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World traveler needs alternative to expensive ATM withdrawal fees.

World traveler needs alternative to expensive ATM withdrawal fees.

I have a companion savings account with a Canadian bank but recently I've noticed they've been charging me up to $5 per withdrawal transaction. I think it's too much and I want out.

I am in the UK now with no intention of returning back to Canada to physically seek out, and open a new account with a better bank.

I need to find an alternative here in the UK (that allows Canadian visitors to open an account, make a deposit, and then leave the UK to use their debit card abroad (on the ATM PLUS system), and Webbanking to check balances, and statement, etc..

I'm looking for such a bank to bee fee-free (especially for withdrawals abroad), as well as free of other hidden charges, and taxes as well). Remember, the only reason I need a bank to withdrawal money abroad (that's it). Therefore, I don't want to pay any fees to the bank.

[url]Here is some background information[/url]
[url]http://gobudgettravel.com/budget-travel-tips/eliminate-bank-and-atm-fees-while-traveling-abroad[/url]

Thanks for any advice.

Posted by
769 posts

Try Barclays - they have a partnership with BofA on ATM fees - and Deutsche Bank too. Or try Capital One in NY. No fees!

Posted by
21354 posts

In other words, you want everything free for providing you with a major convenience? Dream on !!! There is a cost of doing business and everyone needs to pay a little. A $5 per transaction is a cheap fee IF you are not being charged any other currency conversion fees.

Posted by
52 posts

I disagree because the bank here is intentionally overcharging me because they know I depend on these ATM withdrawals. If I was back in Canada, I would easily switch to another account, or bank (and my fees would equate to zero overnight), but because I am on the road and stuck with what I have, they double charge me.

I should advise that my fees have doubled in the few years since I left home, and in some countries (like in Morocco, and Spain), they are double that of other countries(like Mexico, or Asia).

I will beat them and find a solution/

Posted by
808 posts

Can I ask what Canadian Bank charges you 5.00$ per transaction?
When you find a "no-fee for withdrawls abroad" account please do be sure to post the details!

What account would you switch to if you were here in Canada that would make your fees for these services abroad equate to zero? I'd really like to know! If you know something I don't, please do post the details! Thanks!

Posted by
211 posts

RBC charges $5 per transaction, I believe TD does as well.
Scotiabank though does not charge fees with banks that it has partnerships with such as Barclay's, BNP and DeutschBank, which has been great for me, becuase I dont like taking a lot of cash out at once.

Posted by
52 posts

The bank is TD, and the name of the account is called companion savings account. It is a special account (because it has no minimum account balance/month), and no other feess except the ridicilour withdrawal fees. I opened this account specifically for the purpose of withdrawaling cash from foreign ATMS. At the beginning, the fees were 1.50, 2.50, but now they are 5 . I didn't mind paying 1 or 2 dollars to withdrawal money (to give something to do the bank), but 5 each transaction addds up to hundreds of dollars in a year (and i don;t think any bank deserves hundreds of dollars i could rather spend traveling around the world).

Posted by
505 posts

Unless you are on a student visa or some kind of a work visa and in the UK for longer than 6 months, you will not be able to open a UK account. There are very strict rules about non-citizens opening accounts, so they require proof of residence, a set amount of cash deposited into the account and it can take 4-6 weeks to open.

And if you leave the UK, you're going to face fees for withdrawing money anyway unless it's the same bank and there are not many banks that have lots of branches in lots of countries.

There is no way of getting around the withdrawal fees - you're going to pay some way or another. To avoid paying too many fees, use a credit card for large purchases and take out larger quantities of money rather than bits and pieces here and there.

Kate

Posted by
808 posts

If Scotia Bank doesn't charge fees for withdrawls from Partnership Banks do they charge a higher exchange rate? They must make money off us somehow?

Would you have to have a certain account with Scotia to qualify? Just wondering b/c I will sign up if it's such a good deal!

Anyone use PCFinancial abroad? I have an account there but haven't used it across the pond. I noticed the back of the card just has the Debit symbol but doesn't identify which networks are partnerships like my other cards. Does anyone know?

Posted by
11450 posts

Both the Royal Bank and the TD bank have chequeing accounts that offer no fee foriegn withdrawels.
I have them.
The one at the TD is called the " Select Sevice" account and does charge a month fee of 24 dollars , BUT<<< the fee is waived if you keep a $ 5,000 balance. Same deal at Royal, account there is called "VIP " account. So by maintaining a balance in these accounts you get the free services.
When you inquire at the bank do make sure the teller you are dealing with is aware of all the services, it has been my experience that they don't and often have to call over the manager to verify .

Posted by
211 posts

Hmm I'm not sure about the higher exchange rate ,I never really thought about that, but to be honest it wouldn't really matter to me, as I am living in a residence and am not comfortable with keeping a large sum of money on me, and being able to take out a 20 euro for a night out is very convinient

I'm pretty sure it applies to all accounts, but can;t say that with 100% confidence as I have a student account

This webpage gives more information

http://www.scotiabank.com/cda/content/0,1608,CID8040_LIDen,00.html

Posted by
9363 posts

Kai, banks are in business to make a profit. You pay no fees to have your account, yet you want them to furnish you with free services abroad, too? Everyone pays in some way, and I'm sure you are not being personally singled out for higher fees. It's unfortunate that your fees have risen, but they have risen for everyone who deals with that bank. I'm not sure why you think a fee-free arrangement would be possible. Banks do incur technology and accounting costs and they get those from the customers who wish to access their services.

Posted by
52 posts

It's possible, however because of my current predicament, and situation probably highly improbable...

Posted by
25 posts

Whatever Canadian bank you're using, if it's one of the big ones they're charging you $5 + 2.5% of the transaction (unless you go trough the minimum balance hoops). I called around when researching this.

I just opened up an account with HSBC for traveling.

As long as you use an HSBC machine, you have no foreign ATM fees in most of the world (They do charge you in a handful of countries like New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey and a few more)

If you get their Direct Savings account, which is an online/telephone/ATM banking only account, you have no transaction fees. The disadvantage is that if you go into a branch, the tellers can't help you or access the account, you'll have to call the call center.

If you get a regular savings account, it's 85 cents per transaction. If you use a non-HSBC machine, it's $3.

If you can't get an account in the UK, you can apply for the canadian direct savings online:
http://www.hsbc.ca/1/2/en/personal/chequing-savings/savings-accounts

Since I haven't actually used it yet, other than to deposit money, I can't tell you if there are any hidden charges or catches.

Posted by
808 posts

Andrea,
You'll have to forgive me for seemingly living in a cave somewhere out here in Ontario...but I must ask: Is HSBC the Hudson Bay Company like Zellers? They are into Banking now? I haven't seen that here yet. Maybe it isn't here in Ontario just yet?

I'll look further into it. Thanks for the info!

Posted by
4555 posts

HSBC is the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, originally from Hong Kong, headquartered in London now...branches around the world...fourth largest in the world. Launched in Canada in the 1990s after a round of banking deregulation that allowed foreign banks to establish services similar to Canadian chartered banks.

Posted by
808 posts

Thanks Norm for the clarification. I now notice the difference between "HSBC" and HBC". Sorry for that. I was dead tired at the time.