An ATM lit up at night against a purple brick wall

Updated: 8/22/2019 August 22nd, 2019

Saving cash for travel is among the greatest obstacles that keeps people rom realizing their travel dreams.

Yet, very frequently, I see travelers tossing money away in avoidable bank charges.

Banking overseas is not only putting your card within an ATM and getting money. There’s much more to think about — especially if you wish to be a savvy traveler!

Whenever you travel on a tight budget, banking overseas involves knowing three things:

  1. How to prevent having to pay bank charges.
  2. Get rid of foreign transaction charges.
  3. Tips to get a good exchange rate.

I understand so many people who travel abroad and finish up having to pay obscene ATM charges and charge card transaction charges. All simply because they didn&#8217t do their research and plan in advance.

In 2019, there&#8217s absolutely no requirement for it. You didn&#8217t conserve all of this money to be able to provide banks, right? I understand I didn&#8217t. I wish to ensure that it stays all personally because every prevented fee is much more money for food, drinks, and activities on the highway!

Wish to spend less cash on the next trip abroad? This is how you eliminate ALL bank charges whenever you travel in five simple steps!

Table of Contents

  1. Step One: Eliminate ATM Charges
  2. Step Two: Avoid Charge Card Charges
  3. Step Three: Minimize the Exchange Rate “Penalty&#8221
  4. Step Four: Don’t Change Money at Airports
  5. Step Five: Always Select the Local Currency
  6. Step Six: Don&#8217t Get Currency in your own home (and Skip Individuals Forex Cards!)


1. Eliminate ATM Charges

ATM charges can definitely accumulate — particularly if you&#8217re traveling for days or several weeks at any given time. Let’s consider it: While you’re on the highway, you’ll most likely withdraw money from your ATM two times per week. Charges vary all over the world, but typically you finish up having to pay around $3-5 USD per withdrawal. That’s $10 each week, $40 monthly, or $520 each year! Are you aware the number of days you can spend in Southeast Asia for your amount? Almost 3 days!

Even though you just use the ATM 50 % of time, that&#8217s still $260 USD each year. And many travelers I understand visit the ATM more than two times per week, which only boosts the amount in charges they pay. Why give banks money you’ll need for travel? You probably did lots of work saving your money — don’t waste it by providing it to some bank.

That will help you avoid charges, listed here are four stuff you&#8217ll wish to accomplish in your next visit to eliminate individuals annoying charges:

First, choose a bank within the Global ATM Alliance. This can be a network of huge banks which have get together and waived charges and enables free of charge ATM withdrawals. When they possess the high charges ($5 USD per withdrawal) for banks outdoors their network, by utilizing partner ATMs you are able to avoid ATM charges entirely.

Here is a listing of major banks within this alliance:

  • Bank of the usa (U . s . States)
  • Barclays (England, Wales, The country, Portugal, Gibraltar and certain countries in Africa)
  • BNP Paribas (France, Ukraine, Poultry, Belgium, The other agents, Italia, New Caledonia, Réunion, Guyane, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Luxembourg)
  • Deutsche Bank (Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, The country, Portugal and Italia)
  • Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (Italia)
  • Scotiabank (Canada, Caribbean, Peru, Chile, and Mexico)
  • Westpac (Australia, Nz, Fiji, Vanuatu, Prepare Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands)

Make sure to seek advice from the local bank on specific coverage areas. There are several exceptions, i.e., if you are using your Barclays card in a single country, there may not be a charge, however in another, there might be. Other charges, just like an worldwide transaction or forex fee, might also still apply so double-check prior to going!

Note: Bank of the usa charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on all withdrawals not in USD.

Next, if you’re a US resident, the very best bank to make use of is Charles Schwab.


Charles Schwab doesn’t have charges and reimburses all of your ATM charges in the finish of every month. You will have to open a higher-yield bank account to be able to qualify, but there’s no minimum deposit needed with no monthly service charge. Their ATM card may be used in almost any bank machine all over the world, and you’ll never pay a charge. This really is my primary charge card and that i&#8217ve used it for a long time. Since setting it up, I&#8217ve prevented all ATM charges. It&#8217s literally saved me 1000s of dollars in the last decade of traveling the planet.

Third, obtain a low-fee card. I personally use HSBC as my backup because HSBC has ATMs around the globe and expenses only $2.50 USD per ATM transaction if you use a non-HSBC ATM. While it isn’t just like zero, it&#8217s still much better than what lots of other banks charge. Furthermore, Capital One doesn’t charge any withdrawal charges, but you have to pay any charges billed through the local bank.

Finally, ask the local bank or lending institution. Not charging ATM charges has turned into a prevalent practice during the last couple of years, so make certain to inquire about the local bank.

Here are a few recommended ATM cards for non-US travelers:

Canada: Scotia or Tangerine are an element of the Global ATM Alliance.

Australia: ING, Citibank, or HSBC don’t have any feed cards.

United kingdom: UMonzo or Starling allow you to avoid ATM charges abroad.

If you’re searching for different ways to chop inefficient expenses on the highway, visit this assortment of my best strategies for further money savings.


2. Avoid Charge Card Charges

The following major fee we have to eliminate may be the charge card foreign transaction fee. Most charge cards charge a 3% fee on purchases made overseas. That may accumulate since the majority of us use our charge card for everything. It&#8217s become much more common for charge cards to waive that fee since if you are using your card a great deal overseas, you&#8217ll most likely utilize it a great deal anywhere. My personal favorite no overseas transaction fee cards would be the Chase Azure Preferred, Barclay Arrival Plus, Capital One, and Citi Premier. (For additional suggestions, you’ll find my favorite travel cards here.)

