- Personal Finance»
- Banks, S&L's, Credit Unions
Claiming Back Bank Charges
Online Bank Account and Debit Card Fees (overseas withdrawls)
Before you head off abroad there are many things to consider. The two main things you will no doubt consider, are:
1. Health - Making sure you (and your dependents) are going to have access to a doctor if needed.
2. Not being without money - Having safe access to your funds if an emergency unfolds or simply have access to them, like you do at home.
With pretty much everyone, from the Queen of England to the hounds of hell, having a bank account that can be accessed from anywhere on the Internet at anytime time, has a life that is A LOT easier than it was, say, 15 years ago. Perhaps not though.
I think that things, in some ways are harder or perhaps, another way of putting it would be, more enticing.
Knowing you have money and seeing you have money does not really help you when you cannot actually GET that money without paying fees to your bank.
There are no real ways to get your money back from a bank if you withdraw from a ATM/cash machine abroad as it is written in the small print of your bank account that if you withdraw overseas, you will pay up.
There are ways that you can prepare yourself to minimise the cost to yourselves though. Banks rely on their customers to be busy, without time, chancing and cautionless to make their money. If we all can understand and realise the easy steps necessary to "lighten the blow" of travel money and access to it, as and when we need it, we can beat the banks, just for one day..
Information on claiming bank charges back for non-overseas transactions can be found here: Claiming Bank Charges Back (at home)
Travel Money Card and Travel Money Online VS Foreign Exchange
1. Never EVER change money at the airport, ANY airport. You would get a better deal leaving your front door open, your money on your table with a sign saying "Give me an exchange you think is right" next to it.
2. Have your money organised BEFORE you fly off. Do not assume you can get a better deal abroad. Most people wouldn't do this but some people chase after things they have heard from friends or have a naive belief about people elsewhere and their need to make profit, like at home.
2. UK residents (or people travelling through the UK) can visit any post office and get a Travel Money Card, this is like a debit or credit card in the way that you can use it in a cash machine or in a shop using a pin number. There are charges per transaction but there are no 'percentage of the balance withdrawn' fees. It is also free to set up. This is the best deal that I have found that gives you the least amount of charges.
4. US residents (or people using a US bank accounts) in Europe. Things seem to be different this way around. Using an ATM in Europe to get your travel money seems to be the all round best idea, taking in security, charges and ease of use. You need to check the bank your are with is overseas friendly though. It might be worth opening a new bank account when travelling abroad for a few reasons:
- Your "real" bank is secure and not in use and nore are your funds.
- A different bank may give you a better rate. If you are overseas for more than a month withdrawal rates can become a nightmare.
- You get free things when opening up a bank account normally.
Two banks to look into if you want European withdrawals are:
Everbank and World Savings