One of the biggest concerns for managing our accounts abroad was the additional fees that we could be charged from our bank and credit card companies for making purchases. When you’re living off your savings for a year, these charges can really add up.

A few people had recommended Capital One to us because they do not charge foreign transaction fees.  We now have an appropriately named Venture card. (It’s been driving Nellu crazy that I insist we use our card for making small purchases anywhere they accept Visa. But those points – double points – will add up!)

Here’s a helpful Wall Street Journal article that my dad sent over:

WSJ: C’est la Fee: New Hassles for Travelers

For our bank account, we got a TD account through our sister-in-law Jaime, who works there. (She’s really awesome. And it was really pleasant experience. We even got our ATM cards on the spot.) We won’t get socked with any ATM fees if we maintain a certain balance.

Here’s a wiki that helped our decision making:

http://flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php/Credit/Debit/ATM_Cards_and_Foreign_Exchange

So after all that it was surprisingly annoying when we still got dinged for few foreign transaction fees for purchases we made while in the United States on our Citi AAdvantage card – nearly $50 worth. Apparently the group we had booked our Inca Trail adventure through is based in the UK and I downloaded software from a firm in Vancouver. Doh!

~ Molly

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