The 14 Best Checking Accounts To Avoid International ATM Withdrawal Fees

International ATM Fees

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No one enjoys being charged fees to withdraw cash while abroad, and this can sting particularly when you’re hit with not just a withdrawal fee from the issuing ATM, but also your bank.

With international ATM withdrawal fees usually around $3-5 per use, plus a percentage-based foreign transaction fee, the cost of accessing your own money when traveling can seriously add up.

Fortunately, there are banks out there that don’t charge foreign transaction fees, that will reimburse you for any fees incurred, or that charge lower fees in comparison to other banks.

Here’s a list of great checking accounts or banks to consider that help you avoid those international withdrawal fees.

The Best Checking Accounts to Avoid International ATM Withdrawal Fees

1) Chase Bank

In general, Chase charges $5 for international cash withdrawals plus a 3% foreign transaction fee. For Chase Premier Plus Checking℠ customers, the $5 withdrawal fee will be refunded for up to 4 withdrawals within a statement period, but this does not include a rebate for any fees incurred from the ATM issuer.

Chase Sapphire Checking customers do not incur any fees, including foreign transaction fees, for withdrawing cash from an ATM abroad. Chase attempts to identify and refund any charges from ATM issuers, but can also be contacted to request a refund if they didn’t identify these fees initially.

chase bank
Chase’s popular “Sapphire Checking” account doesn’t charge any international fees if you withdraw from an ATM abroad. Image credit: Shutterstock.com

2) Ally Bank® – Interest Checking Account

When withdrawing cash from an international ATM, the Ally Interest Checking Account charges a very reasonable rate of 1%, with the standard being 3%. If withdrawing from an AllPoint® ATM, then no ATM surcharge would apply.

Sometimes a surcharge will still display on the ATM screen. However, Ally recommends that customers should proceed with the transaction and the surcharge will not be issued, or it will be refunded within 2 days.

The Ally Interest Checking Account does not require a minimum opening balance and there are no monthly maintenance fees.

3) Aspiration – Spend & Save Account

With the Aspiration Spend & Save online checking account, there are no international ATM fees charged when using both network and non-network ATMs, even traveling worldwide.

Aspiration’s fine print does state that a 1% foreign transaction fee is applicable; however, it’s not clear whether this is applicable to ATM withdrawals or for debit card transactions. For any ATM issuer fees incurred, these fees are reimbursed within 2-3 days of the withdrawal.

To open an account, there is a $10 minimum opening balance and no monthly maintenance fee.

Hot Tip: Also avoid paying fee’s when using your cards abroad! See our in-depth article on the best credit cards that have no foreign transaction fees.

4) Capital One 360 Checking Account

If you have a Capital One 360 Checking® account, then you will benefit from no transaction fees for withdrawing cash abroad.

This is only applicable to Capital One 360 customers who set up a checking account online. If you set up a regular account with a physical branch, then you would incur foreign transaction fees on ATM withdrawals. There are no monthly service fees or minimum account balance requirements. You may still incur a flat usage fee from the issuing bank’s ATM, but for some customers, Capital One may reimburse up to $15 per statement month.

If you want to ensure you avoid ATM usage fees, then you can use your Capital One debit card at an AllPoint® ATM, available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Australia, and Mexico.

5) Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account

With the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® account, you receive unlimited rebates for withdrawing cash from international ATMs when using the Schwab Bank Visa® Platinum Debit Card. You can use any bank or ATM network, so this saves the hassle of tracking down a particular ATM when you’re traveling.

The bank will issue a rebate at the end of the month for any ATM fees incurred relating to cash withdrawals, and if you believe a fee is eligible but wasn’t identified by the bank, then you can have Schwab review the charge by calling a Client Service Specialist at 1-888‐403‐9000.

There are no monthly fees or minimum balances required to open the checking account and your account will be linked to a Schwab One® brokerage account, but again, no fees are incurred for this account.

6) Citibank

Citibank has an international ATM network spanning 40 countries where Citibank customers can withdraw cash without incurring any foreign transaction or withdrawal fees. Withdrawals must be made from Citibank branded ATMs.

However, for any non-network withdrawals, any fees incurred will be reimbursed to Citigold® customers maintaining an average of $200,000 in eligible linked deposit, investment, and retirement accounts.

CitiBank
Citigold® customers with high average balances ($200k+) won’t be charged any ATM withdrawal fees when abroad, even if the ATM is outside of Citi’s network. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

7) Discover Bank

Discover Bank does not charge any foreign transaction fees when using international ATMs. However, the bank has limited ATM coverage outside of the U.S..