If you are using prepaid credit cards overseas, you won&#8217t pay 3% and also you&#8217ll save lots of money!

For non-Us residents, look into the following websites that list cards that may not charge any overseas charges:

  • Australian Frequent Flyer (Australia)
  • Charge Cards United kingdom (United kingdom)
  • Candian Kilometers (Canada)


3. Minimize the Exchange Rate “Penalty&#8221

Any time you make use of your card overseas, the local bank coverts the transaction to your local currency for billing purposes and requires a little from the top for doing this. Thus the state rate the thing is on the internet is not that which you really get. That&#8217s the interbank rate, and unless of course you feel a significant bank, you&#8217re not getting that rate. All are going to is get as near as possible to that particular rate. To avert being around the real losing finish of conversion, follow the following advice:

Make use of a credit card — Charge card companies obtain the best rates. Utilizing a charge card can get you an exchange rate nearest towards the official interbank currency rate so avoid an ATM or cash if you’re able to.

Make use of an ATM — ATMs provide the best exchange rate after charge cards. They aren’t just like charge cards since commercial banks take some more from the top, but it’s a lot better than exchanging cash. Money exchange offices provide the worst rates since they’re to date lower the meals chain, they are able to&#8217t obtain the best exchange rate (plus, they often charge a commission too).

Don’t use ATMs in weird locations — Using individuals ATMs you discover in hotels, hostels, local 7-11s, as well as other random place is an awful idea. They’re convenient, but you’ll purchase that convenience. They always charge high ATM charges and provide horrible conversions. Skip individuals ATMs and discover a significant bank.

Here&#8217s a relevant video that highlights precisely how sneaky these businesses could be:


4. Don’t Change Money at Airports

Most exchange bureaus in airports are to date lower the financial food chain it normally won’t possess the clout to provide good forex rates. The rates the thing is at airports would be the worst — never, ever make use of an exchange bureau there unless of course you will need to. Another tip: stay away from the organization Travelex no matter what — they possess the worst rates and charges. Never, never rely on them. Avoid their ATMs too!


5. Always Select the Local Currency

If you use your charge card abroad, you’ll frequently get the choice to become billed in your house currency (i.e., rather to be billed in euros, they charges you in $ $ $ $). Never agree. The speed where they’re converting the currency is definitely worse compared to rate your bank provides you with. Select the local currency and allow your charge card company result in the conversion. You&#8217ll obtain a rate plan and reduce your cost along the way.


6. Don&#8217t Get Currency in your own home (and Skip Forex Cards!)

While buying currency in your own home might appear like advisable, you&#8217ll finish up obtaining a worse exchange rate. Unless of course you’re 100% sure you&#8217ll need cash directly on arrival, avoid exchanging money in your house country. Airports have the ability to ATMs where one can withdraw money. You can aquire a far better rate when you accomplish that. Don&#8217t get currency prior to going.

Furthermore, avoid any &#8220foreign currency cards&#8221 (like individuals offered from foreign exchange companies) where one can pre-load money in a set exchange rate. The rates given will also be terrible plus they frequently have a variety of additional charges. Carrying this out essentially is attempting to calculate the exchange rate. You&#8217re wishing it doesn&#8217t worsen whenever you travel what whether it will get better? You don&#8217t know in either case. That&#8217s precisely why you shouldn&#8217t get prepaid credit cards.


Bank charges can equal to some serious money during the period of a lengthy trip. If you wish to cut costs, you have to be positive with regards to banking and currency exchanges. Just a little planning will go a lengthy way and help you save a lot of money within the days, several weeks, and many years of your travels.

a lot of travelers go to the ATM constantly without having to pay focus on the most recent forex rates. You&#8217re around the losing finish from the stick this way. Be smart and bank smart. I haven&#8217t compensated a financial institution fee on a trip the planet in over 10 years and also you shouldn&#8217t either.

With these simple tips, you&#8217ll never need to again.

WANT MORE? Here Are A Few IMPORTANT TRAVEL Guidelines To Help You Cut Costs:

  • The way to select the travel charge card for the trip
  • How to save cash when you travel
  • 12 things you shouldn’t do whenever you travel

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Book Your Vacation: Logistical Tips and Methods

Book Your Flight

Look for a cheap flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favorite search engines like google simply because they search websites and airlines around the world which means you always know nothing remains unturned.

Book The Resort

You are able to book your hostel with Hostelworld because they possess the largest inventory. If you wish to stay somewhere apart from a hostel, use because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and economical hotels. I personally use them constantly.

Don&#8217t Forget Travel Cover

Travel cover will safeguard you from illness, injuries, thievery, and cancellations. It&#8217s comprehensive protection in situation anything goes completely wrong. Irrrve never use a trip without them when i&#8217ve had for doing things many occasions previously. I&#8217ve used World Nomads for 10 years. My personal favorite firms that provide the best service and cost are:

  • World Nomads (for everybody below 70)
  • Insure My Trip (for individuals over 70)

Searching to find the best companies to save cash with?

Take a look at my resource page to find the best companies to make use of whenever you travel! I list all of the ones I personally use to save cash after i travel &#8211 which will help you save money and time too!

The publish How to prevent Having to pay Bank Charges On A Trip made an appearance first on Nomadic Matt&#039s Travel Site.

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