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International Transfer Fees
godsfshrmn
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Is there a credit card without an international transfer fee? I will be in Europe for 25 days and the 5% my bank charges will add up to a decent amount of money over that time period. Would you guys recommend I take several traveler’s checks and have those converted into Euros as I need them every couple days?

I am leaving from knoxville, tn and traveling for 25 days
Paris, Nice, Rome, Venice, Salzburg, Interlaken, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, Griesalp, Kandersteg, Munich, Paris
Requesting help with Itinerary, Sights
oldlady
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Don’t take travelers checks. They’re a pain to cash and you’ll lose on every single transaction.

Posted by Packer in a previous thread:
Quote:

I moved this reply so everyone will hopefully read it so everyone will learn and be prepared!
Please don’t ask legal banking questions to backpackers.
Call your bank directly and call VISA directly to find out all the fees first hand from the policy makers.
PLEASE NOTE TO ALL TRAVELERS that Each bank is different and many credit unions do not charge the 1%-3% transaction fees. (3% is $30.00 per $1,000.00USD spent in Europe).
Do NOT assume the answers given here are the same for your card – CALL YOUR BANK TODAY AND GET THE CORRECT ANSWERS FOR YOUR CARD.
If the customer service rep is not giving the information you need, kindly ask to speak to a supervisor or manager.
One female asked us about Gift Cards – CALL YOUR BANK!
Questions: VISA GIFT CARD (do again for your Credit Card)
Is there a limit one can place on a VISA gift card?
Is a person’s name printed on the card to prevent others from using it.
Can a VISA Gift Card purchased in the U.S. be used in Europe for all purchases, ie, hostels, restaurants, BARS, trains, museum admissions, etc.?
Can the VISA Gift Card be used at an ATM with the VISA logo?
Any fees added on to use as an ATM card?
What happens if gift card is lost or stolen?
Get phone numbers to call collect from Europe and ask if they have TOLL FREE/800 numbers to call from Europe?
When do I need to call you, the Bank/how far in advance to inform you that I will be using the card in Europe so that I do not get shut off for fraud/security alert/unusual transactions?
Can a replacement be shipped overnight to Europe?
Are there any Currency Transaction Fees or Foreign Transaction Fees when using a gift card in Europe?
Are there fees for minimum/small charges like 5.00, 10.00, 15.00 20.00?
(For example using it to buy a sandwich and a drink for less than $10.00)

Do us all a favor and ask the same questions for your credit card and ATM card and list the answers.
For ATM ask the following;
What happens if ATM card is lost or stolen?
Get phone numbers to call collect from Europe and ask if they have TOLL FREE/800 numbers to call from Europe?
When do I need to call you, the Bank/how far in advance to inform you that I will be using the card in Europe so that I do not get shut off for fraud/security alert/unusual transactions?
Can a replacement be shipped overnight to Europe?
Are there any Currency Transaction Fees or Foreign Transaction Fees when using a ATM card?
Are there any NON-BANK ATM charges. When you use your ATM at a different bank ATM, Post Office ATM, etc.
Do you have partner banks in Europe that will NOT charge the fees?
Any fees for minimum/small withdrawals/ like 20.00, 25.00, 30.00, 40.00 50.00???
Verify your pin # is 4 didgits.

Most banks now say that you should not sign the back of your card – write in SEE I.D.
Also place a piece of clear scotch tape over the 3-didgit security number on back so it does not wear off. If it does, you have to order a new card.
ATTN POSTERS: Please don’t confuse readers and give your answer, assumed answers or opinions to any of these questions unless you call your bank and post ALL your bank answers.

*1. Everybody’s credit card and debit card has different terms and conditions
2. Don’t rely on a bunch of backpackers for financial advice
3. Call and check the specific situation for your cards and financial institution or for any credit card you see that seems like a good deal*

lissa21
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godsfshrmn, I would suggest that you contact your bank first. When I visited 3 European countires last year, I was able to use certain ATM’s without being charged by the local bank or by my bank. You bank advisor should be able to provide you with a list of ATMs that you can use without having to pay a fee. Hope that helps.

I am leaving from New York City with $2500 for 10 days
Munich
I am traveling for 10 days
London, Reading, Brussels
Packer
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Thanks Old Lady. You saved me some work.
If CHASE bank is in your area, I have heard that they do not charge any fees. But who knows, they may use a higher rate of exchange so the fee/bank profit is built in. If you take Travelers Checks, you deserve to get ripped off and some one needs to slap you upside the head. T.C.‘s are no longer the way to go and you will most likely get charged way more than 5% fees when you exchange them, especially if you go to any Change Bueura other than American Express. When you go to Europe, walk up to 5 different Currency Exchange Outlets or shops and ask them if I change USD $100.00 cash/bank note, what is the rate of exchange, fees and commissions and how many Euros do I receive. Than ask if I give you a $100.00 USD Traveler’s Check, what is the rate of exchange, fees and commissions and how many Euros do I receive.. Than compare the 5 shops. You most likely will lose 10% or more on your exchange compared to Credit cards and withdrawals at ATM machines.

delfrio
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Here’s a few of the latest, but you should still call…

  • Capital One: 0% transaction fee. (Capital One not only doesn’t impose its own fee, but it also eats the 1% fee that Visa or MasterCard impose.)
  • Discover: 0% transaction fee (Changing to 2% as of May 1, 2009)
  • Pulaski Bank: 2%
  • Barclays/Juniper Bank: 2%-3%, depending on card
  • American Express: 2.7%
  • Bank of America: 3%
  • Chase: 3%
  • Citibank: 3%
  • GE Money 3%
  • HSBC: 3%
  • U.S. Bancorp (U.S. Bank): 3%
  • Wells Fargo: 3%
Don
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Just want to point out that Discover cards are useless in Europe.

oldlady
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Quote:
Just want to point out that Discover cards are useless in Europe.

and American Express isn’t very helpful to the budget traveler. High-end places accept American Express. Even if a place advertises American Express it may charge extra to use AmEx when Visa or Mastercard are accepted w/o additional charge.

rockadiva
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I have capital one and didn’t incur any charges…..however, I also RARELY used my credit card, as most places only accepted cash. My ATM was a lifesaver.

I am leaving from Houston, TEXAS!!!! with $1250 for 15 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Interlaken, Florence
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food
I am leaving from Houston, TEXAS with $4000 for 22 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Paris, Brussels
I am traveling for 20 days
Milan, London
Requesting help with Itinerary, Food, Sights