256px-Credit-cardsAvoiding Banking Fees:  Tangerine or ScotiaBank for Debit and Chase for Visa

How does one bank when overseas for an extended period?  Obviously, if you were planning to remain in one country, you would just set up a bank account in that country with access to ATMs and get yourself a foreign credit card.  Our situation means we’ll be on the move from country to country, this means that we could be incurring many unnecessary banking fees.

After much research, we have found that Tangerine (which is now owned by Scotiabank) is part of the Global ATM Alliance and if we can locate ATMs that are part of this banking alliance system we will not incur ATM fees.

We have also discovered that all the major banks that issue Visa and MasterCard in Canada charge between 2.5% and 3.0% for foreign transaction fees.  This means that for every foreign purchase there will be a minimum additional 2.5% fee on top of the currency conversion rate.  If this fee was eliminated, this can potentially result in huge savings by the end of the year.

We discovered one bank that provides a Canadian Visa and/or MasterCard to Canadians and eliminates the foreign transaction fee:  Chase, an American bank.  Chase issues two different Visa cards and one MasterCard to Canadians that do not charge foreign transaction fees.  It is important to keep in mind that Visa is more universally accepted in comparison to MasterCard.