How to Avoid Paying Bank Fees While Traveling

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FIRECracker

FIRECracker is Canada's youngest retiree. She used to live in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, but instead of drowning in debt, she rejected home ownership. What resulted was a 7-figure portfolio, which has allowed her and her husband to retire at 31 and travel the world. Their story has been featured on CBC, the Huffington Post, CNBC, BNN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance. To date, it is the most shared story in CBC history and their viral video on CBC's On the Money has garnered 4.5 Million views.
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Have you ever come back from vacation, checked your bank accounts and credit card statements, only to cringe at how much you’ve forked over in foreign transaction and ATM fees? I mean, a $5 ATM charge here and there didn’t seem so bad when handing over your hard-earned money for that once-in-a-life-time gondola ride in Venice or that oh-so-divine meal in Paris, but man does it feel shitty to realize you’ve lost hundreds or thousands of dollars to bank fees afterwards.

Is this you? If so, you’re not alone.

One of our most frequently asked questions in our e-mail is “how do you get money out without paying fees while travelling”?

Since retiring in our 30s and travelling the world for the past 3 years, we’ve learned a lot about world-travelling–from how much it costs, to packing, to accommodations & transportation, and to travel insurance. Which is why I wrote the “Cost of Travelling the World for 1 Year” post to dispel the myth that travelling is expensive by breaking down exactly how, by living nomadically, we only spend $40K CAD (or $31K USD) /year.

Today, I’m writing part 5 of that series to show you exactly how to get money out while travelling without paying bank fees.

How Much We Saved by AVOIDING Bank fees

By not paying a 3% foreign transaction fee that most credit cards charge, and given that we use credit card around 90% of the time, we’ve saved around $36,000 x 3%= $1080/year in foreign transaction fees alone! And given that the credit card also gives us hotel points, if we add in the free hotel nights we got (like the time we stayed in a 5 star hotel in Zurich) valued at $300/night, that’s another 3 x $300= $900/year!

In addition to that, for the 9 times a month or so that we need to withdraw cash (for tipping, places that don’t accept credit cards, etc), because we use a card that doesn’t charge us a $5 ATM fee each time, we save another $5 x 9 x 12 = $540/year.

So just by getting the right credit card and bank card, we’re looking at a savings of $1080 + $900 + $540 = $2520/year. And this isn’t even including the points we’re getting for free flights through travel hacking and interest we’re getting paid on the money in that bank account.

By saving $2520 every year in bank fees means we would need $63,000 less in the portfolio to generate this passive income. So of course, that’s a no brainer right?

Of all the things you could pay for in your life, bank fees are the absolutely worst because it adds ZERO value to your life.

To avoid setting your hard earning money on fire, here are my tips on how you can save on bank fees:

When you’re travelling there are 3 “gotchas” you want to avoid like the plague:

1) Foreign Transaction Fees
2) ATM Fees
3) A Bad Exchange Rate

1) Foreign Transaction Fees:

When I’m travelling, the last thing I want to do is become a target by carrying a big wad of cash. This is why, whenever possible, I use my credit card and carry as little cash as possible. This also has the advantage of the bank reimbursing me if the card gets stolen, plus I get to earn precious hotel points or cash back on every dollar I spend. If I use cash and get robbed, I’m out of luck.

Problem is, most credit cards charge a 3% foreign transaction fee when you use your card overseas. You can see how will really add up overtime. Especially for nomadic early retirees like us, since we charge everything from accommodations, to food, to activities onto our credit card.

So how do we avoid this foreign transaction fee? Get a credit card that has 0 foreign transaction fees.

Canadians:

For us Canadians, the card we used was the Chase Marriott Rewards card. Not only did it have no foreign transaction fees, it also gave us points towards hotel stays.

Sadly, that card has since been discontinued. But the next best in the line is the Home Trust Preferred Card:

Perks:

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • 1% cash back

Click here to apply (full disclosure: this is NOT an affiliate link. I’m not getting paid to recommend this card. I’m telling you about it because I also applied for it and I want you to save money).

Americans:

Lucky you! You have way more options than we do and way bigger sign-on bonuses too!

One of my favourite American cards with no foreign transaction fees, and comes with a 50,000 miles sign-on bonus is the Capital One Venture Rewards Card. It’s also been selected by Forbes and NerdWallet in the list of the best zero foreign transaction fee cards and “Best Flat-rate Travel Rewards card”:

Also, we currently use the Capital One 1% cash back card in Canada and love it. Never had an issues dealing with Capital One so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.

