The ideal bank for travelers eliminates sneaky ATM and foreign-transaction fees. Take a look at our top bank picks for travelers.
Informa Financial Intelligence compiled the data as reported by the financial institutions that it tracks; the information is subject to change. All rates as of June 20, 2019.
BEST: Charles Schwab Bank
- Why it won: Unlike other banks, there are no strings attached to Schwab’s traveler-friendly perks. But you’ll have to do your banking online.
- Standout accounts: High Yield Investor Checking yields 0.4% with no minimum balances or monthly fees. High Yield Investor Savings returns 0.5% and is also free.
Charles Schwab Bank reimburses customers for any surcharges added to ATM withdrawals, anywhere in the world, and nixes foreign-transaction fees on its debit card. The High Yield Investor Checking account comes with a Schwab One brokerage account, but there are no penalties for keeping a zero balance. You can also leave your card at home and load it into one of four compatible digital wallets instead. Schwab's mobile app will let you view transactions, pay bills and deposit checks on the go.
RUNNER UP: Radius Bank
- Why it won: A trio of checking accounts offer unlimited ATM rebates worldwide.
- Standout accounts: Hybrid Checking yields 1% on balances of $2,500 or more. High-Yield Savings returns a rate of 1.5% on holdings of $2,500 or more (2.05% once your balance hits $25,000).
- Where it is: One branch in Boston; otherwise online only.
You’ll need $100 to open one of Radius Bank’s three main checking accounts, but no monthly maintenance fees apply. Besides Hybrid Checking, Radius offers a cash-back account and a charity-oriented account that makes donations based on your earnings. Although Radius reimburses you for all ATM fees worldwide, international travelers will incur a modest 1.1% foreign-transaction fee.
Radius offers two mobile apps with handy features. The Radius Card app lets you temporarily deactivate your debit card and dictate where and how it can be used. The Radius Mobile banking app includes a budgeting tool that analyzes spending.
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