straight ballin

The best bank for travelers

straight ballinThe best way to save tons of money on the road is by automating it. If you never have to think about it or make a decision in the middle of the chaos that adventure brings, you spend much less. One of the best ways to do exactly this so you can start saving now and never think about it again is constantly overlooked.


Change your bank

Banks are notorious for charging ridiculous fees constantly. Buying something overseas? Fees. Using someone else’s ATM? More fees. Calling customer support about so many fees? Yep. Another fee.

It’s painful and destroys any remaining trust people have in banks. Feeling like the person responsible for your money is constantly trying to screw you out of it is no way to go through life. Refuse to deal with any of the banks known for shady dealings. Over the course of years, you will save thousands of dollars by avoiding their nefarious practices.

If you are planning to travel, there’s one that goes above and beyond the others to be the best. Charles Schwab. In all the years I’ve been their customer, I have never been charged a single fee. In fact, they have paid for fees that other banks have charged me. They decided that rather than pouring their money into setting up a worldwide network of ATMs, they would just reimburse you every ATM fee instead.

[alert-note] Using a foreign ATM with an $8 surcharge? Boom. Free. [/alert-note]

[alert-note] Tired of hunting around cities for your specific brand of ATM? Just pick the closest one, it’s free. [/alert-note]

[alert-note] Want to buy something in a foreign currency? They even take care of that, where most companies charge 3% of everything you buy. [/alert-note]

This one simple adjustment has easily saved me thousands of dollars over the years, with much more to come. Every time I’ve called them for help or stopped by a branch, they’ve been extremely helpful and friendly. It has all the benefits, without any of the fees or painful red tape you have come to expect from banks.

The next time you find yourself staring down the only ATM in a small foreign town, get your cash without paying even more every time. Do yourself a favor and switch over to Schwab. Now. It’s a simple decision that could pay off thousands.






4 responses to “The best bank for travelers”

  1. Cherie @Technomadia Avatar

    Schwab definitely does have some very attractive nomad features. However, their corporate policies are very anti-nomadic.

    Earlier this year, after my father passed away – my mother tried to add me to her accounts there as a power of attorney – so that I can handle her affairs should I need to in the future.

    Schwab has taken to over-extending the language of the Patriot Act for verification – and you MUST physically live somewhere with a verifiable address to be on any account there. While the Patriot Act specifically allows you to use a family member’s address for account verification, Schwab wants to verify you actually live there.

    While we have a legal permanent address at a traveler’s mail forwarding service that works for our taxes, driver’s license, vehicle registration, voting, etc. – Schwab will not accept it. And they will not accept me using anyone else’s address unless I switch at least two utility bills to that address too.

    I took the issue all the way to their legal department, and got no where. Schwab does not want us ‘homeless nomads’ as their customers.

    1. Chris Dame Avatar

      Wow I’m sorry to hear that. I’m not sure what happened, though I have successfully done exactly what you are talking about. I have a permanent mailing address I just use for everything, and didn’t have an issue. They never asked for a utility bill or anything aside from my ID, which was out of state.

      1. Cherie @Technomadia Avatar

        Well.. if/when they do their next Patriot Act audit on addresses, and you have a mail forwarding service as your permanent address (which the act doesn’t allow)… you could get caught in it as well. Apparently switching from a mail forwarding service to a residential address triggers their additional need for documentation proving you actually live there or somewhere.

  2. Graham Avatar

    You can add to the list of pluses – incoming wire transfer = free

    Still, I am keeping my small town bank – you should know them Chris 😉 – as my primary bank account. They are so fast and friendly when I am in a bind overseas. They know me by name and take the extra mile to send out new cards, resolve fraud issues, etc fast.

    These Schwab accounts are definitely better than Chase whom charged my girlfriend up to 15 bucks per ATM withdrawl in Peru.

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