Automatic Teller Machines are increasingly available overseas. ATMs tend to offer a good exchange rate, charge no or limited exchange commissions, and offer 24-hour access. However, your U.S. bank may charge extra fees for using an ATM abroad, or have limits on daily withdrawals. Discuss the following points with your bank:
• Check on fees for international withdrawals and daily limits.
• Get a list of ATMs or branch locations overseas.
• Make sure you have a four-digit numeric PIN; many countries do not accept long PIN codes
and may use numbers-only keypads.
• ATMs overseas may not give you the choice between accessing a checking account and a savings account - they may pull from one account. Consult with your bank about the ability of your card to work overseas, as you may need to set the card to access only one type of account.
• If you plan to get a new ATM card, get your PIN and use the card in the U.S. before you go abroad. Do not expect a brand new card to work overseas.
• If parents and students have access to the student’s account, parents can deposit money for
students to access overseas, usually within 24 hours of a deposit.
• Confirm students’ dates of travel with your bank so they are aware of pending international
Credit cards are easily used abroad and tend to offer good exchange rates. Some credit cards, such as Visa, are widely accepted, while others are not widely accepted.
• Alert the credit card company that the student will be abroad so they do not put a hold on the account for suspicious activity.
•Check with the credit card company to confirm their international fees. Some companies may charge per transaction; others have a monthly fee.
• If students are unable to qualify for their own card, parents may open an account and give the student a card in their names.
• As with ATM cards, use new cards in the U.S. before using it abroad.
• Receipts may have the credit card number printed on them, so students should store them in a safe place. Students may need to refer to receipts for customs paperwork upon leaving the host country and/or entering the U.S.
• Credit cards should never be used as a means of getting cash, except in an emergency. There is a transaction fee for each cash advance, and interest charges start from the day the transaction is made.
• Students will also need to make arrangements for paying credit card bills while abroad.
NOTE: In some countries credit cards may not be as widely accepted as they are in the United States.
In emergencies, money can also be wired overseas. While this is theoretically the fastest way to transfer money, caution is advised since a transfer may take several days or weeks for delivery. Cables/wires must be sent to a commercial bank, not to an individual post office box.