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Credit cards, ATM's and online banking

Marine Insurance/Health Insurance/Banking/Bill Paying/Taxes

Re: Credit cards, ATM's and online banking

by bruadair » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:26 pm

Far Niente,

We were in the San Blas just a few months ago and Nargana does have an internet cafe at the school, however it can sometimes be a hit and miss on when it's working though we've never had any issues. They have computers set up and wireless for your lap top. It is slow so expect to be there a while. You might also want to look into some of the cell phone companies. Some of them have a wireless usb antenna that works of cell phone towers though I'm not sure of the cost or if there's a contract. There is cell phone coverage in some of the San Blas Islands but not all. We use Digicel and have been happy with their service. Here in Colombia a USB wireless antenna can cost between $40 and $80 and monthly unlimited internet service about $40 a month, maybe Panama has something similar.
D&D
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NO Foreign Currency Transaction Fees

by ka4wja » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:37 pm

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, maybe I should open a new one.....but oh well....

Just two weeks ago, American Express notified me that they eliminated ALL foreign currency transaction fees from their Platinum Card....
And, they guarantee the latest published currency exchange rate.....
That's a no fee, best exchange-rate, program.....nice!

Yes, I know that AmEx isn't the most widely accepted card, and that since this new NO FEE program is only for the Platinum Card, this may not be too useful for all......but some may find it nice to know....




And, then today I got an e-mail from British Airways Ex Club (freq flier club)......
Advertising their NO foreign transaction fee VISA Card.....



So, there may be some added competition out there which is good news to us all....



Fair winds...

John
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110

(currently lying, Sewall's Point, FL)

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Re: Credit cards, ATM's and online banking

by Robert » Mon May 23, 2011 6:19 pm

Commerce Bank in NJ sold out to TDBank (Toronto & Dominion Bank in Canada.

TDBank now charges US$$ two dollars transaction fee for debit card withdrawels in Guatemala. Guatemala ATM machines charge additional 2 or 3 $$ fee and limit each transaction to no more than US $ 220 per withdrawel but two transactions are permitted back to back. TDBank limits me to no more than US $ 500 withdrawel per day using ATM .

New Bank rules.

I'm planning to check out other banking policies next couple of months.

For large purchases, marinas & haul out facilities in Guatemala accept personal checks, no problem, no hastle, no extra bank charges, all checks are made payable to their respective businesses in US $$, not their local currency.
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Re: Credit cards, ATM's and online banking

by rtaft » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:20 am

Any new updates/finding on this same topic? Everything I chose to leave with 6 years ago are charging huge fees- 2-5% plus minimums...dont mind a percentage but 5% is a little rediculous!!! Please let us know details of what you are using internationally to avoid these foreign transaction fees.

Thanks,

Patrick and Rebecca Childress
SV Brick House
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Re: NO Foreign Currency Transaction Fees

by s/v Faith » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:30 am

ka4wja wrote:Sorry to resurrect an old thread, maybe I should open a new one.....but oh well....

Just two weeks ago, American Express notified me that they eliminated ALL foreign currency transaction fees from their Platinum Card....
And, they guarantee the latest published currency exchange rate.....
That's a no fee, best exchange-rate, program.....nice!

Yes, I know that AmEx isn't the most widely accepted card, and that since this new NO FEE program is only for the Platinum Card, this may not be too useful for all......but some may find it nice to know....




And, then today I got an e-mail from British Airways Ex Club (freq flier club)......
Advertising their NO foreign transaction fee VISA Card.....



So, there may be some added competition out there which is good news to us all....



Fair winds...

John


Not intending to make this political, but I found no one who would accept Amex on my last cruise. Apparently the state department is now requiring that foreign transactions are delayed (at least in the BVI, TCI, And Bahamas. The Obama admin apparently is trying to crack down on money transfers from Amex (a US company) to overseas accounts in an effort to curtail folks transferring money out of the country to avoid tax.

I read about this in a paper in Provo, and again in the Bahamas.

I got back from that trip in May, so i supposed it may have changed since then. I would recommend you not take American Express with you as your means exchange.

Too bad too.
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Re: Credit cards, ATM's and online banking

by LivintheDream » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:00 pm

I have no affiliation with them but Capital One offers a Visa credit card with zero foreign transaction fees. I worked for a bank before we went cruising and switched from my bank's card to Capital One to avoid the foreign exchange fees.

There is no avoiding the 1% foreign exchange fee that Visa, Mastercard and Amex all charge when foreign currency transactions are converted to US dollars before being charged to your US account but you can avoid the $15 to $25 per transaction that many card issuers add on by getting a Capital One card.

In seven years cruising in the Caribbean, we found Visa most accepted, Mastercard next and Amex a distant third.

