I am a big fan of Capital One. I have used their credit card for years, and although it doesn’t rack up frequent flier miles very fast, it does save money when using abroad. Several credit cards charge transaction fees up to 3% for foreign purchases. Capital One does not. In fact, you don’t even pay the 1% fee for Mastercard or Visa. I currently have the Venture credit card, and I have been refunded for some of my travel purchases this year which is a nice perk. Not to mention, I have the trendiest looking credit card because it features one of my photos of the Eiffel Tower.
This summer I am testing out their debit card. After doing some research I realized that my bank will charge me a 3% fee for obtaining currency from an ATM. Visa/Mastercard gets 1%, but then the bank is arbitrarily charging an extra 2%. Since I have been happy with Capital One, I decided to try out the 360 Checking. It used to be ING Direct until Capital One took it over. There are no fees other than what the ATM charges. They say that Visa/Mastercard may charge their fee, which means they probably will. In the end 1% is much better than 3%, especially when I consider the amount of money I will need from my ATM. My 1400 Euros that I take out will be closer to costing 1414 Euros rather than 1442 Euros. That is a couple meals or a train ride to a town outside Paris. I’m no card expert, but from what I’ve read, this may be the way to go. I’ll keep you posted as I start to use it.
If you’d like more information, check out the Capital One website.