Easiest Way To Never Pay A Foreign ATM Transaction Fee Again

by Jul 24, 2018

Easiest Way To Never Pay A Foreign ATM Transaction Fee Again

by | Jul 24, 2018

If you’ve ever traveled abroad you know that one of the most often met with headaches is how to actually use your money. If you bring tons of cash you risk being robbed both by pickpockets and by exchange bureaus who have massive exchange fees. Using your debit card is also not a great option since not all places take cards. Using the card to take money out of an ATM will usually result in a foreign ATM transaction fee for using it outside of the US. 

These fees may not sound like much in the grand scheme, most times they are around $5, but that can add up quickly if you will be abroad for longer than a week or two.

Last year I spent 4 months in Europe and my transaction fees for that time added up to over $250!

Luckily there is an easy way to skip all of this and go your merry way without ever having to worry about transaction fees and what ATMs to use.

The Answer is the Charles Schwab Debit Card

Charles Schwab is best known as a brokerage firm and a provider of investment products and services. They also happen to be one of the biggest banks in the United States and can issue you a debit card…which has zero foreign ATM transaction fees anywhere in the world!

Getting one is easy and very straightforward. You can either go to a local office or head to their website and do it yourself.

I chose to go to the local Charles Schwab office in Cincinnati and was treated by a very friendly man and a well put together office.

I provided my driver’s license and social security number and after a few other questions the gentleman had completely set up my account. He even called the main offices to get me a complimentary rush service for my card since I was leaving the country soon.

If you don’t want to drive down to your local office or would just rather do this in your pajamas in bed you can do it online.

How to open a Charles Schwab Debit Card Online


source: thepassportmemorandum.com
  1. Head to Schwab.com
  2. In the top right corner click on the orange button that says “Open an Account”
  3. Select Brokerage account, followed by your preferred option of individual or joint account (whether one person or more will have access to the account for example if you’re married you can go with the joint).
  4. Next, you will have to create a Charles Schwab account, simply follow the directions and input your information. Some of the things that you will be required to have ready are your Social Security number (or similar ID number if you are a Green Card holder) and mother’s maiden name.
  5. Now here is the important part, after inputting your information you will have the option to select what “add-ons” you want to your account. Select the “One Card” option…this is your debit card.
  6. After creating your account make sure you fund it. Charles Schwab will not issue you a card unless you fund the account, but after that, you do not have a minimum amount of money that you are required to hold in there.

And here you have it, in 6 easy steps you now have a way to withdraw money literally anywhere in the world and never pay a transaction fee.

An important thing to keep in mind is that some ATMs may still charge you a fee, in which case Charles Schwab will just reimburse you for the fee. On the Charles Schwab website, you can find what ATMs they work well with and won’t charge you a fee at all.

Epic Customer Service and How to Get a $100 Bonus!


Another amazing thing about the Charles Schwab card are the people and company behind it. When I went to set it up I was about a week from leaving the US for several months of travel in Europe.

Unfortunately, because I waited to the last minute to get this done even with a rush being put on my card there wouldn’t be enough time for the card to be printed, and then arrive at my house before I leave. The dates were just too close for comfort.

I jumped on the phone with a Schwab representative and not only did they rush the creation of the card for free, they even shipped it Express to my destination in Europe for free and it was waiting for me when I arrived there.

Absolutely amazing!

Another little bonus was that a few weeks after getting my card I received $100 straight into my account. After some research, I found out that they set my account up through their referral program which awards you $100 for opening an account when you are referred by a friend.

Any day that you are surprised with $100 extra in your account is a good day!

So, if you never want to worry about foreign transaction fees, exchange bureaus, or traveling with huge wads of cash then check out the Charles Schwab One Card. I even found the referral link so you can share in the joy of finding extra dough in your account as well.


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