Finance and money forum

Charles Schwab (ATM) or a Credit Union

  • thatvaletguy

    Joined Travelfish
    25th October, 2010
    Posts: 14

    Anyone have any luck with using a Credit Union or something similar like Charles Schwab to withdraw money from ATMs overseas (especially Thailand)? I've read similar forums but I have more specific questions. Who wants to pay the extra 150b anyway?

    A. I've contacted Charles Schwab and they said there is no ATM fee overseas AND they cover any ATM fee that the ATM charges you. How do they make their money? It doesn't seem feasible.

    B. Is the currency exchange fee charged by my bank, or the bank that owns the ATM that I'm withdrawing from?

    C. In general, does using a Credit Card overseas carry its own fee?

    Thanks.

    #1 Posted: 26/10/2010 - 22:51

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  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 761

    A. If you have that in writing it's a good thing but I wouldn't count on it. There are banks for whom those transaction fees are a very small portion of their income (think, investment banks or private banks for the superwealthy) so they can afford to offer such a thing. I don't know much about Charles Schwab so can not help you there but I guess that you'll have to pay for it somehow.

    B. Withdrawal fee (from ATM) is charged by the owner of the ATM and then passed on to your bank/account. A currency exchange fee (flat fee) is normally not charged. That's an inter-bank thing and not commonly used. Only in really far out-of-the-way places like North Korea, Cuba, Zimbabwe and so on that have very soft currencies.
    In general a currency exchange fee is just calculated for in the exchange rate. That is in effect the commission/profit the bank makes from your transaction.

    C. Yes. It's not America and "Cash is King" applies to all (south east) asian countries. Credit card fees are normally anywhere between 3-6% of your purchase. It might be different, however, if you stay at an international hotel (Sheraton or so) that also holds a foreign account.

    #2 Posted: 27/10/2010 - 12:37

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