If you’re going to travel, try to avoid paying foreign transaction fees.

These days, there are credit cards that will eat the fees for you.

Years ago, while attempting to learn Greek, I moved my family to Greece for a while.  Back then the Greeks liked cash.  I had a hard time using a credit card.  So, every time I needed money, I would withdraw money from an ATM machine.

If I withdrew €50 using my debit card, my bank, Bank of America at the time, charged a $25 transaction fee.

If I withdrew the maximum I could withdraw, 600 euros, Bank of America charged a $25 transaction fee.  I quickly learned to withdraw the maximum amount.

I also learned to look for a card that would waive the foreign transaction fees.  As soon as I returned to the States, I started looking around.  These days I use Chase Sapphire Preferred.  With this credit card, there are no withdrawal fees.

Not long ago, I took a group of students to France.  Quite a few of them were using Apple Pay.  They had no trouble doing so.  This also seems to be a good way around foreign transaction fees, though I have not personally used Apple Pay.

I did also look into setting up an account at Charles Schwab.  If you open a Schwab Bank Investor Checking account, you will receive a debit card.  According to their site, while you will pay foreign transaction fees, Schwab will reimburse you.

Finally, there is the Wise debit card.  This one looks good, actually.  I may look into this before I go overseas again.

Of course, you could also avoid foreign transaction fees by just staying home.  Humorist Dave Berry once defined travel as an excellent way to escape from your boring, everyday lifestyle and visit places where you cannot easily locate the restroom.  He’s not wrong.

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