Best ATM/Debit Card for use in Europe?
Replies: 22 - Last Post: Aug 25, 2013 3:07 PM Last Post By: lennythelion
Apr 17, 2013 4:15 PM
Best ATM/Debit Card for use in Europe?Hi all. I have a question. I am nearing a 2 month trip to Europe from America (40 days). I had heard that a ATM/Debit card through Capital One offers no conversion fees and is the best rate to go. However after talking to them on the phone they said it was 3%...
Does anyone know of a better or cheaper bank card to use for cash withdrawals while over there to save money? Any help is appreciated in this regard. If it matters country wise where I am going they are listed below. Any other question please ask, this is the last thing I really need to settle.
Apr 18, 2013 5:23 AM
1Some European countries banks have 0% cards when doing foreign transactions, but I'm assuming you're having to get your card from the USA before you leave so I can't help you with that. I don't think it's allowed to get a card if you're not a resident of that particular country. I have a UK credit card issued by Halifax Bank that offers 0% on all foreign European transactions and it also permits going well into credit on it, so it's possible to load it with extra money before leaving the UK. I wonder if maybe Halifax has affiliation with any banks in the USA. It might be well worth checking out the possibilities.
Apr 18, 2013 9:36 AM
2have you looked into the capital One 360 debit cards. they don't charge any rate to use your card overseas. The regular capital one checking accounts do but not the 360 ones. My sister and I both opened up a 360 account for our upcoming trips to Europe. The account is alittle inconvenient because its all online so we cant go and make physical cash deposits to the account... but if that doesn't matter much to you I would look into it. You just have to connect your regular bank with it and transfer the money into the account. Also they are having a promotion now where If you sign up they will give you $50
Apr 18, 2013 9:02 PM
3TravelJazz Thanks for the info. Im attempting to look into it. Im new to the whole banking thing, Mainly just did a local bank until now.
I think i found the right one
Im going to call them tomorrow and see about it. So I'm new to this stuff but does that mean that I can just use the debit card either to withdraw money for free, as well as to pay for purchases over there for free with no additional feees? Such as a restaurant bill or something? Or is it mainly a free way to withdraw money from ATMS
Edited by: StumbleBum7
Apr 19, 2013 9:07 AM
4This is a commonly asked question StumbleBum. If you took the time to scroll down through previous threads you would find the answer without having to ask what has been asked countless times. The last time it was answered on THIS branch was just last month.
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2308698 The answer is there.
Lennythelion, answers are country specific so info on the UK is of no use to the OP. However, for future reference you may want to know that the answer for Brits is found here:
It is kept quite up to date. Currently a Halifax Clarity is the best Credit card but for a debit card (ATM useage) you should be carrying a Norwich & Peterborough Debit card.
Apr 19, 2013 3:14 PM
5I am asking about debit cards. Those threads deal with credit cards from what I am seeing? Credit cards are much more complicated and can run up the cost of weird fees from use overseas. I was merely looking for a cheap way to withdrawal money while in Europe. Not how to charge everything on a creditcard.
Apr 20, 2013 8:51 AM
6"Credit cards are much more complicated and can run up the cost of weird fees from use overseas"
Yes they are Stumblebum and the link above will give you the answer to which credit cards are best.
Yes you did ask about debit cards and a simple Google for 'best us debit card for international travel' will give you plenty of links where you can find the answer, http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/which-credit-and-debit-cards-are-best-overseas.html?id=3115986
But ALL will be in the past unless it is a website such as moneysavingexpert (for the UK) or cardhub (for the USA) which keep pretty much up to date.
What is important is to know how credit and debit cards work in terms of what fees and charges to look for. Then YOU have to do the research to find out which are giving you the best deal TODAY. The answer changes all the time.
So, I understand how it works and have given you links to sites that will explain it to you. YOU now have to do the research to find out which are best TODAY.
You should by the way be using both a credit and a debit card when travelling. Paying for things with the credit card and using the debit card only to withdraw cash. Paying with a credit card gives you some free insurance. For example, if you buy a flight ticket and the airline goes bust before you use your ticket, it is a simple thing to get Visa/MC to credit the money back to your credit card. If you paid cash, your money is gone. If you pay for a hotel using a credit card and are not happy for whatever reason, you can dispute the payment to the hotel through Visa/MC. Pay cash, the money's gone.
Always pay for tickets, reservations, purchases with a credit card and use cash from an ATM only for small items.
Apr 20, 2013 9:14 AM
7I use Wells Fargo. Costs me 5 bucks per withdrawal and I never ever use it for purchases - got dinged too much the only time I did. Never paid any additional fees (other than the one purchase) in Switzerland, Germany or Denmark (or India, Nepal and Sri Lanka). 4 years of traveling now and still happy with their service.
Apr 20, 2013 9:20 AM
8Time was pretty much all US debit cards did not charge any conversion Pirate and you just paid an ATM 'usage fee' such as you describe. However, in the last couple of years, that has changed and most are now charging a percentage for currency conversion. You may want to re-visit what Wells Fargo is currently doing.
This is a perfect example of what I said in #6. Things change all the time and to know what is best today you have to do the research to find out. Last year's or sometimes even last month's advice may be wrong.
Apr 20, 2013 9:50 AM
9You may want to re-visit what Wells Fargo is currently doing.
I do, before and after each transaction - the most recent in Switzerland 3 days ago. As imperfect as any currency conversion programs are, I get just pennies different from the rate shown on my Windows desktop, and of course the 5 buck fee. They oughta get something for the service, I suppose. But I got ripped badly using it at an SBB ticket machine (Bern train company) a couple years ago and since I operate on cash anyway, no big deal that I don`t use it for purchases.
I haven`t used my card in the States, since I haven`t been there in 4 years 2 months. I did talk to them the other day and have a new card on the way. They work nicely with me, this is the 2nd card I`ve had sent (to my US address, though they know I`m "away").
Apr 20, 2013 3:35 PM
10How many withdrawals at $5 per would you say you average in a year Pirate? If it were 50, that's $500 per year in fees. For that they should work nicely with you.
There are US banks where they charge NO ATM fee and no percentage fee. Bank of America was one but I don't know if they still don't. That would be a $500 savings. Or if you used one of the banks that charge no ATM fee but a 1% transaction fee you would need to withdraw $50,000 to hit $500 in fee.
You would of course probably need to be in the US for a visit at least to open a new account. You would also have to look at any other perks your current card provides vs. a new one. ie. free car rental insurance or air miles or whatever.
It all just goes to show that what card does make a difference though.
Apr 20, 2013 11:07 PM
Apr 22, 2013 8:03 AM
Apr 25, 2013 2:03 PM
13Capital One recently acquired Ing's savings/checking account business, so maybe they've changed.
But I believe if you get their checking account and use the debit card for ATM withdrawals they don't add any fees, includnig a 3% ForEx fee.
You would need to get another CREDIT card and Capital One definitely has one of those --- "Venture" --- that they do not charge a 3% conversion fee on.
Re: Bank of America --- if you use their allied bank in France, BNP Paribas, they will not charge you an ATM fee. Not sure about the ForEx fee.
May 7, 2013 4:36 AM
14You could look into getting a travel card which essentially works the same way as a debit card.
You load up cash onto the travel card via your debit account, which means you can't get into debt accidentally. Most of them don't charge for cash withdrawals at ATM machines or to use at restaurants. Some of them also offer cashback when you use it to book hotels or pay for meals etc.
Some do have "hidden fees" though so check the small print.
Here's one that I know of, but if you have a Google, I'm sure you'll be able to find other options:
Check out all our reviewed and recommended accommodation and book online.