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Old 25-06-2018, 15:50   #1
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Banking In Remote Areas

Not sure if this is the right part of the forum for this, but here goes.
Any suggestions on which banking institutions are best for worldwide access? I've worked in foreign countries over the years and usually have had no issues getting access to my bank accounts through ready tellers and other banks to access cash but have not had to do this in any Pacific islands.
DOes anyone have experience in that part of the world? If so, which institutions have the best international access.
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Old 25-06-2018, 16:45   #2
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Re: Banking In Remote Areas

The VISA and other ATM networks for day to day. Get cards that don't charge extra fees for overseas use. Some even refund the local charges.

HSBC for many more developed countries, but no bank has branches in all the minor countries.

Most banks like that still charge for transfers, legally a different company in each country.

Amex can help in a jam, Western Union, Thomas Cook.
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Old 25-06-2018, 17:07   #3
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Re: Banking In Remote Areas

We bank with a very small credit union in the US. They refund all ATM fees anywhere in the world, have very competitive exchange rates, foreign wire transfers for a very small fee. The Visa branded ATM card has worked everywhere so far, including some very remote Pacific islands with one ATM.

The world is pretty much one (with a few exceptions like Cuba and North Korea) as long as you have a common network ATM card, then the selection is all about service, fees, quality of online banking, etc.
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Old 25-06-2018, 18:09   #4
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Re: Banking In Remote Areas

But always carry at least three working cards, it can take a long time to get replacements.

Some banks will only send them to your home address, check for that.
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Old 25-06-2018, 19:33   #5
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Re: Banking In Remote Areas

I've traveled quite extensively for my line of work, in Europe, Asia, South America, Mexico, Canada and China quite a bit. My travel cards were used extensively but I know that from time to time you need cash, usually in the local currency. American Express has replaced my compromised card in China in a far removed industrial village the next morning at the hotel desk the morning after it was compromised, so I'm impressed with their support, but I still need to get cash from time to time, I've been able to do that in most places I've been, but haven't had experience in the Pacific Islands.
I need an institution that can do transfers and allow me to monitor my responsibilities from afar. Although my family and I will be traveling far afield for awhile I still have financial responsibilities back in the world, which may require my ability to transfer funds from account to account, as well as have access to cash in the local currency.

DO I need to talk to one of the mega-banks? I really hate to since they also usually charge fees for anything, like the oxygen fee for breathing.
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Old 25-06-2018, 21:05   #6
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Re: Banking In Remote Areas

Won't do any better for those purposes.

Far better to use multiple banks that are local to your main community **where you actually know humans** in the bank.

Combined with decent internet based account management.

Sometimes a trusted person with specific Power of Attorneys can make all the difference.
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Old 25-06-2018, 21:18   #7
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Re: Banking In Remote Areas

Cruising in the S Pacific islands we use cash for almost everything. Credit cards are not taken at most places and the ones that do charge a good markup.
Cash is gotten from ATMs. Sometimes in remote places, but usually only in the main towns, so you need to stock up. We use a debit card that refunds all fees ( Schwab bank). When we get to more industrialized places we use a Visa card with no foreign transaction fees(USAA).
We have an American Express card but it is almost useless as no one accepts them and if they do.they charge big fees on it.

You also need some US cash and/ or Euros to handle places you might show up to with no local currency and no ATMs or no.functioning ATMs.
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