One question I always am asked is - what is the best way to pay for things while traveling. With debit cards and travel credit cards and cash being in the equation, how can you know which one is best? Can you even use US credit cards where you're going? Is it going to cost you money to use your US credit card? Should you get cash before departing?
I'm not going to answer all of those questions in this blog BUT I am going to answer the one questions I actually DO know the answer to which is: "what have you found to be the best travel debit card?". And the answer to that is my Charles Schwab Debit Card.
(Can you believe I'm not getting paid by Charles Schwab to write this?!)
Now, I'm really not that passionate about anything that involves numbers but this card really does rock. I know a lot of people that really like their travel credit cards that give them perks every month or so - and those are awesome too! - but I absolutely never leave the country without my Charles Schwab Debit Card and here's why...
1. No Foreign Transaction Fees
As you can probably deduce from the name, a foreign transaction fee is a hidden sum of money that is taken from you to account for your bank switching currencies each time your card is used overseas. If you're traveling on a budget, I would make sure that the card you're using while traveling ensures you that it has no foreign transaction fees because these small fees can start to add up. One of the perks of the Charles Schwab Debit Card is that it always has no foreign transaction fees.
2. No ATM fee's EVER
The sole reason I got this card is because they do not charge you a fee to take out money at any ATM in the world - which is huge while traveling. I use ATM’s constantly in Vietnam because the best street food, some grocery stores, all the markets, and some of the clothing stores are cash only businesses- which is the case in many other Southeast Asian countries as well.
Regardless of where you are in the world though, no matter how progressive, you’re going to have to, or want to, take out cash at some point and the Charles Schwab Debit Card will let you do that for free! It doesn't matter how many times you go to an ATM while traveling, at the end of every month, Charles Schwab reimburses your account for all the ATM fee’s you have racked up during the course of that month. Sometimes I get a rebate of $3 and other times I get $20 back - it all depends on where I am in the world really. Even if I barely use the card that month, just having it with me while traveling makes me feel secure that I can always take out money (especially for a cab to my hotel from the airport) without worrying about how much it is going to cost me out of pocket.
So if you're looking to go on a trip and you don't know if you should use cash or cards - start with the Charles Schwab Debit Card. You can use the card at no extra cost in places that accept card payments and you can use it to take out cash at no extra cost as well for the times in your life when you need cash.