I was wondering if anyone knew if they tack on a 10% foreign transaction fee for this debit card- Schwab Bank High Yield

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I am travelling overseas and already have a credit card with no foreign transaction fee. I heard about Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account, which touts no ATM fees(they reimberse). However, a nerdwallet thread that I came upon while reading up on it made the claim that they charge a foreign currency conversion fee exceeding 10% for cash withdrawals.(https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/debit-card-foreign-trans... Is this correct?

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darthmaul9d9 said:   I am travelling overseas and already have a credit card with no foreign transaction fee. I heard about Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account, which touts no ATM fees(they reimberse). However, a nerdwallet thread that I came upon while reading up on it made the claim that they charge a foreign currency conversion fee exceeding 10% for cash withdrawals.(https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/debit-card-foreign-transaction-international-atm-fees/) Is this correct?
Not in my experience. The article makes no such claim. Are you referring to a comment on that article made in all CAPS? Ignore that.
ETA: On a related note, do not opt for dynamic currency conversion if that option is offered (by a merchant or an ATM). Let it be billed in the local currency and let Visa(or MC) do the conversion for you.

fwuser12 said:   
darthmaul9d9 said:   I am travelling overseas and already have a credit card with no foreign transaction fee. I heard about Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account, which touts no ATM fees(they reimberse). However, a nerdwallet thread that I came upon while reading up on it made the claim that they charge a foreign currency conversion fee exceeding 10% for cash withdrawals.(https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/debit-card-foreign-transaction-international-atm-fees/) Is this correct?
Not in my experience. The article makes no such claim. Are you referring to a comment on that article made in all CAPS? Ignore that.


Never happened to me.

I've had that account for over 8 years, many int'l cash withdrawals, never a fee of any kind.

And to emphasize what fwuser12 said, avoid DCC (dynamic currency conversion), always withdraw in the local currency, never opt for the transaction to be done in USD.

Edited to add: I scanned that web page, and the comments contain some outlandishly incorrect assertions. I would not go by info in the comments.

FWIW, I use Schwab, Fidelity, and Cap One High Yield Checking for foreign currency withdrawals. No FTF on any of these, and I always get within 0.25 - 0.40% or less of the posted exchange rate. I have noticed that the Cap One Mastercard gives consistently better exchange rate than the Visas from Schwab and Fidelity.

Yes, it was the comment in all caps. Not exactly the most reliable type of comment, but figured it was worth investigating. He was saying it was baked into the conversions. I have a capital one and the new Amazon 5% credit card with no FTF, but figured that having a debit card Handy with no fees for withdrawals would be nice too!

There is a theory bandied about here on FWF that Visa has worse FX rates than MasterCard or Amex, but the truth is that which network has better rates depends on the day, currency, and other stuff. There are some currencies where Visa is regularly better, there are some where MC is regularly better, ultimately though, unless you are going to travel extremely extensively, all of the networks will give you a 'good' rate.

I don't think anybody has seen anyone that messes with the network conversion rates beyond adding any applicable FTF. Schwab will charge your account the Visa rate for the day/currency, and that's it.

See https://usa.visa.com/support/consumer/travel-support/exchange-ra... or https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/get-support/convert-cu... for the appropriate rates and you can historically see which network is better for your particular country. (Amex does not publish their rates.)

gergles said:   There is a theory bandied about here on FWF that Visa has worse FX rates than MasterCard or Amex, but the truth is that which network has better rates depends on the day, currency, and other stuff. There are some currencies where Visa is regularly better, there are some where MC is regularly better, ultimately though, unless you are going to travel extremely extensively, all of the networks will give you a 'good' rate.

I don't think anybody has seen anyone that messes with the network conversion rates beyond adding any applicable FTF. Schwab will charge your account the Visa rate for the day/currency, and that's it.

See https://usa.visa.com/support/consumer/travel-support/exchange-rate-calculator.html/or https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/get-support/convert-currency.htmlfor the appropriate rates and you can historically see which network is better for your particular country. (Amex does not publish their rates.)

Thanks for the links, good info.

I know it is a theory, but in my experience, withdrawing euros in W Europe only, my Cap One MC debit always gives better rates than Schwab or Fidelity Visa debit. I tested this many times, over the course of several years. One ATM, two withdrawals seconds apart. The last test was at MAD (Madrid Barajas airport) on 5 Nov 2015. 100 w/ Cap One MC was $108.46, Schwab Visa was $109.72. I assume that the difference is MC vs Visa, but am open to other explanations.

Since then I've given up testing as the results were always the same, and now use Cap One MC exclusively and only carry Schwab for backup.

For credit cards, I carry both Cap One MC and Cap One Visa. The MC seems to give a better exchange rate, but it's harder to do precise testing (different merchants, processing networks, etc.).

As always, YMMV!

UncaMikey said:   I know it is a theory, but in my experience, withdrawing euros in W Europe only, my Cap One MC debit always gives better rates than Schwab or Fidelity Visa debit. I tested this many times, over the course of several years. One ATM, two withdrawals seconds apart.

I have observed the same in my (relatively) limited experience. One was, as you described, with same ATM, consecutive withdrawals with Cap1 and Schwab; Cap1 gave a slightly better rate. The differences were small not not worry much but it is good to know that same has been observed by others and more frequently.



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