What’s the best way to get cash when you are traveling in a foreign country? Simply bring a wad of cash? No, I’m not a big fan of carrying too much cash with me. Actually, you can usually directly use your bank card to withdraw cash from ATM’s abroad. Of course, there’s a fee. Most likely.
When I was using my US Bank debit card to get local currency in China, I was charged a fee of $2.50 plus 3% of my transaction amount. I thought it was a little expensive. Are there better choices?
This article from MyBankTracker neatly lists foreign ATM fees for the top 10 U.S. banks. Turns out, what US Banks charges is lower than many other banks which charge $5+3%. Among the top 10 banks, the best one is TD bank – it charges a flat $3 ATM fee regardless of transaction amount. I do have a TD bank account which I was planning to close – looks like now it has a reason to stay.
However, I’d like to find a better deal.
1. Synchrony bank
I recently opened a High Yield Savings Account from Synchrony Bank. One reason I opened it is because it offers the best interest rate I could find for a savings account – 1.05% APY. The account also comes with an ATM card so I could conveniently withdraw money, and the best thing is, I could get up to $5 reimbursement for non-Synchrony Bank ATM fees per statement period. Since I don’t do a lot of ATM transactions, usually no more than once a month, it means I can get cash fee-free from any ATM!
How about ATM withdrawals overseas? [Read more…]