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Old 04-08-2011, 05:03   #16
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

Thanks very much everyone.

So the list is as follows:
Edward Jones Brokerage
Schwab Banking Division
HSBC (Premier Account)
Citibank
Capital One
and I’m going to throw one more into the mix because it was recommended to me…
ScottTrade

To reiterate, I’m looking for a safe investment, maybe bond funds, that pay a monthly dividend into a savings account with has a no-charge ATM attached to it that will allow me to access my funds anywhere in the world.

I’ll start researching these but will welcome further comments and discussion.

Bryan
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:11   #17
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

Nordea (scandinavian bank) bank account. I can take care of all transferes in their internet service, pay my bils, my Credit Card balance etc, manage my investments.
I get cash with Visa Electron or MasterCard from any ATM or bank abroad..
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:28   #18
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

set up your credit card to be payable electronically from your bank account and you can do it all on the web. We did this with a citibank credit card and it worked fine. You can maintain a relatively low credit limit so there isnt much damage if your card gets stolen and just transfer the money from your bank account into the card as needed via the web.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:51   #19
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

I have funds invested in Merrill Lynch/Bank of America with a CMA account where my Social Security payment is direct deposited into a debit account
This debit account was accessible from any ATM found in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas. I never had any problems finding ATMS. Local currancy was dispensed at $3 US per transaction. Currently there is a $3 charge to extract money from Wells Fargo's ATMS in Washington state.
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Old 02-09-2011, 13:51   #20
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

As a follow-up to my posting, I contacted the following investment companies by e-mail from my location in the Dominican Republic.

Fidelity Investments: I got a good response from these folks describing several of their investment funds. There was lots of information and they provided links to their website making things easy for me to follow up. Definitely deserves more study even though they do not absorb Visa/MasterCard fees. Fidelity doesn’t charge a fee but made no mention of local charges from foreign banks or money exchange fees but I may find further information thru one of their weblinks.

Edward Jones”: Didn’t answer any of my questions (though they were very preliminary in nature and there was no need for confidentiality), and provided no information. Wanted me to contact their office. A salesman (a poor one), probably working on commission.

Charles Schwab: Tried to reach me using the dummy phone number they made me come up with for the e-mail form provided on their website. It’s a “required field” or you can’t send the e-mail. (Why does everyone simply assume you have a telephone?) Anyway they couldn’t reach me, duh???? …no phone on the boat! The person trying to contact me provided no answers to my questions and seemed more interested in my citizenship than in my financial requirements. Another salesman.

Citibank: Sent back an automatic response… no information here! Told me to drop by my local branch in person. Sure! Like I’m going to fly all the way back to the States just to give them my money!

Scottrade: I got a fair amount of good information about the company and they took the time to answer my questions but their ATM does not cover local bank fees or the Visa fee. There isn’t a fee to exchange money. Scottrade was recommended by a fellow cruiser who has been outside the US for some ten years now, so it came as a bit of a surprise to read: “If you will be outside of the US longer than 6 months at one time, we will not be able to maintain your account at Scottrade.”

HSBC Bank: I e-mailed them twice from their website and despite their promise that I would get a return response within 48 hours, I never heard back from them.


So that’s where things stand at present. All in all, I thought, a pretty lousy showing from our financial institutions. Understandably, I need to do more work here, but being one of my priorities is “GREAT” customer service, most of these guys won’t cut it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 14:20   #21
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

we are both on ss and have direct deposit to our accounts - the admiral to merrill lynch and the captain to bank of america
we have use our debit cards all over the eastern carib with no issue and very few fees and those encountered were minimal -
the capt did make a mistake in getting rid of his master card and figured the amex card would be great - listened to too many commericals i guess as it is almost useless out here - no one wants it as the fees they pay are too high
we do not have a lot of cash on board nor do we carry a lot when we travel - we spent 20+ days inland guatemala and hit atms all over the country with no issue
BUT - you must go on line occassionally and check you transactions as a lot of scams down here -

just our thoughts
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Old 08-09-2011, 18:06   #22
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

Just wondering if you have an update on this post since it's been a few months?

