3 Best Debit Cards for International Travel for 2020

International tourist admiring the city
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There's a long checklist of things to be sure you've covered when you're traveling out of the country—like making sure you can spend money. Before jet-setting off to your next big destination, take a few extra steps to make sure you can access your funds if you need to without paying a ton of extra fees. For example, some debit cards charge a foreign ATM fee when you use an ATM in another country. You might also have to pay additional currency conversion or foreign transaction fees on each transaction you make. The best debit cards for international travel will help you reduce or even eliminate those fees.

Using a debit card over a credit card can be beneficial because it's linked to your bank account. When you swipe, the funds are taken out of your checking account. This means you won't have to worry about repaying a credit card balance.

Using a debit card for international travel is also useful for withdrawing local currency from an ATM for expenses like tipping or paying merchants who don't accept credit or debit cards. You wouldn't want to use a credit card at an ATM since the transaction would be treated as a more expensive cash advance. So which are the best debit cards for international travel? Let's take a look.

Fidelity Cash Management Account

As a customer of the Fidelity Cash Management Account, you'll receive the Fidelity Visa Gold Check Card, which is one of the best debit cards for international travel. You can also access more than one million ATMs worldwide and get reimbursed for ATM fees you're charged from other ATMs. EMV technology ensures your information is safely transmitted when you're making purchases and withdrawals from ATMs, protecting your account from future fraud.

The card doesn't just save on ATM fees, it also includes a few extra perks that may come in handy while you're traveling internationally. With the Fidelity Visa Gold Check Card, you'll also get 90-day extended warranty, travel and emergency assistance, worldwide travel accident insurance, and auto rental collision damage waiver.

With the Fidelity Cash Management Account, you'll pay no monthly fees. You don't have to maintain a minimum monthly balance. Plus, your deposits are insured up to $1.25 million, which is more than traditional checking and savings accounts at other banks.

Schwab High Yield Investor Checking Account

With the Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account, you won't pay any fees on your checking account at all. That means no ATM fees when you use an ATM in another country and no foreign currency conversion fee if you withdraw funds in another currency. Keep in mind that when you use an ATM outside your bank's network, the ATM operator may also charge you a fee. You can't avoid the fee, but Charles Schwab will refund it with no limits on the refunds. There are also no service fees or account minimums.

You'll need to open and link a Schwab One brokerage account, which can be opened and maintained with no fees. A brokerage account offers the ability to trade stocks, mutual funds, and other financial products.

Capital One 360 Checking Account

If you don't like the sound of opening a brokerage account, consider the Capital One 360 Checking Account for a debit card for international travel. The account comes with a debit card.

Capital One doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee on transactions made in other currencies, which means you can use your debit card for purchases without paying for the currency conversion. If you can locate a Capital One or Allpoint ATM while you're traveling, you won't have to pay an ATM fee either. The Allpoint network includes over 55,000 ATMs all over the world. You can download an app to your smartphone to locate an Allpoint ATM near you.

You can open a Capital One 360 Checking Account with no minimum deposits and no minimum balance requirements. You can also earn 0.2% APY on your balance.

Article Sources

  1. Wells Fargo. "Wells Fargo Consumer and Business Account Fees." Accessed April 5, 2020.

  2. Capital One. "Is There a Fee When I Use My Debit Card Abroad?" Accessed April 5, 2020.

  3. Discover Bank. "How to Avoid Common Credit Card Fees." Accessed April 5, 2020.

  4. Fidelity Investments. "ATM/Debit Card." Accessed April 5, 2020.

  5. Fidelity Investments. "Cash Management From Fidelity." Accessed April 5, 2020.

  6. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Amendments to Disclosures at Automated Teller Machines (Regulation E)," Page 2. Accessed April 5, 2020.

  7. Charles Schwab Corporation. "Brokerage and Trading Account." Accessed April 5, 2020.

  8. Charles Schwab Corporation. "Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® Account." Accessed April 5, 2020.

  9. Allpoint. "What is Allpoint?" Accessed April 5, 2020.

  10. Capital One. "What’s a 360 Checking® Account?" Accessed April 5, 2020.