How do you do to avoid unnecessary card fees while traveling?
When we were in Hamburg, we noticed that you don’t have to travel far from Sweden to struggle with payments. On several occasions we had to go to an ATM to withdraw money. In Sweden, we never use cash anymore, we can pay almost anything with Swish. At many places in Sweden you can’t even pay with cash.
Use an ATM card without fee charge at withdrawals
In South America, we were very dependent on the ATMs, since they rarely accept cards over there. Our pockets were full of cash, we also had cash in our suitcases and money inside our bra’s. Therefore, I always use an ATM card that doesn’t charge you when withdrawing money. It can be very expensive when you have to make withdrawals each and every day.
I’ve been using Ica Banken, but Bank Norwegian also has a card that doesn’t charge you for taking money out. There’s no annual fee on that card, and it includes travel insurance and insurance for cancellation. Another thing that makes those cards great is that the exchange rate on withdrawals and card purchases often are better than if you change at the bank or at a currency exchange.
Bring two ATM cards
I always bring two ATM cards with me on my travels. It’s good if I loose one of them, or if it gets stolen. I always bring one with me, and the other one I keep together with my valuables in a locker at the hostel.
When I traveled with Josefin and Christine, we shared a common ATM card and put an equal amount of money on that card several times on the trip. Then we could have a common economy without having to take notes of who payed what. Today I would use Cost Split, an app that calculates the common costs.
You may need to take money out in several batches
At many of the tours that we went on in South America, we had to pay with cash. Sometimes we needed to take money out in batches because the ATMs doesn’t accept withdrawals of higher amounts. You don’t want unnecessarily expensive card fees because of that.
When we sailed from Colombia to Panama, we had to pay $ 550 in cash. However, the tour didn’t go as planned, we had to continue without the boat and the captain. We only had a few coins, and there was not one single ATM in sight for several days. Read more about the trip by clicking on the image below!