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In this article I’ll go over the best banks for foreign debit card transactions and ATM withdrawals.
When you’re traveling abroad, paying a premium in foreign transaction fees on your credit card is nothing new. But even savvy consumers might not know that debit card transactions, including ATM withdrawals, can also be subject to expensive transaction fees. Smart cardholders can avoid paying too much in debit card foreign transaction fees by reviewing the fees charged by different banks.
Other helpful bank guides:
- Get bonus money with Bank Promotions here.
- Get the best nationwide Savings account rates here.
- Get the best CD account rates here.
- Find the best credit card sign-up bonus offers here.
International Debit Card Transactions/ATM Withdrawals
Generally, there are two types of fees associated with foreign debit card transactions:
- Flat fees charged per transaction: These are typically a fixed-dollar-amount fee charged for every ATM withdrawal or transaction. The flat fee usually ranges from $2 to $5. This is similar to the type of fee most banks charge for out-of-network ATM transactions.
- Foreign transaction fees: This is a conversion charge levied by the bank for transactions conduction in a foreign currency. This kind of fee is usually charged as 1% to 3% of the total transaction.
Banks also have two ways of applying foreign transaction fees:
- When making an ATM withdrawal, banks will usually combine both types of fees. This means you pay the flat fee for using your debit card at a foreign ATM, plus you pay a percentage of the total amount of cash you withdraw. If you use your debit card in a transaction outside of an ATM, you’ll still pay the foreign transaction fee, but not the flat ATM withdrawal fee.
- Less commonly, banks will charge only a flat fee for ATM transactions. These banks usually charge a percentage fee, but not a flat fee, for other foreign transactions.
Best Banks With Lowest Fees For International ATMs
Let’s take a look at the banks with the lowest foreign transaction fees.
TD Bank Beyond Checking
TD Bank is an established traditional banking institution established in 1852. They have around 1,300 branch locations in the United States.
The TD Beyond Checking account is now one of their best featured Checking options. Here’s why we like this account:
- TD Bank fees are waived at all ATMs. This includes TD ATMs and non-TD ATMs. And, both domestic and international ATMs.
- Surcharges from non-TD ATMs will be reimbursed when you keep at least a $2,500 daily balance. This includes surcharges at international ATMs as well.
- TD does not charge an International Service Assessment (ISA) fee.
- Keeping a $2,500 daily balance will also waive the monthly fee for this account.
- And, you can earn a $300 bonus when you receive direct deposits of $2,500 or more within 60 days of account opening.
Read about the Beyond Checking account and its $300 bonus.
Betterment Checking: No-Fee Online Checking
Betterment has launched it’s Betterment Checking account and it’s now one of the top free Checking account options.
- All ATM fees reimbursed worldwide
- Get ATM fees reimbursed directly to your account without lifting a finger. This is every ATM, worldwide, where Visa is accepted. After you’ve withdrawn your cash, you’ll get a push notification confirming that the fee will be reimbursed by Betterment.
- Visa foreign transaction fees reimbursed
- They’re reimbursing Visa’s 1% fee on foreign transactions, purchases, and ATM transactions. Put this together with the worldwide ATM fee reimbursement and you’ve got an amazing travel companion card.
- No monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balances, and no overdraft fees
- Mobile Check Deposit is available for all Betterment Checking users
- Checking is FDIC insurance up to $250,000
Get more details on the Betterment Checking account at Betterment.com.
Charles Schwab Bank
The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account will reimburse any ATM fees from cash withdrawals worldwide, regardless of the network used. And there are no currency conversion fees for debit card transactions in a foreign currency.
Do an online search and you’ll find this account is a treasure for traveling abroad. It’s a Visa card and acceptance is great.
Applying for this account is done online and very easy. You’ll need to open a brokerage account with Charles Schwab and link the Checking account to it. You don’t need to put a dime into your brokerage account or have any activity.
Read more about the Charles Schwab Checking account and it’s current bonus offer.
Fidelity Cash Management Account.
Get reimbursed for all ATM fees worldwide when using the Fidelity Debit Card as part of a Fidelity Cash Management Account. Access cash at more than one million ATMs worldwide, anywhere you see the Visa®, Plus®, or Star® logos.
