Avoid bank fees and research ATM locations to start saving for your next trip
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Relating to International Travel - credit cards issued by US credit unions have the lowest currency exchange fees. They generally only pass only the one percent fee that is charged by the bank association - either visa or mastercard and don't add a charge of their own, compared to up-charges of 2-4 percent from traditional banks. I have also found that many restaurants especially in France will have the Mastercard/Visa emblem on the door, but will say they don't accept credit cards, so it is wise to ask before you sit down. However, some of this is that while they do accept credit cards, they prefer not to take them. I have had the situation where my hotel ordered me a taxi that accepted credit cards, but when I got to my destination the driver said he didn't take credit cards. When I told him that was all I had, all of a sudden he pulled out the card machine.
I agree with RSHouck3.....Fodors usually has better tips than this.....Capital One is the way to go - as pointed out by Cate_W...no foreign transaction fees when taking money out of ATM's - or on their charge cards either....You do have to pay the ATM fee though....still the better value for us...
on Jan 7, 11 at 08:54 AM
Hi RSHouck3, this is particularly relevant for domestic travel but for international travel I usually used my Capital One card as it doesn't have a charge for foreign transactions. But you should always check with your bank as the fees can admittedly be confusing.
Surely Fodors can do better than this! ATM's and - to a lesser degree credit cards - used to be the best way to change money when abroad. Now every transaction carries both a poor exchange rate AND a special charge. My solution - when the dollar was high to the Euro, I exchanged several thousands at Citibank. But that doesn't always work. What does Fodors recommend? Are any credit cards or banks better than others?
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