How about ING?
The only bad thing I can say about them is that they do not do wire transfers.
Any long timers have some input on the necesity of doing these?
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Old 08-09-2011, 19:27   #23
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

Some of the free online checking/savings accounts (ING, Discover Bank, Amex has one, etc.) have various offers saying they'll reimburse any ATM fees, you might contact a few to see what their terms and limits are, if you don't find a deal from one of the brokerage houses.

"Free" also varies with the balance of your account, and of course, if you use ATMs routinely to get small amounts of cash, sure the fees will kill you.
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Old 17-09-2011, 14:01   #24
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

Thanks for the suggestion. I e-mailed ING Bank and here’s what they told me…

“While we'd love to help you through this next leg of your journey, [ING] ShareBuilder is currently licensed to do business in the 50 United States. You would not be able to fund your account or place trades while traveling abroad.”

Well at least they e-mailed me back which is more than HSBC Bank did!!!!

Bryan
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Old 17-09-2011, 18:00   #25
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

" licensed to do business in the 50 United States. "
Damn, I guess that means they can't serve UN personnel in NY, diplomats in embassies elsewhere, or Puerto Ricans*, or Congressmen in DC either.

* and the 10 other 'insular possessions' that are not States.

Or the Indian Reservations.
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Old 17-09-2011, 18:41   #26
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

A Capital One money market account with an ATM card offers unlimited ATM withdrawals and no foreign transaction fees. The following are a list of banks which you can use that Capitol One Card at and not incur any out of network service charges as long as you also maintain an account (minimal checking is just fine) at one of these listed banks:

Bank of America
Barclays (England, Spain, Portugal)
BNP Paribas (France)
China Construction Bank
Deutsche Bank (Germany, Czech, Spain, Italy, Portugal)
Santander Serfin (Mexico)
Scotiabank (Canada, Carribean, Mexico)
Westpac (Australia, NZ, South Pacific)
ABSA (South Africa)
UkrSibbank (Ukraine, Russia)

So open an account at one of the above banks and, at HSBC; then use either of those accounts to transfer funds to your Capitol One moneymarket ATM account for funds withdrawal - and you won't get dinged with foreign transaction fees.
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Old 17-09-2011, 19:57   #27
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

I forgot to add the Capitol One Direct Banking High Yield Money Market Account details. Here ya go. Unlimited Fee Free External linked accounts for transfers is key:

  • No fees. (Well, maybe wire transfer fees, but most folks won't likely use these).
  • Minimum to Open Account? One dollar. Check your bedroom dresser. You probably have $1 in your sock drawer. How 'bout you let that buck accomplish something good?
  • No minimum balance required.
  • Free checks and a free ATM card.
  • Easy account-to-account transfers. Move/transfer money to and from your existing accounts online or over the phones. (NOTE: Withdrawals by online transfer and check are limited to a combined six per calendar month, three of which may be by check. ATM withdrawals are limited to $500 per day, with no monthly limit on how many times you use the card. Capital One does not charge a fee for ATM usage, but the ATM owner may.)
  • FDIC insured. Your account is covered up to $250k per depositor.
  • Easily schedule automatic regular deposits.
  • Unlimited external accounts. Link to as many external bank or brokerage accounts as you wish.
  • Account nicknames. Yes, like ING Direct, you can give your account(s) a nickname. Heck — and just about anything's better than "ONLINE MMDA," isn't it?
  • Download data. You can download transaction data in CSV format for spreadsheets, as well as Quicken and MS Money formats.
  • Online statements. Generate online statements (HTML format) for easy recordkeeping.
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Old 17-09-2011, 21:20   #28
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Re: Accessing Bank Account from a Third World Location

Well at least they e-mailed me back which is more than HSBC Bank did!!!!



they were too busy giving me dough from the atm to write any emails ......
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