Perks:

  • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus (a value of a free $500 in travel!) after spending $3000 in the first 3 months
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • $0 annual fee for 1st year ($95/year afterwards)
  • 2X miles earned on every dollar spent
  • 10 miles earned per dollar when you book on hotels.com/venture

UK:

Not being a UK citizen, I’m not as familiar with credit cards in the UK, but I did come across these handy sites which helps you find credit cards with $0 transaction fees:

https://www.postoffice.co.uk/credit-card

https://www.money.co.uk/credit-cards/credit-cards-with-no-foreign-transaction-fees.htm

UpdateFor UK and Eurozone readers Reader “Bruno” recommend the Revolut card. 

  • Free checking account (no monthly fees) with a Mastercard (simply for 6 euros for delivery)
  • No fees with their Mastercard when you use it abroad
  • For ATM no fees for a withdrawal under 200€ (but check that the specific country you are going to is covered)

Australians:

Here’s a site recommended by the digital nomad community to help Aussies find $0 foreign transaction fee credit cards.

 

A note of caution on credit cards: If you have a lot of consumer debt, do not apply for more credit cards until you PAY THAT SHIT off! Read our articles about murdering your debt before proceeding. We want you to earn points responsibly and not dig yourself into a deeper hole.

2) ATM Fees:

Now, even though I’d love to use my credit card 100% of the time, some countries (like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Netherlands, and, inexplicably, Germany) just aren’t big on credit cards. Or sometimes a business will give you a 10% discount if you use cash (this was the case when we went Scuba Diving in Thailand). So in these situations, it makes sense to take out cash from an ATM.

But since ATMs charge a withdrawal fee (usually $5) + foreign transaction fees (1-3%), this could add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars a year in fees, depending on how often you travel.

This is why you should use a debit card that is part of the Global ATM Alliance.

The Global ATM Alliance is a network of banks all around the world that all agree to waive transaction fees for each other. If you have a checking account from one of the participants, you can use each other’s ATMs fee-free!

Here’s a list of them by bank name and their participating countries:

• Bank of America (United States)
• Barclays (United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Pakistan, Gibraltar, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and other countries in Africa)
• Barclays Africa Group (South Africa)
• BNP Paribas and its affiliate banks (France, Ukraine, Turkey, Poland, Morocco, Italy, New Caledonia, Réunion, Guyane, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Luxembourg[2][3])
• Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (Italy)
• Deutsche Bank (Germany, Poland, Belgium, India, Spain, and Portugal)
• Scotiabank (Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Guyana, and the Caribbean)
• Westpac (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea)

NOTE: Check with your bank on coverage areas. For example, if you use Scotiabank debt card in Germany you won’t have to pay a fee, but go to Slovakia, and it may not be the case)

Update: Reader “gcai” warned of ATM machines which mention “no fee charged” but uses a fixed exchange rate which causes you to haemorrhage money from a bad exchange rate. So do your due diligence and make sure you don’t get scammed.

Canadians

We use our Tangerine debit card (since Scotiabank bought Tangerine) because not only do we avoid the ATMs fees while travelling abroad, we also earned 2.75% interest in our savings account!

Want free money? If you open a Tangerine account between now and October 31, 2018 using our Orange Key: 34840626S1, deposit at least $100, and you’ll get $25 as a bonus!

Free $25, 2.75% interest for 6 months as a new client if you sign up by October 31, 2018 AND no ATMs fees when you travel to Germany, France, Portugal..etc (click here for the full list of countries)! What’s not to love?

So how exactly do you get your $25 bonus?

1. Select the account type you want (Tangerine Savings Account) to open at tangerine.ca and click on ‘Enroll Now’.
2. Enter your info — this is where you enter the Orange Key (34840626S1).
3. Write your account opening cheque of $100 or more to yourself and deposit it in your account.
4. You’re done! Once your deposit shows up, you’ll receive your $25 dollars bonus within 2-3 business days.

Click here to apply for a savings account and follow the above instructions. Remember to use our “34840626S1orange key to get $25 for free!

Americans

You guys have it made! Simply use Charles Schwab and you get no fees and all your ATM fees re-imbursed at the end of your month, no matter where you are in the world. One caveat: you need to open a high-yield checking account to qualify. But there’s no minimum deposit required and no monthly service fee.

update: Reader Mighty Investor mentioned you can get a $100 sign-on bonus for Charles Schwab referrals if you use this link and the refer code “REFER”. Thanks for the tip, MI!

