accept cash.
Choose the Right Bank and Save
When you’re traveling abroad, one of the fastest ways to build up extra charges is to withdraw cash from your credit card via an ATM. When you do this, the credit card fees can be surprisingly high at the end of the month, which you may be unprepared for when the bill arrives. In order to prevent this, choosing the right bank before you travel is important, especially if you travel outside of the U.S. often. Capital One is an excellent choice because it offers its customers fee-free withdrawals overseas with both their debit and credit cards. Some banks will even reimburse their customers if they are charged a fee by the ATM owner, which gives customers peace of mind when they’re hit unexpectedly by ATM fees that don’t come through their bank. Charles Schwab is one such bank, and if you qualify through certain programs, the reimbursement is guaranteed, no matter the amount.
Be Aware of All Terms and Conditions
While both Capital One and Charles Schwab offer excellent rates and are mostly free of ATM fees, there are always exceptions that you should be aware of before you travel. Before you leave, make an appointment with a bank rep or call their customer service center to discuss what kinds of fees you might see on your bank or credit card statements.