For getting cash from your US account through a foreign ATM, check the different service charge plans your bank offers. We found a checking account service charge plan that allowed us four free withdrawals from foreign ATMs each month with no foreign currency transaction fees. This was at SunTrust Bank where (full disclosure) I used to work. Other banks have the same offer so do your research.
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Re: Credit cards, ATM's and online banking

by Evenstar » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:18 pm

LivintheDream wrote:I have no affiliation with them but Capital One offers a Visa credit card with zero foreign transaction fees. I worked for a bank before we went cruising and switched from my bank's card to Capital One to avoid the foreign exchange fees.

There is no avoiding the 1% foreign exchange fee that Visa, Mastercard and Amex all charge when foreign currency transactions are converted to US dollars before being charged to your US account but you can avoid the $15 to $25 per transaction that many card issuers add on by getting a Capital One card.

In seven years cruising in the Caribbean, we found Visa most accepted, Mastercard next and Amex a distant third.

For getting cash from your US account through a foreign ATM, check the different service charge plans your bank offers. We found a checking account service charge plan that allowed us four free withdrawals from foreign ATMs each month with no foreign currency transaction fees. This was at SunTrust Bank where (full disclosure) I used to work. Other banks have the same offer so do your research.


We use the Capital One Card and it's been great. My only complaint there has been that you can only set a 60 day "Travel Notice"; so you run the risk every couple of months of them stopping your charges with a fraud alert.

I do not work for Bank of America...I don't even LIKE BoA that much, but they have some products that have worked.

Bank of America also now has a "Travel Rewards" card that works pretty much like the Capital One with one exception - it also gives you 1.5% reward on groceries instead of 1%. It does figure out the grocery stores pretty well, I checked.

BoA also has a cooperative arrangement with ScotiaBank. If you have a BoA checking account or ATM card you can use it at any Scotia Bank ATM with no fees. No foreign ATM fees, no Foreign Transaction Fees - nothing at all. It's like you have a ScotiaBank Card. This is great in the Caribbean because ScotiaBank is on almost all but the French islands. I can walk up to a SB branch, pull out out $1,500 ECD and it will deduct $558.00 US from my BoA Account, which is a $2.69 ECD exchange rate, with no additional charges.
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Re: Credit cards, ATM's and online banking

by brilliantstar » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:12 pm

We carry multiple cards from different providers because of the below (received yesterday). It has happened three times in one year. The first time we went for a few weeks before we had a card we could use (the courier sent our cards to communist China instead of the Bahamas, and then customs...). We have also moved our automatic payments to methods less susceptible to fraud (which loses us a lot of points). Lessons learned. The service described below comes at the cost of 1% offshore transaction fees, and we feel it is worth it.

Dear -------------,

We were notified by a payment processor that your [Bank Name] credit card information, such as your name, account number and expiration date may have been compromised. Unauthorized access to non-[Bank Name] systems may have occurred through a merchant where you shopped or dined, or by other fraudulent activity. Specific details about the compromise were not reported to [Bank Name].

To reduce the risk of unauthorized transactions, we're replacing your credit card ending in XXXX. We'll send you a new card with a new account number and expiration date, and you should receive it within 10 business days. Along with the card, we'll provide information about the steps you should take to activate your card and change your automatic payments.

What to do with your current credit card. Your current card will only remain active for 20 days after the postmarked date on the envelope containing your new card so it's important that you activate your new card immediately. After you have activated your new credit card, please destroy your current card and convenience checks. [Bank Name] will automatically cancel your existing card when you activate the new one. Refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for more information and important steps you should take regarding this matter.

We are committed to the security of your account and personal information. We apologize for the inconvenience. If you would like to speak to us about this matter, please call us at .
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Re: Credit cards, ATM's and online banking

by Mary » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:27 am

If you have a stock account check with them to see if they cover foreign fees. We use Charles Schwab and if we use their Visa card they reimburse us any foreign or ATM fees.
Mary
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Re: Credit cards, ATM's and online banking

by CaptainBW » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:18 pm

We use Schwab Bank too (part of Charles Schwab) and like the previous poster, all fees are reimbursed.

We also use Fidelity and they reimburse all ATM fees world-wide but do not reimburse the currency exchange fees.
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Re: Credit cards, ATM's and online banking

by rersk » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:53 pm

After reading all the posts in this thread you could consolidate all the good info in the following manner:
1. Amex cards are pretty much useless outside major urban centers, and not very useful in the US or abroad except at high-end restaurants/hotels/airlines etc. 2. Capital One cards are very useful, charge no foreign transaction fees and the CapOne Venture Card, though charging $59/yr. fee, gives a 2% reward on all purchases. 3. A debit card from Schwab Bank High Interest (lol) checking account reimburses all ATM charges from ATMs anywhere in the world. With deals like these you can't afford to stay home.
Reed s/v Cayenne
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