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Traveling 2 weeks internationally.. is a hard credit pull for the Schwab checking account worth it?

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I have Fidelity Cash Management account which also has no ATM fees worldwide that I can withdraw local currency from. However, only the Schwab checking account seems to have no foreign transaction fee for using the card abroad for non-ATM transactions. It requires a hard credit pull to open. Is it worth it? I'm traveling to 3 different countries over a span of 15 days. Any other related tips for international traveling?

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Maybe not just for this trip, but you can keep the account forever.

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You need redundant ways of getting money when you're traveling. Cards get lost, stolen and locked out.

Also I wouldn't recommend using your ATM Debit card for anything but ATM use if at all possible. Good No Fee CCs should be used anywhere else so you can leave the ATM card in the safe at the hotel.

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Would it be better to open a no foreign transaction fee CC like Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card instead? I can access ATM for cash with no fee through my Fidelity Cash Management account. Not sure I have any need for a Schwab checking account over a no fee CC on second thought since there will be a hard credit pull for either

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indebted said:   Would it be better to open a no foreign transaction fee CC like Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card instead? I can access ATM for cash with no fee through my Fidelity Cash Management account. Not sure I have any need for a Schwab checking account over a no fee CC on second thought since there will be a hard credit pull for either
  If you already have high credit score and not going to say apply for a mortgage in the near future, dont sweat it for a Schwab credit pull. Just do it.Get both if you want.
As pointed out earlier, it is better to have a backup option when you are traveling internationally.

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I use my Fidelity debit card and withdraw cash at the ATM when I arrive. I try to pay cash for everything, so I don't come home to a surprise bill. I do bring with my my Capital One credit card and now Amazon credit card, both of which have no foreign transaction fees. Haven't had any problems traveling to 20+ countries using my Fidelity ATM card.

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The only issue with the Fidelity debit card is that they charge a 1% foreign transaction fee.

I guess over the years that 1% could add up, so between that and the benefits of having a backup card... having the Schwab and Fidelity cards would make sense.

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Do NOT use a DEBIT card for non-ATM transactions. Use credit cards.

All Capital One cards have no FX fee. Quicksilver is best due to no AF and 1.5% cash back. Spark has AF, but gives 2% cash back or 2x points, so depends on how much you spend.

The standard chip+signature cards issued in the USA may not work at some places in Europe, so you might need a chip+PIN card. All Barclays cards should have this.

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If you already have a no-fee international ATM/debit card, there is no need for another one. I do second scripta's advice about using that card only for ATM withdrawals and getting a no foreign transaction fee credit card for everything else. Since you don't already have one and are concerned about the hard pull, I would focus on one that has at least $500 worth of value in a sign up bonus. If you're not planning on travelling again soon, Chase and Citi wouldn't be my first choice. I'd probably go with Barclay Card Arrival Plus. Use it to pay for your hotels and you'll be able to redeem the $500 sign up bonus against those travel expenses.

If you do decide to get the Schwab account, make sure you get a referral and get the sign up bonus.

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slappycakes said:   The only issue with the Fidelity debit card is that they charge a 1% foreign transaction fee.

I guess over the years that 1% could add up, so between that and the benefits of having a backup card... having the Schwab and Fidelity cards would make sense.

  I know the Fidelity T&C say 1%, but I've never seen it. But, it's been 4 yrs since I last used the Fidelity debit card internationally, switched to Schwab and CapOne (High Yield Checking). 

Fidelity is my primary financial institution, but I set up a Schwab checking acct back in the Schwab Visa days. It's proven to be very useful, not just for int'l ATM. I keep a few hundred $$ in it for cash transactions, PayPal in/out, IRS pmts/refunds, writing the occasional check, etc, without having to give anyone my primary core acct # and info at Fidelity.

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I love Schwab.Have had it for over a decade.

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UncaMikey said:     I know the Fidelity T&C say 1%, but I've never seen it. But, it's been 4 yrs since I last used the Fidelity debit card internationally, switched to Schwab and CapOne (High Yield Checking). 
 

  The T&C does not make this clear but I believe the 1% is only when used for a purchase. I know I have done a number of international ATM withdrawals and the total has always appeared to match the daily Visa exchange rate with nothing added.
Never tried to use it for a purchase to confirm if that would actually get hit with 1%. As others have said, use a credit card for that.

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Update: I ended up applying for the Capital One Quicksilver CC that was mentioned in this thread and got approved for $15K limit. There was a $200 sign-up bonus for it if I spend over $1K within 3 months so I'll be using this card solely during the international trip and getting cash through the ATM from my existing Fidelity cash account.

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It was worth it for me. I carry Fidelity and Schwab ATM cards all the time internationally. I like having a backup. Hard pull concerns are overrated imo.

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I opted for www.aspiration.com as a bank account to avoid the hard pull. I've only had it a few months and used it almost exclusively for ATM withdraws overseas. I have checked many of my transactions and it's around a half percent fee. I figure even if I withdraw $20k (not likely) I'm paying only $100 for that. I'm ok with that.

Now, Schwab has a higher daily withdraw limit (but I haven't called Aspiration to ask them about raising it...haven't needed it)
Schwab has a longer history of doing the ATM rebates. It's probably going to continue
Schwab is a VISA I think and Aspiration is a MASTERCARD which is why I'm thinking of getting both (for redundancy).

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if you already have a debt card which allows for no fee withdrawals then I would use the hard pull for a cc with no foreign transactions fees plus a hefty opening bonus. As others said above, only use the debt card at ATMs, use the cc everywhere else (although there are quite a few places in Germany and elsewhere on the Continent which are cash only).

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If this is a rare, or once in a lifetime international trip, I wouldn't get too worked up about saving what may be a minimal amount of money in trying to get the best exchange rate from a new possible card. Just take your trip with what cards you have and enjoy your travels. Any money you might save will make no difference over the course of your life. If international travel will be happening often, then research this.

One more thing:  Notify the card issuers you plan on using of your trip.  They do get suspicious of international charges out of the blue, and may block your account(s).

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