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Old 07-10-2015, 15:25   #1
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Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

Would really appreciate feedback from cruisers who have had success setting up international bank accounts for access to funds, ATM's, debit and credit cards while traveling internationally. I am finding it very difficult. Thank you for all your responses.
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Old 07-10-2015, 15:27   #2
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

... if you are from the US Charles Schwab is mentioned often in the forum.

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Old 07-10-2015, 17:07   #3
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

You have not said where you are, where you are going or why you would wish to set up other accounts. As regular Oz cruisers through SE Asia, never saw the need to set up separate accounts, but others may have reasons for doing so.
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Old 09-10-2015, 00:29   #4
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

Not sure where you are but we use Bank of America -- some folks really hate them but to us they have been great. They really do watch what is going on and catch stuff - when we had a bank atm swallow our card and the bank would not give it back until BOA called them and emailed them BOA bent over backwards to us our card back -
We just tell BOA where we are going and they make everything better. Feel very safe with them.
OH and my debit and credit card were about to expire and they got them to us in Tunisia via express delivery - DHL or FedEx - I don't remember -
And if we have a problem we call them on Skype and they are always helpful.
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Old 09-10-2015, 02:54   #5
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

HSBC in HK are great ... if you need assistance you can email them and they will call you to sort it out.
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:10   #6
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Plus Ten.
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:32   #7
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

Schwab works great everywhere I have been, which is every where except the middle East. Open a Schwab investor checking, get the debit card for that account and every ATM I have ever tried it in works. Sometimes I have had to try a couple different ones, but that is usually the ATM, not the card. When it says you will be assessed a fee of XXXX do you accept, push yes and get your money. Schwab pays back all those fee's directly into the account. You can also get free wire transfers from that account to just about any business anywhere in the world if needed.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:31   #8
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

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... When it says you will be assessed a fee of XXXX do you accept, push yes and get your money. Schwab pays back all those fee's directly into the account...
Shwab’s unlimited ATM fee rebates apply to cash withdrawals using your debit card wherever it is accepted. ATM fee rebates do not apply to any fees other than those assessed for using an ATM to withdraw cash from your Schwab Bank account. Schwab Bank makes its best effort to identify those ATM fees eligible for rebate, based on information it receives from Visa and ATM operators. In the event that you have not received a rebate for a fee that you believe is eligible, please call a Schwab Bank Client Service Specialist for assistance at 888-403-9000. Schwab Bank reserves the right to modify or discontinue the ATM fee rebate at any time.
Online Checking Account with Free Checks and ATM Fee Rebates | Schwab Bank
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Old 13-10-2015, 09:20   #9
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

+1 re Schwab.
The couple of times I've had ATM issues in foreign lands, they have sorted them out on the phone immediately. Once while I was actually at the ATM and they could see exactly what MY error was in real time (buttons didn't line up with the prompts -- not in English!)
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Old 13-10-2015, 10:16   #10
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

We had good luck with Bank of America. But we learned to call them and tell them early that we would be in XYZ country so they would made a note on our account. We actually appreciated that, except for the first time it happened unexpectedly. Schwab sounds good though and we may use them when we go overseas next.
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Old 13-10-2015, 10:38   #11
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

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Would really appreciate feedback from cruisers who have had success setting up international bank accounts for access to funds, ATM's, debit and credit cards while traveling internationally. I am finding it very difficult. Thank you for all your responses.
If you are a US citizen, then staying with one of the US institutions noted above may be a good idea. If you have a foreign bank account, I think you have to disclose that on your tax return every year. No idea if that might create tedious scrutiny.
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Old 13-10-2015, 10:38   #12
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

I suggest multiple banks. That way, when one has a hiccup and you need money NOW you can get to it.


HSBC, despite being a global bank, had been such a problem for me I quit them.


In the Pacific, ANZ bank has branches and ATMs everywhere.
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Old 13-10-2015, 11:16   #13
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

I use both HSBC and Schwab to get cash from ATM's, handle bill paying, etc. Schwab has been great. HSBC used to be great, but they have changed in the last year or so and they would lose me as a customer if I didn't I have all my automatic bill paying set up with them. I've gotten rotten customer service for a year now, as a Premier HSBC client. I recommend Schwab for international banking.
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Old 13-10-2015, 11:35   #14
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

Gord, I don't understand your response to my post. I said no fee for cash withdrawal. "get your cash" ??? I have used my Schwab card in ATM's all around the world. Australia, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Tahiti, almost every country in Europe, South Africa, several Caribbean and South American countries, and I have NEVER not had a fee reimbursed.

My only reference to no fee was for getting ATM cash. But then again I don't use it for anything else. As for the wire transfer, all I said was you can get it from that account.
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Old 13-10-2015, 13:38   #15
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Re: Best International Banks for Accounts & ATMs

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HSBC, despite being a global bank, had been such a problem for me I quit them.
I quit them when they locked my account because of a suspected security breach. What? That's a good thing, isn't it? Well, yes, it would be... if they had told me they did it.

They had an e-mail address for me. They had a postal address for me. They had a phone number for me. But they didn't use any of these. They just locked the account and didn't bother to let me know. Three weeks later, when I needed to transfer some money I found out that I couldn't. I called to find out why and they said "Oh, back on such-and-such a date we detected some suspicious activity, so we locked the account."

"Did you send me any notice of that? Because I haven't received anything."

"No." [Followed by some lame excuse about why they didn't feel they needed to send out notification.]

The very first indication that there has been a problem with your account should NOT be when you need your money and you can't get to it! Bye-bye! Never going to do business with YOU again!
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