 

If Your Bank Isn’t part of the Global ATM Alliance

For non-US and non-Canadian citizens, or when you go to countries that aren’t part of the Global ATM Alliance, you can still use a trick to get money out without incurring massive ATM fees.

First, make a bill payment onto a credit card with no foreign transaction fees so you’re sitting with a positive balance. Then, take your credit card into a bank branch or ATM to take out a cash advance. Because you have a positive balance, you won’t incur interest charges like you normally would for a cash advance. So you’re kinda using your credit card like a pre-paid debit card, if that makes any sense.

We had to pay a $5 cash advance service fee but we got the exact exchange rate and avoided the 3% fee (check with your bank to see how much this fee is). Since you’re paying fees per transaction, you’re gonna want to take out as much as you’re comfortable with and stashing it with your passport. This way, you’ll minimize the amount of transactions you need to do.

 

Bad Exchange Rates:

Another way you could haemorrhage money while travelling is bad exchange rates. Avoid exchanging money at the airport at all costs. You’ll get a really shitty deal. Whenever possible, use your credit card without foreign transaction fees. And remember, when you use credit cards, select the LOCAL currency on the pin pad, not your own currency. Otherwise it’ll bypass your credit card’s rate and use their shitty local bank’s exchange rate.

 

So there you have it. While travelling, make sure to use your $0 foreign transaction fee credit card as often as possible–especially since many offer a sign-on bonus, cash back, miles towards travel, or hotel points. Avoid bank exchange rates from airports and always select the local currency when you pay with your credit card. Whenever possible, use a bank card that’s part of the ATM Global Alliance to withdraw cash or Charles Schwab if you’re American. If push comes to shove, pre-pay your credit card and get a cash advance on your $0 foreign-transaction-fee credit card. This will help avoid the bank’s shitty exchange rate if you can’t find one that’s part of the Global Alliance.

What do you think? What are your tips to avoid paying bank fees?



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66 thoughts on “How to Avoid Paying Bank Fees While Traveling”

  1. There is another option for a no fee/no foreign transaction fee ATM card. Capitol One 360 offers a checking account with debit card that charges no foreign transaction fees and no maintenance fees. It also charges no ATM fees if you use the card at any Allpoint ATM which has a worldwide network. I only use this checking account when I travel and have it linked to my main checking account which is at another bank. I can transfer $$ between the two accounts remotely. It does take 2 days for the transfer to show up, so one needs to plan that in advance, or just leave a surplus in the 360 account for the duration of your travel.

    1. Ahh, so envious of you Americans with all your awesome credit card and debt card options. We’re trying to build some American credit history with TD bank in the States. Hopefully that’ll give us access to the America cards in the future.

      Is there any advantage of using Capital One 360 over the Charles Schwab? Just wondering.

      1. Schwab doesn’t have a savings account so if you need a little more interest, Capital One is better (the Capital One checking I think also has a better interest rate than Schwab). The Schwab ATM card is better though, since it works every where not just at Allpoint ATMs like Capital One 360. For those reasons, I use my Schwab ATM card when traveling, but they aren’t my primary bank.

  2. It’s been so long since I paid a transaction fee I didn’t realize people actually still paid them!

    There’s tons of cards that have these capabilities but some are less worthy than others — One thing to look out for is shitty currency conversion rates. Instead of a transaction fee, they sometimes get it back through unfavorable conversion rates.

    When it comes to ATM’s it pays to do your research. For example when we were traveling in Japan (a country that still uses tons of cash), 7-11 ATMs had some of the best currency conversion rates.

    1. Oh yeah, I remember using 7-11 ATMs in Japan too! Best currency conversion rates.

      Who knew 7-11 would come to the rescue? In North America I barely ever go to 7-11 for anything.

      1. My credit union only has eight or ten branches, all in the mid-Atlantic… but thanks to the CO-OP Network more than 30k surcharge-free ATMs are available, most notably including one at the 7-11 literally around the corner from our house. It’s marvelous.

        7-11 4EVA!

  3. Unfortunately the Home Trust Visa card isn’t available to residents of the province of…(are you sitting down?)…Quebec.

