Disclaimer: I am NOT making any money by telling you this information. This is an honest opinion based on my experience. I personally use this debit card and have had a great experience with it while using it all over the world.
This Debit Card Has No Foreign Transaction Fees, Minimums, or Monthly Fees
When you’re shopping around for a debit card, you’ll notice that some of them charge monthly fees for simply having an account. Others charge you a fee if you don’t have a minimum amount of money in the account(I don’t like the idea that they charge you money for not having enough money?). Another common fee is the foreign transaction fee.
Let’s take a closer look at the Schwab Checking account.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
When you’re traveling, the last thing you want is to get home and realize your bank charged you $5 or $10 every time you made a purchase. Or maybe they charged you a percentage of every purchase. It adds up and it’s not a good use of your money. This happened to me when I used my Bank of America card in Asia. The ATM had a $5 fee and then BofA charged me an additional $5 fee. Not fun.
This means that if you withdraw money from an ATM or make a purchase using your debit card, you will only be charged for the equivalent in U.S. dollars. No additional percentages or fees will be tacked on. The price you see is the price you pay.
Side note: I recommend never using your debit card for purchases. If someone skims your information, they can cipher your account. Also, you don’t earn any miles or ppoints like a Travel Rewards Credit Card
Most countries, like Cambodia, don’t accept credit cards. That’s why I always carry the schwab debit card to take out cashe with no fees.
No Account Minimums
The Schwab debit card does not have a minimum balance. This means as long as you have money in your account, you won’t get charged a fee. With that said, be careful not to withdraw more money than you have in the account or else you will get charged.
No Monthly Fees
Some debit cards charge a monthly fee. Why pay money to a bank to keep your money in a bank that makes the bank money?
Instead of wasting money on a monthly fee, there are plenty of other debit cards that don’t charge a monthly fee. And you guessed it, the Schwab High Yield debit card account doesn’t charge a fee.
Now that we know Schwab isn’t going to charge these ridiculous fees, let’s see at how they will actually give us money back when we are charged fees by third parties.
ATM Fee Reimbursement
Instead of charging a fee for using an ATM that is outside of their network, Schwab says that all ATMs are free to use for their High Yield Investor Checking debit card holders.
Even if another ATM charges you a fee, Schwab will reimburse you. It sounds too good to be true, but it works. I came across a random ATM in Costa Rica that wanted to charge me $2 for a withdrawal. I didn’t have to think twice since I knew Schwab would reimburse me later.
In the video at the top of the article, I go in my personal Schwab account and show you exactly how I got an automatic ATM fee reimbursement.
How to Open a Schwab Debit Card Account
Along with the perks above you also get access to benefits that other top cards are offering as well. Things like mobile deposit so you can deposit a check through their app. Also, you can link it to Apply Pay and Go so you can pay with your phone at any place that accepts payment through Apple’s payment system.
When you’re ready to sign up for the Schwab debit card, it’s simple. Head over to the Schwab website and click on Apply Now. They are currently running a promotion to people opening up a new account.
You can earn $100, just for signing up. Here is the referral code: REFER6ZFIQ
This is part of Schwab’s personal referral program. Once again, I’m not making money from this, I’m just letting you know the opportunities you have to save.
To watch how to open this account step-by-step, watch the video above.
Using Your Debit Card While Traveling
Before you close out of this page and sign up for your new Schwab debit card, here are some final pointers for using your card while you’re on your trip.
Use Your CREDIT Card Whenever You Can. Earn points/miles and avoid having your debit info hacked.
If you’re being smart about your air miles and using credit cards to save money, you’ll want to use your credit card over your debit card whenever possible. Your debit card does not earn you air miles or give you cash back.
Just because you can take out $1,000 from your account, does not mean that you should. Be smart when you’re traveling and only carry on you the money that you need for the day.
Take out what you need and then split up your cash in different areas. Put some money in your shoes, put some in your wallet, some in your inside pockets, etc. This way if a pickpocket does get some of your money, they won’t get it all.
If you have a US social security number you now know that the best debit card for traveling is the Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account card. It doesn’t charge you any crazy fees like other cards do and it will even reimburse you when you’re charged an ATM fee by another bank.
Lastly, remember to let your bank know where and when you’ll be traveling so that they don’t flag your account and freeze transactions.
Fidelity is just as good as Schwab, benefits are the same.
If you are going to South Africa, you will be going to Kruger. My advice is to spend a night at Kapama game Preserve. It is so much better than Kruger. We did both last September and I would even skip Kruger going to Kapama. Also near Kruger is a place called Elephant Whispers. They have an elephant interaction with a giant bull named Tembo. You get to hug legs, rub ear, hold tail, touch belly button, and have him respond to your commands. We had an hour with him, just my wife and I.
Yes, Fidelity and Schwab are pretty much the same. The only difference is the $100 promotion with Schwab.
Thanks for all the tips with South Africa. It seems like you had a fun time there.
They must lose a lot of money for that perk. I wish my bank of America paid for my ATM fees elsewhere.
That is an amazing card to have. I was paying so much from my chase debit card when I needed money in a pinch. It’s free?