When traveling internationally you really have to plan months ahead not just in booking your rewards points but be able to strategize what cards you will take with you. You need to know way ahead of time so you can make sure you apply for those cards and have them in your wallet in time for overseas travel. A good credit card and ATM/Debit Card are two of the most important things to carry with you right after your passport.
If you have traveled to foreign countries you should now that ATM cards that carry foreign transaction fees can really add up and sometimes be shockingly high. While I normally prefer to use my credit cards to earn points with a no international transaction fee credit card there are some situations you must use cash abroad. The best way to get cash is to use the ATM and not any kind of currency exchange that you see lined up near the baggage claim and along the streets of many tourist destinations.
Capital One 360 Checking Debit Card
You may remember this account which changed over from what used to be the ING Direct Electric Orange. Capital One 360 debit card no longer charges any Foreign Transaction Fees since the change. Comparable cards charge at least 3% charge to this 0%. Keep in mind that the ATM you use may issue a surcharge which is generally a flat fee. This tops our list for No Foreign Transaction Fee debit cards.
Schwab Checking Debit Card
The Schwab checking account claims it gives unlimited fee rebates from any ATM worldwide and no foreign transaction fees. There are no minimums on the account but does require a link to a Schwab investment account which also does not currently have minimums. This is also another great option for international travelers but the hassle of the investment account along with checking makes it come in at number two.
Bank of America Checking Debit Card
BOA is a member of the Global ATM Alliance so it works as a saving grace for those of you who need cash abroad and avoiding those high ATM fees. Below are the banks who are members of the Global ATM Alliance. These are valid only for the country listed at the following banks ATMs:
Barclays (Only in United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Pakistan, Gibraltar, Ghana, Kenya, and other countries in Africa)
BNP Paribas (Only in France)
BNP Paribas Fortis (Only in Belgium)
BNL d’Italia (Only in Italy)
Deutsche Bank (Only in Germany, Poland, Belgium, India, Spain and Portugal)
China Construction Bank (For China Mainland Only)
Scotiabank (For Canada, Caribbean, Peru, Chile and Mexico)
Westpac (For Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands)
Westpac Banking Corporation (For Australia, Fiji, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu)
Westpac New Zealand Limited (Only New Zealand)
Westpac Bank – PNG – Limited (Only Papua New Guinea)
Westpac Bank Samoa Limited (Samoa)
Westpac Bank of Tonga (Tonga)
ABSA (South Africa)
So you can basically have a Bank of America checking account and use their debit card in places such as Ukraine using the bank on the list above and be charged the daily exchange rate and no additional fee.