Charles Schwab, the Traveler's Dream Bank

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Charles Schwab may just seem like another financial institution, but if you look a little closer you may be surprised at what they offer. First off, it's helpful to keep a separate bank account for traveling as you can see exactly what you are spending on your trip and keeps your travel funds organized. While traveling a few years ago, we met a couple who mentioned a bank in their country that with a minor fee per month they could withdraw an unlimited amount of money and be reimbursed for the fees incurred, which made us look for a similar option in a US bank. Then after some research we found Charles Schwab.


Why we love it:

It’s Free
There is no cost for setting up the account. No annual fees. No fees for transferring from one bank account to another.

Reimburse ATM Fees
It’s true. All ATM fees. Anywhere in the world! Seriously. For those of you who have traveled using a debit card you know those fees add up. Especially if you have a small budget. The fees can add up to around 10 percent per withdrawal. That can be around ten dollars or almost one whole day of travel per each $100 you withdraw. Charles Schwab charges you no fees at all and then the fees the other bank, or the ATM charges you, which you still have to pay are reimbursed by sweet Charles at the end of the month. What a guy! I’ve searched and searched and it seems that is one of the only banks that offers you that without any fees on top of it!

But that’s not all...

Exact Exchange Rate
Our favorite bank also charges no commission and uses the exact exchange rate.

All Online
Everything can be done online and done so quickly and easily. In just two days your account can be setup, and with a quick connection to another bank account or by writing yourself a check you can put your money in your new account in just a few seconds without leaving your couch. Statements, information, everything is online and very easy to access.

Great Customer Service
Really awesome customer service. In general, some guy or gal, usually from Colorado, answers the phone in a few seconds no push 1 then hold, then another push this button for that, then hold again, then enter in some information. None of that, almost no hold time, and this nice person answers all questions, and helps you out right away. It feels like your talking to that sweet aunt or uncle that you never see.

To add to the above we had a card stolen, okay really it was lost, but saying it was stolen makes it seem a lot less stupid, in the Philippines the day before our flight to Singapore. Anyway a phone call with some awful free phone service (we won’t mention the name) thanks to Singapore’s lovely free airport wifi. Singapore has definitely one of the best airports, we will actually spend a lovely night there in a few days. Anyway, after a call with fuzzy and horrid service, the lovely lady at Charles Schwab canceled the card and offered to have one send right away internationally for no charge. I only had to send an e-mail with permission to send the card to said destination.


If you are taking a trip set up an account with Charles Schwab, the god of banks for travelers, the extra money in your pocket will be thanking you. 

What other banks offer invaluable service to low budget travelers?

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