Posted by Amany on 17/8/2017 at 02:17
So I'm currently in Spain for work, but planning to backpacking Southeast from December for few months.
One of my main concerns was the money, I can't just carry all the cash with me for like 4 months but I guess I can't use my card either as the there will be a lot of fees.
I have read here and there about opening a bank acc that rejects the ATM charges or any other charges when using the card.
So has anyone done this and can reccomend a bank for me to use?
#1 Amany has been a member since 17/8/2017. Posts: 1
Posted by DLuek on 17/8/2017 at 02:25 TF writer
Charles Schwab refunds all ATM fees incurred anywhere in the world. It's mainly an investor bank but they offer regular checking accounts too. I've used one for years and have never paid an ATM fee.
Otherwise I wouldn't suggest taking all of your funds in cash. ATM fees are annoying but you can lessen the impact by withdrawing maximum amounts (in Thailand that's generally 20,000 Baht or around US $600, which goes pretty far for the 200 Baht ATM fee).
#2 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,344
Posted by exacto on 17/8/2017 at 13:06
Charles Schwab refunds the Thai ATM fee? My US-based bank did that in the past, but has stopped doing it. Have you noticed/compared the exchange rate Charles Schwab gives you compared to other banks?
The ATM fees can add up, but for the security and convenience, I think they are ultimately worth it. As DLuek says above, you can reduce the amount of fees you pay by withdrawing the maximum amount each time you use an ATM. Even if you withdraw cash every 10 days, which would be a pretty flash budget in Thailand for example, that would still only be about 60 euro worth of ATM fees for the 4 months - and less if you are on a smaller budget. That works out to less than 50 euro cents a day for foreign transaction fees, which is pretty affordable all things considered.
Take some cash with you for the start of the trip, and keep some in reserve for emergencies. But use the ATMs and just consider it part of the cost of doing business. Cheers.
#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,811
Posted by DLuek on 18/8/2017 at 02:09 TF writer
Yes, Schwab refunds all ATM fees anywhere in the world, including Thailand. At the end of each month the amount of all the ATM fees is put back into my account, in USD. When I deposit US $ it shows up in my account in THB in almost the exact same amount as shown in the exchange rate on the site XE, which is industry standard as far as I know. I've been told that Schwab does this -- essentially giving small sums of money away -- because they figure that if they can get people to put one foot in the door by opening checking accounts, then eventually they'll start investment accounts rather than going to a whole new company.
#4 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,344
Posted by drewbob on 22/8/2017 at 23:20
StateFarm bank refunds up to $10 a month in ATM fees and refunds all of them if you have a direct deposit set up. World-wide.
#5 drewbob has been a member since 22/8/2017. Posts: 1
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