What’s this ATM fee surcharge and foreign transaction fee business when using my debit card abroad?
I’ve never been much for carrying cash. I mostly charge everything because, frankly, I like earning those rewards points…for that RTW trip I hope to take one day, but cash is king in South America. That said, I needed to sort this out because my current banks (Wells Fargo, TD Bank) would have me drowning in fees.
Here’s a little chart I put together, breaking things down. I wanted to go with Citibank or HSBC as they have locations in South America, but maintaining their required minimum would be impossible for me. In the end, I opened a Fidelity Cash Management account as my primary and a backup account with Capital One.
For credit, I went with Capital One because they do not charge a foreign transaction fee (see bankrate.com link below to compare credit card options).