We will be traveling to Central & South America and eventually over to SE Asia. What advice can you offer for credit cards that don't kill you on exchange rate fees and bank accounts that don't charge you an enormous fee for using their ATM card out of the country? Is an HSBC bank account best because they have branches in Central & South America? What are the best practices for keeping fees and charges minimal when traveling?
General consensus has been that Capital One does a pretty good job. From what I've seen MasterCard tends to be more flexible with their fees vs. Visa.
Really it all comes down to your specific account and credit card though. Depending on which card and bank combo you have and the cash you have in the account - your rate will vary.
One thing to help bypass at least some of the ATM fees is to check with your bank and establish which partner banks they have in the region you're going to.
Little out of date and geared towards Europe but this is a post I put together before my last trip which explores the subject:
http://virtualwayfarer.com/things-to-know-travel-credit-card-fees/ over 10 years ago
I did some research on this for a recent trip to Hong Kong and posted the findings on my blog. It talks about bank accounts and credit cards in the UK, but there are some general points you may find useful:
http://www.yourtravelplanner.co.uk/five-ways-to-save-on-holiday-money/ over 10 years ago
I'm not sure what products there are in your market but last year we went to Europe with ANZ Travel Cards which were fantastic. Check them out at: http://anz.com.au/aus/promo/Dont-Get-Robbed-Overseas/default.asp?noflash=yes
You buy them in the currency of your destination, so we had Euros and Pounds and use them as a standard credit card or at ATMs to get your money out (any ATM with a Visa sign). Because you organise it before you go your exchange rate is fixed and there's no huge fees for foreign exchange commissions. Also because it's not linked to any of your personal banking details or accounts the security is good.
You may find something similar with your banks, if not this info may be useful to other Australians :) over 10 years ago
I have generally found that paying for something like accommodation, tickets using your credit card usually works out cheaper than withdrawing cash through a foreign ATM either with a debit or credit card. When getting cash from an ATM you are usually hit with both a withdrawal fee plus a fee for conversion to that currency which seems to be a percentage of the money withdrawn. The credit card usually only charges for the conversion fee so tends to work out cheaper. Be warned though, that with cash advances on your credit card, you start paying interest straight away unless you load up your credit card before you go over 10 years ago
Wizard Clear Advantage is awesome. No annual fees. You can transfer cash from your bank account onto it and then withdraw the cash out. So long as you do not take out more than what you put on, you will never be charged interest on doing this. Obviously there are conversion & ATM withdrawal fees overseas but I found this option to be excellent. about 9 years ago
American Express has just released a great prepaid stored value card which is available in three currencies and on which the stored values never expire. On top of that it gives you access to Global Assist, and a range of extra benefits including emergency funds. You can get them at American Express Global Exchange office, or even at Australia Post.
http://auspost.com.au/personal/american-express-globaltravel-card.html almost 9 years agoAnswered by Ross Floate via WorldNomads.com