Unfortunately, for transactions outside of the country, a 1% foreign transaction fee still applies.
Read more about the Fidelity Cash Management Account.
Capital One 360
This is Capital One’s online-only banking option. Capital One 360 customers don’t pay any flat fees nor any foreign transaction fees when using their debit cards abroad. According to Capital One, MasterCard may assess a percentage fee, but it’s “covered” by Capital One.
Keep in mind that this only applies to Capital One 360 customers; consumers who bank with Capital One through a physical branch are subject to normal foreign transaction fees.
Capital One 360 will not, however, reimburse fees charged by an out-of-network ATM operator.
See the current sign-up bonuses from Capital One 360 here.
Banking with CitiBank means you can use your CitiBank card to withdraw cash at CitiBank-branded foreign ATMs with no additional fees of any kind. Customers of CitiBank will pay a $2.50 foreign transaction fee plus a 3% conversion charge on any out-of-network ATM transaction.
But, there’s good news: CitiBank has a large international presence, and they’ve made it easy to find a CitiBank location abroad online at this page. CitiBank also offers sign-up bonuses as well.
Wise is the cheap, fast way to send money abroad. This service is very popular with expats and digital nomads while they’re living or traveling overseas. You’ll get the real exchange rate with the low fee they’re known for.
More ATM Fees Data With Common Banks
Here’s more foreign ATM withdrawal fees and foreign purchase fees data on other major banks.
|Bank||Foreign ATM Withdrawal Fee||Foreign Debit Purchase Fee|
|Alliant CU||1%; up to $20 monthly out-of-network ATM fees reimbursed (includes foreign ATMs)||1%|
|Ally Bank||Up to 1% of amount||Up to 1%|
|Bank of America||$5 + 3% of amount||3%|
|Bank5 Connect||None; will reimburse other banks’ surcharges up to $15 each statement cycle||1%|
|BBVA Bank||$2.50 + 3% of amount||3%|
|Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T)||$5 + 3% of amount||3%|
|BMO Harris Bank||$2.50 + 3% of amount||3%|
|Capital One (not Capital One 360)||$2.00 + 3% of amount||3%|
|Chase Bank||$5 + 3% of amount||3%|
|Citibank||$2.50 + 3% of amount||3%|
|Citizens Bank||$3 + 3% of amount||3%|
|Fifth Third Bank||$5 + 3% of amount||3%|
|HSBC Bank||$2.50 + 3% of amount|
*No ATM fee with Premier Checking in most countries
|KeyBank||$5 + 1% of amount||1%|
|M&T Bank||$5 + 3% of amount||3%|
|PNC Bank||$5 + 3% of amount||3%|
|Regions Bank||$5 + 3% of amount||3%|
|Santander||$6 + 4% of amount||4%|
|SunTrust Bank||$5 + 0% of amount||None|
|TD Bank||$3 + 0% of amount||None|
|Union Bank||$5 + 2% of amount||2%|
|U.S. Bank||$2.50 + 3% of amoun||3%|
|Wells Fargo Bank||$5 + 3% of amount||3%|
You should always talk to your bank before traveling abroad. Even if they usually charge a fee for foreign transactions, many banks will waive such fees for premium customers or customers that consistently carry a large balance.
If your bank has a physical branch or partner bank in your destination country, you may be able to use those branches to avoid foreign transaction fees altogether.
Watch out for fees charged by foreign ATM operators, since these are separate from any charges levied by your bank. The ATM itself should notify you if it will charge you a fee like this.
Nobody wants to come home from a vacation to find a bank statement with unexpected charges for foreign ATM and debit transactions. Always double check with your bank and review the best options before using your debit card abroad.
*Tip: Don’t forget to always have merchants charge you in the local currency vs. US dollars when traveling abroad.
READ MORE: See The Best Bank Promotions Here And The Best Investing Promotions Here
You left out Fidelity Cash Management account Visa debit card. No domestic or foreign ATM fees(all reimbursed) and no foreign conversion or service fees on withdrawals.
Good stuff. Thanks James!