Debit cards are accepted at ATMs displaying the Discover, Pulse, or Diners Club International logos. Unfortunately, most international ATMs are not part of the surcharge-free network, so a usage fee would be incurred from the ATM issuer.

8) Fidelity Cash Management Account

The Fidelity® Cash Management Account gives customers free ATM withdrawals worldwide, even reimbursing any ATM issuing fees at the end of the statement month.

Fidelity’s website is a little misleading as a disclaimer states that a 1% transaction fee is chargeable; however, actual users have experienced that this applies only to debit card transactions, not ATM withdrawals.

No minimum opening balances or monthly service fees apply to a Fidelity Cash Management account.

9) First Republic Bank’s ATM Rebate Checking Account

First Republic Bank’s popular ATM Rebate Checking account gives customers access to over 800,000 fee-free ATMs worldwide. There is no limit to the number of monthly withdrawals, and First Republic will also reimburse customers if they do incur any usage fees when withdrawing cash abroad.

The account requires a $500 opening balance and a $3,500 minimum average must be maintained; otherwise, a $25 monthly fee will be charged.

10) HSBC Bank

HSBC customers benefit from the bank’s expansive global network with branches and ATMs located worldwide. When using most HSBC-branded ATMs internationally, all customers are not charged ATM withdrawal fees; however, a foreign transaction fee of 3% would apply.

This 3% transaction fee is waived for HSBC Premier checking account customers, with eligibility being a $100,000 maintained balance in combined deposit accounts and investments, or a qualifying commercial balance. If the requirements are not met, then a $50 monthly service fee would apply.

11) PNC Bank

PNC Bank charges a $5 fee for foreign ATM withdrawals and $3 for withdrawals in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, plus a 3% transaction fee of the amount withdrawn. These fees are waived for some customers.

For Performance Spend customers, fees will be reimbursed for 4 withdrawals and up to $10 per statement period on ATM surcharges incurred by other financial institutions. This account requires a $25 opening deposit plus a $10,000 average monthly balance across all PNC linked accounts or $2,000 in qualifying direct deposits. Failing that, then a monthly fee of $15 applies.

For Performance Select customers, transaction fees will be reimbursed for unlimited withdrawals and up to $20 per statement period on ATM surcharges incurred by other financial institutions. There is no minimum opening deposit is required if the account is opened online ($25 required otherwise.) Monthly linked account balances must average $25,000 or $5,000 in qualifying direct deposits, or a $25 monthly fee will be charged.

12) TD Bank

TD Bank charges a standard $2.50 fee for withdrawing cash from non-TD ATMs with no additional foreign transaction fees. This flat fee is waived for TD Premier Checking℠ and TD Relationship Checking℠ accounts that maintain an average monthly balance of $2,500.

The ATM issuing the cash may still impose a usage fee for withdrawals or balance checks, and these may be reimbursed for some customers. TD branded ATMs can be found in the U.S. and Canada.

13) USAA

With a USAA® checking account, you will be charged a $2 non-network fee plus a 1% transaction fee for withdrawing cash at an international ATM.

Although there are no waived options for specific account holders, these fees are quite low in comparison to other charging banks. Please note that a USAA account is limited to U.S. military members and their eligible family members.

14) Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo charges a flat $5 fee for withdrawing cash from international ATMs; however, this fee is waived for Portfolio by Wells Fargo® checking account holders with unlimited non-network ATM withdrawals. The monthly service fee for this account is $30 unless $25,000 is maintained across linked checking, savings, time accounts/CDs, or FDIC-insured IRA accounts. Alternatively, $50,000 must be maintained in qualifying linked bank, brokerage, and credit balances.

Preferred Checking account holders benefit from 1 fee-free withdrawal per statement period with subsequent withdrawals incurring the $5 fee.

Both of these accounts require a $25 minimum opening deposit.

5 Tips to Avoid ATM Withdrawal Fees

A bit of research and planning will save you from paying unnecessary international ATM charges. Consider how often, and for how long, you are likely to travel every month. If you travel each month, but for short periods, then you may be satisfied with an account that reimburses you for fees up to a certain amount for each statement month.

Flat-fees Versus Percentage Fees

If you’re traveling for longer periods or are planning to withdraw large amounts of cash, then you may want to choose a bank with a flat fee rather than a percentage transaction fee. For example, if you’re looking to withdraw $500, then a flat $2.50 flat fee with TD Bank is far more beneficial than a 3% transaction fee, which would be $15.

On the other hand, if you only plan to withdraw small amounts of cash, then the percentage fee could be more cost-effective for you.

