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Traveling Overseas? How To Avoid Foreign ATM Fees

July 9th, 2012 · No Comments · Budgeting

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: February 26, 2018)

When you’re traveling overseas, the last thing your budget needs on top of all your other expenses are unexpected ATM fees. It may sound nominal in the grand scheme of things, but if you’re withdrawing money every few days over two weeks time, the expense can really add up. The key is knowing what to expect and planning accordingly.

We’re all accustomed to getting hit with fees when we use ATM’s of other banks right here in the States. The same is true of ATM’s overseas. But that’s not all. Every time you use a foreign ATM, you’re also charged a conversion fee, which is anywhere from 1 to 3 percent of your transaction.

If you are planning international travel, contact your bank and ask if they have branches in your destination city. If not, ask if they are part of a network. Either way, using these designated branches should enable you to avoid fees for using foreign ATM’s. Then you will simply be charged the  standard conversion rate.

If your bank does not have branches in your destination city and is not a member of a network, you may consider opening a new account. As reported by Kiplinger, the Global ATM Alliance includes Bank of America, Barclays United Kingdom, BNP Paribas France and Deutsche Bank German. Or choose a bank that reimburses foreign ATM fees, such as Schwab Bank and Fidelity Cash Management.

As for credit cards, use those that wave foreign ATM fees, including American Express, Chase and Citibank.

For more tips on saving money on your travel plans, check out the Top 5 Ways to Book Cheap Flights.

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