Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion
Featured Savings Rates
Featured Accounts

Banks With The Smallest Debit Card Fees For International Travel

Sunday, July 8, 2012 - 9:42 AM
If you're planning a trip to a foreign country, make sure to review the debit card fees of your bank or credit union. Most charge a foreign ATM fee and an international transaction fee. This post at Nerd Wallet has a good overview of the fees charged by several banks and credit unions. Some of the banks, like Ally, that advertise unlimited ATM fee refunds usually exclude international fees.

Do you know of any banks or credit unions which reimburse all ATM fees worldwide?

I see that Charles Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking advertises that you "pay no ATM fees worldwide". I'm not sure if this also includes transaction fees.

Fidelity also advertises reimbursements of "all ATM fees and surcharges from over a million ATMs worldwide" on its Cash Management Account. However, in the small print it says "there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account."
4
Ken TuminKen Tumin5,469 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 125,077
1. Monday, July 9, 2012 - 2:44 AM
Timely post. My son is in Europe and he has the Schwab High Yield Debit Card. I am leaving at the end of the week and I will have the Fidelity Cash Mangement Debit Card and the Sapphire Preferred Credit Card. The only card that charges any foreign fees is Fidelity. As you mentioned, it is 1%. I plan to use the credit card for everything, except for ATM withdrawals.
3
loulou544 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,396
2. Monday, July 9, 2012 - 10:15 AM
I am leaving for Canada in two weeks, and have a debit card linked with the Capital One Bank High-Yield Checking account (in-branch, not Capital One Direct), which supposedly does not charge any foreign transaction fees and reimburses ATM fees worldwide. I'll be calling Capital One before I depart to confirm, and to inform them of my foreign travel; hence, I should be able to follow up on this later. I have spoken with River Valley Bank about my debit card linked to Incredible Bank's internet checking account. The only foreign fees associated with it is the 1% charged by Mastercard, and they also reimburse ATM fees worldwide, with one caveat: the reimbursement will depend on how the foreign bank codes the ATM withdrawal. I imagine that could also potentially be an issue with Capital One as well.
3
WilWil242 posts since
Feb 26, 2010
Rep Points: 1,285
3. Monday, July 9, 2012 - 10:33 AM
Lou:

What I was told by River Valley Bank could also be an issue with your son's Schwab debit card. Last time I went to Canada, in 2009, I used that card (at the time, I still had the Schwab checking account) for an ATM withdrawal in Fredericton, NB. The Canadian bank, HSBC Canada, charged a CAN$1.50 ATM fee which was "bundled" into the total amount withdrawn on the receipt; that is, the receipt didn't show it as a separate transaction. As a result, the fee wasn't reimbursed by Charles Schwab Bank, and there was nothing that could be done about it.
2
WilWil242 posts since
Feb 26, 2010
Rep Points: 1,285
4. Monday, July 9, 2012 - 1:13 PM
Wil,

I was told by the Schwab representative that all fees are reimbursed at the end of the month. Occasionally they will make a mistake, so if you save your receipts and can show them they did not reimburse the fee - they will correct it. It was one reason why I decided to go with Fidelity for myself rather than Schwab, even though Schwab reimburses the 1% Visa fee.
2
loulou544 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,396
5. Monday, July 9, 2012 - 1:47 PM
Lou,

That was what I was told as well. But it doesn't help if the receipt fails to show the fee as a separate item, which was the case with my receipt in 2009. And you have no way of knowing what the receipt will show until after you complete the ATM transaction.
2
WilWil242 posts since
Feb 26, 2010
Rep Points: 1,285
6. Monday, July 9, 2012 - 3:14 PM
Agree - that's a problem with their system
2
loulou544 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,396
7. Friday, July 20, 2012 - 10:45 AM
UPDATE: Called Capital One on Monday, and CSR confirmed the debit card linked with "High Yield Free Checking" account reimburses ATM fees worldwide (up to $15 per month) and there is no foreign transaction fee. Also confirmed, in a call to the credit card division, that Capital One credit cards still do not charge any foreign transaction fees.
2
WilWil242 posts since
Feb 26, 2010
Rep Points: 1,285
8. Monday, August 6, 2012 - 9:33 PM
NEW UPDATE: Got back from Canada on Saturday, and checked my Capital One and Incredible Bank accounts online. (1) Capital One: No foreign transaction fees at all, not even the 1% charged by MasterCard. It may take awhile to see if the CAN$1.50 ATM fee gets refunded. My TD Bank receipt shows the ATM fee as a separate item, so I guess that there will be no problem with the reimbursement. (2) Incredible Bank: "International Fee" of 1% charged by Visa showing as a separate line item. Won't be able to comment about reimbursement of ATM fees, because I used the ATM at the Desjardins Caisse Populaire, which didn't charge a fee.
2
WilWil242 posts since
Feb 26, 2010
Rep Points: 1,285
Reply