Worldwide ATM Coverage

If you regularly travel to a particular country, then before you open a checking account, research which banks have ATM availability there. Some banks may offer international ATM coverage, so by planning ahead, you get to avoid any nasty surprises for ATM surcharges.

Use an ATM Locator

Use an ATM locator to familiarize yourself with your nearest surcharge-free ATM. This will save you time searching for compatible ATMs when on your travels and avoid having to use a high-fee ATM for urgent cash.

Credit Cards Versus Debit Cards

Never use a credit card for cash withdrawals from an ATM as these will always incur higher withdrawal fees than your debit card.

Dynamic Currency Conversion Fees

Always withdraw cash in the local currency as you’ll avoid dynamic currency conversion fees from your bank. Choosing to process the transaction in your home currency, rather than the local currency, means your bank can use an unfavorable rate rather than the general rate of exchange.

Bottom Line: Think about how much you travel, where you travel, and how much you think you’d be withdrawing regularly when deciding on which account is best for you. 

Final Thoughts

The best checking account for you will depend on your financial circumstances; example being  whether you have a large enough balance to qualify for a premium account that will carry international ATM reimbursement, in addition to various other benefits.

If you’re looking to open a checking account purely for international ATM purposes, then a Capital One 360 or Schwab Bank account makes the most sense with no monthly fees or minimum account balance requirements. A Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® account comes with the additional benefit of being able to withdraw fee-free at any non-network ATM.


Featured Image: Image courtesy of pixabay.com.

FAQ

Which ATM card is best for international?

The Visa® Platinum Debit Card with a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® account gives you free international ATM withdrawals at any non-network ATM. There are no ATM withdrawal costs or foreign transaction fees assessed by Charles Schwab and the bank also reimburses any fees assessed by the ATM provider.

Does Charles Schwab refund ATM fees?

With a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® account, customers can withdraw cash from an international ATM without incurring a foreign transaction fee. The bank also issues a refund every month for any ATM withdrawal fees incurred from the issuing ATM.

Does Charles Schwab charge a foreign transaction fee?

When withdrawing cash from an international ATM, the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® account does not charge a foreign transaction fee and reimburses customers for any fees incurred for withdrawing cash from a non-network ATM.

Does Capital One charge foreign ATM fees?

With a Capital One 360 Checking® account, there are no foreign transaction fees for withdrawing cash from an ATM abroad. You may still be charged a withdrawal fee from the issuing ATM provider and these may be reimbursed up to $15 per month for some eligible customers. To avoid ATM usage fees, then use your debit card in an AllPoint ATM available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Australia, and Mexico.

Erin Miller

About Erin Miller

Erin currently maintains her status as Alex's adventure-seeking partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points through content creation & relationship management.
She caught the travel bug just after high school when her grandmother took her on a two-week, whirlwind trip around Europe. That was that - she's been gallivanting around the globe ever since (22 countries & counting)!

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

4 comments

  1. Lindsey Miller · July 11, 2019 · Reply

    Have you actually opened and used each one of these accounts yourself before writing this? And have you kept up with the Charles Schwab account? I left my money in my account after my last trip, and within 6 months, they’d invested and lost all $700 dollars worth of my money, even though I didn’t opt in to a lot of the trade deals in the paperwork. I wouldn’t use them unless you pull your money out right after and your trip is less than 2 months long, tops. Not FDIC backed for a reason. Anything that asks you to invest to give you an account that isn’t insured is there to take your money away from you. Might as well pay those atm withdrawal fees along the way.

    • Catherine Luther · July 12, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Lindsey,

      Sorry to hear of your negative experience with Charles Schwab. Please be aware that we are not affiliated with Charles Schwab in any way so if you would like to send any feedback, please do so by contacting them directly. The Schwab Bank High Yield investor Checking account is FDIC covered as detailed here on the Charles Schwab website.

  2. Peter Krass · July 25, 2019 · Reply

    Sounds like the person above maybe didn’t put their money into the checking but left it in the brokerage or something? Also not sure how it got invested without any instructions to do so.

    You can’t lose money in a checking account. I have the brokerage account just sitting there empty never even funded to use the checking and it works pretty well.

    Also saw that Betterment has a waitlist out for a checking account that won’t have international fees and reimburses for ATMs. Might be a simpler option to get up and running with that and I think I read they won’t be pulling credit on it either.

    • Catherine Luther · July 25, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Peter,

      Yes, it sounds like that may be the case. Thanks for the information on Betterment, we know it’s under a little scrutiny at the moment but we’ll certainly be keeping an eye this checking account.

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