No Foreign Transaction Fees, Minimums, or Monthly Fees
The Charles Schwab High Yield debit card has zero foreign transaction fees, which will leave you worry free.
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.
Let’s use the 0.5% interest rate as an example. With a monthly fee of $10, you are spending $120 per year. If you are making 0.5% interest on your money per year, you would need to have $24,000 in your account just to break even ($24,000 x 0.5% = $120)!
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.
ATM Fee Reimbursement
When you are researching debit cards you’ll notice that some of the cards are a part of an ATM alliance. The most prevalent of these alliances is the Global ATM Alliance. This alliance is a partnership among banks all around the world.
These banks teamed up and basically said, hey if you don’t charge my customers a fee for withdrawing from your ATM we won’t charge your customers for using our ATMs.
The only issue with the alliance is that you still have to identify which ATMs you can and can’t use so you don’t get dinged with a fee.
If you’re in the US and can sign up for a Schwab debit card, you don’t have to worry about this though.
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.
Schwab does a pretty good job of combing through your charges and automatically reimbursing you for ATM fees. If a mistake is made and a fee slips through, just let them know and they’ll take care of it for you.
How to Open a Schwab Debit Card Account
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.
One of the things you’ll notice is that a Schwab brokerage account is automatically opened up as well.
This gives you access to trading stocks on the market, however, you don’t really need to concern yourself with that to get the benefits of the debit card. I never once used it.
Using Your Debit Card While Traveling
Use Your CREDIT Card Whenever You Can. Earn points/miles and avoid having your debit info hacked.
Always Pay in the Foreign Currency
When you’re purchasing something in a foreign country you’ll often be asked if you want to pay in US dollars or in the foreign currency. Always select the foreign currency.
Just because Schwab won’t charge you a foreign transaction fee doesn’t mean these businesses won’t. If you choose US dollars these businesses can tack on an exchange rate percentage that the business gets to keep. Instead, just pay in the foreign currency and let your bank handle the exchange.
Don’t Take Out Too Much Cash
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.
If you’re not a US citizen or don’t have a US social security number, look for the debit cards that are part of the Global ATM Alliance. This will increase your chances of finding an ATM that won’t charge you fees while you’re traveling.
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.
Get $100 for opening up a new account
Referral Code: REFER6ZFIQ
Do you use the Schwab debit card for traveling? What has your experience been?