Author Topic: Best debit card while traveling in Europe?  (Read 667 times)

SmileAllDay

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Best debit card while traveling in Europe?
« on: September 19, 2018, 07:22:32 AM »
My wife and I travel fulltime in Europe. We've been doing it for 2 years and are fine-tuning things as we go along.

We put all expenses where possible on our (no international transaction fee) card and pay it off immediately.

But, there are times when you need cash. I shudder to think of the withering stare a French barista would give me if I produced a card to pay for a Ä2 coffee. :/ Not to mention the cool experiences that are cash only.

To withdraw cash, I use my (big bank) US debit card at the ATMs. You can take some of the hit out of it by choosing partnering banks, and withdrawing more to eat the fee, but you still get stung to the amount of $20 per $300 withdrawn. And I despise giving my bank any money whatsoever.

I'm looking for alternatives, and these are what my research is coming up with:

1. The Charles Schwab account that reimburses all fees, but seems to be super awkward when it comes to depositing money into the account (must be converted to check or money order first)

2. Waiting for the Transferwise borderless account debit card to be released in the US. It's already in Europe, and seems like it's happening in the not too distant future.

Is there something I'm missing out on? I'd love to hear if you seasoned Mustachian travelers have better ideas.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 07:34:47 AM by SmileAllDay »

GizmoTX

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Re: Best debit card while traveling in Europe?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2018, 07:34:28 AM »
Schwab. Itís the only debit card we use overseas. Fee reimbursement, no checking fee, no minimum, free checks, & bill pay doesnít deduct until your payment has been cashed. As for deposit, just transfer from your existing checking account but pull it using the Schwab app (computer or mobile device) to avoid any fee your current bank may charge. If you receive a check that you want to deposit into your Schwab account, do a mobile deposit (requires a mobile device with camera). Transfers to/from Schwab have a daily limit of $100,000, while our other bank limits to $2,500.

cchrissyy

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Re: Best debit card while traveling in Europe?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2018, 11:21:06 AM »
definitely Schwab

no atm fees
super convenient to use any atm anywhere
no foreign transaction fees

My deposits are always checks using the phone app, but if you are talking about cash deposits than I agree with the above, maintain a small cheap account at a bank with physical branches and electronically transfer from there to schwab.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Best debit card while traveling in Europe?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2018, 11:25:15 AM »
Why do you need to deposit money?

katsiki

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Re: Best debit card while traveling in Europe?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2018, 02:29:58 PM »
Fidelity Cash Management account is another option.  It is similar to Schwab account.

SmileAllDay

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Re: Best debit card while traveling in Europe?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2018, 05:30:41 AM »
Awesome, thanks for your advice lads. I'll set that up!