Hi there, it’s Ernest from Trip Astute.
Today’s topic: getting cash abroad. (light chiming music) Most people know that I prefer using credit
cards when traveling, especially internationally. However, there are times
when cash is the only option, and in those cases, getting cash when you
arrive in the country makes a lot of sense. You’ve probably seen the
currency exchange booths at the airport. They look pretty convenient. You walk down
the terminal and you see a little booths with a bunch of exchange rates and you
think, “wow that’s an easy way to exchange cash.” Well, there’s a catch. The exchange
rates and fees of those booths are generally pretty unfavorable. That’s why
I avoid them at all costs. A better way to get cash when you’re traveling abroad
is to use the ATM. Even if the ATM charges you a transaction fee, it’s
generally less than what the exchange boosts will charge you. Plus you’re
getting a much better exchange rate when using the ATMs. Still you may want to
check with your bank to see what the fees are. I’ve included a link below that
shows some of the fees for the major US banks. If you’re really savvy, I would suggest
finding a debit card that doesn’t charge you a fee, or that reimburses you for any
overseas fees. One such product is the Charles Schwab High Interest Checking
Account, which includes a debit card that reimburses all ATM fees, both domestic
and international. it’s a great card to carry, and I usually load it up before my
trips overseas. What I usually do is actually carry my normal banking
debit card and leave it in the hotel safe, so I still have it in case I need it.
But my general everyday debit card when traveling overseas is my Schwab debit
card. And what I like about it is that it adds a little extra buffer between my
normal checking and what I need for my trip. So if my card gets stolen or if I
misplace it, I’m not as concerned about it as I would be if I lost my primary
debit card. Before your next trip though, here are
some tips to keep in mind when getting money from the ATM. Number one: research
how much money you plan to withdraw from the ATM. I can’t tell you how many
times I’ve been to the ATM and try to withdraw money, only to be completely
confused at how much the exchange rate is. I’ll see things listed in the local
currency and wonder how much is it to withdraw the equivalent of forty dollars
or maybe twenty dollars. You can save yourself the trouble by looking it up in
advance on an app or on a board. The bottom line is just have an idea of how
much the exchange rate is. It’ll save you a little bit of trouble when you
actually withdraw money. Number two: look for ATMs with official logos. In general,
I find that the larger banks have more reliable ATMs. I’ve been in situations
where I’ve tried to withdraw money from a convenience store or gas station, only
to have the ATM freeze or completely reject my transaction. I’ve even been in
airports where I’ve used a smaller bank and my transaction has completely failed.
So my general rule of thumb is try to stick to larger banks. You’ll probably
have a better chance of getting a successful ATM withdrawal. Number three:
use ATMs in more high traffic areas. In general, you’re less likely to get mugged
in a place where there’s a lot of people. That being said, I’ve heard stories of
people being mugged in airports and in other locations where there’s a lot of
tourists, so just keep your your wits about you. You never know who may be
around the corner or who may be scoping out the ATM, so always have your guard up
whenever you’re getting cash from the ATM. Number four: look for any tampering on
the ATM itself. Make sure that the ATM hasn’t been altered in any way. One of
the most common scams is for thieves to install a swiper in the card reader. Just
make sure to take a look at your ATM and make sure that there aren’t any visible
signs of tampering or alterations to the machine. And lastly, number five: notify the
banks of any travel plans that you might have, especially if you’re going
international. The last thing you want to do is to
travel abroad, go to the ATM, and have all your accounts shut down or put on hold
because you didn’t notify the banks that you are traveling. Take the extra second.
You can usually do it online, or if you can’t do it online, just call the bank or
your credit union and let them know your travel plans. It’ll save you a huge
headache when you travel. Anyway, those are some quick tips on getting cash when
abroad. I’ve included some helpful links below, especially one to the Charles
Schwab High Interest Checking Account, in case you’re interested in applying. Also,
if you have any tips or any questions, please add them to the comment section
below. As always, if you like this video, please click the button below and hit
subscribe as well. Until next time, travel safe and travel smart.