How to Save on International Bank Transaction Fees

It costs money to move money and when you add the complication of changing money to another currency, the costs can easily get out of hand. Whether you are making your first big transfer for a major buy or you are a regular, the transaction fees i.e. transfer fees and exchange rates can make a huge difference to the amount of money that ends up in your account.

A foreign transaction fee is a 2-4 percent surcharge on transactions processed outside of the US. International bank transaction fees are in play when you are conducting business internationally and when you’re travelling abroad. This presents an expensive issue for consumers with international exposure because credit cards are the cheapest means of converting currency.

Where to Carry Out Bank Transactions

At home or abroad, you have many options for exchanging currencies, but some will cost more than others.

Withdrawing funds from an in-network ATM is a good deal. Your credit union or bank might have international ATM machines and branches, or they partner with an institution in that country. These partner banks and machines allow users to use their debt cards to withdraw cash with low transaction fees of 1-3 percent or perhaps even no fees.

Order cash through your bank: your credit union or bank might sell foreign currency. If this is the case, you can make an online order or at a branch location and in a few days, the funds will be available. The funds can be delivered to your place of convenience but this attracts a delivery charge. Ordering cash through your bank is a better option because banks offer better rates because of the preferred borrowing rates enjoyed by banks.

Currency converter: a number of sites sell foreign currency and deliver it globally. Exchange rates through a currency converter are less favorable and the delivery charges will eat into your funds.

Traveler’s checks: the main advantage of traveler’s checks is security. Users can order replacements if the checks are lost or stolen. The downside is most businesses don’t accept traveler’s checks so you have to make time to exchange them.

  • Barclays
  • Techstars
  • Nestholma
  • Nordea
  • Tekes
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