    I tried to set-up a Tangerine account a few months ago but their web page kept messing things up and their support wasn’t helpful at all (I hear it’s gone downhill since the Scotiabank acquisition). We ended up getting an all-inclusive checking account with TD. While they won’t charge you a foreign ATM fee, the other bank may still do so. Keeping our eyes open for a better opportunity.

    1. Why does Quebec keep being excluded (just like the travel insurance!). So weird!

      Sorry to hear about your experience with Tangerine 🙁 We’ve been pretty happy with them so far and no issues (even after the Scotiabank acquisition). Weird.

      We also have a TD cross-border banking account that doesn’t charge ATM fees but is is a PAIN to setup. It’s useful though if you have US currency sitting around. I prefer not to have checking accounts that force me to keep a certain amount in (ie $3000) to avoid bank fees. I’d rather invest that money. Does your TD account require a certain balance to avoid monthly fees?

      1. Yes, we need to keep >$5000 in there. So by my calculation it’s actually costing us $90 per year (interest from savings account minus our marginal tax rate).

    2. Andre, Kent mentioned below he’s using the Scotiabank Passport Credit Card as an alternative to the Home Trust Preferred card. It has a $139 annual fee but you get access to the Priority Lounges so might be worth it if you enjoy that. Hopefully they don’t exclude Quebec. (what is with all the Quebec hate? yeesh)

  4. that’s outstanding content and good research. you’re right in that you get zero value in paying these damned fees. we’ll have to keep these in mind just in case we ever get off the reservation for an international trip again.

  5. For UK people ( and euro zone countries) you can use Revolut. Free checking account (no monthly fees) with a mastercard ( i paid 6 euros for the delivery that’s all). No fees with their mastercard when you use it abroad. just the official mastercard exchange rate applied for any transactions. For ATM no fees for a withdrawal under 200€ 2% above. Note that some ATM will make you pay some fees as its a foreign credit card. Really depends on the bank. That was the case for RBC when i was in Canada last summer. Of course choose local currency option for the withdrawal. You will avoid hidden fees applied by the ATM if you choose to convert to Pounds or Euros ( depending where you live when you get the Revolut account).

    1. Awesome! Thanks for sharing this info, Bruno! I’ll add it to the article for UK/Euro Zone readers.

  6. TDbank (US affiliate bank owned by TD Canada Trust) offers free ATM services on their checking accounts (available to Canadians) – no fee for foreign access, good exchange rates and if the foreign ATM you’re using charges a fee those get rebated back (just make sure it’s a separate line item ) – only real downside is that a minimum $2,500 USD has to be in the account to get free access. I fill this account, when travelling, with USD obtained using Norbert’s Gambit or dividends from US stock holdings.

    When accessing foreign ATMs one scam I’ve come across is the is “no fee charged” by the ATM but it fixes the F/X rate (ie. 100 euros will cost X dollars) which is usually a very bad rate – got caught out on this once because of location and not having curren F/X info.

    1. We have a TDbank account too–since some of our funds are in USD dollars. Agree with you on the downside of the min $2500 USD to avoid monthly fees.

      Thanks for sharing the info about the ATM scam. I’ll add it to the post.

  7. For Canada there is the new Scotiabank Passport Credit Card. No foreign transaction fees, 6 passes to the Priority Lounges, travel insurance and travel points. I use that since my Chase Marriott was discontinued.

    1. That’s a good option too! (Especially the access to the Priority Lounges). The only downside to that Scotiabank card is the $139 annual fee. Might be worth it for some if they want the lounge access though. We’ll use that one if the Home Trust Preferred card takes too long or falls through.

  8. If you can believe it, Sears Mastercard used to have 0% transaction fees. Of course, with Sears out of the picture, that option no longer exists.

    Thanks for the tips and ideas. We’ll certainly come back to this page when we’re ready for the next card.

    1. Interested. I never ever thought Sears Mastercard was good for anything. I guess it’s moot point now that they’re gone.

  9. We have a Fidelity ATM/Visa Debit card. I’ve never used it as a debit card overseas but the ATM part works flawlessly for free ATM transactions. I took out 50 euro from an ATM in Spain and they charged close to USD$6 transaction fee and Fidelity automatically refunded it in full within a couple of days of it posting.

    I got very bold with the ATM fee refund and started pulling out just $10-20 at a time in Czech Republic for that days’ spending money since I didn’t want a pocketful of unused Czech korunas hanging out with me once we left the country. Worked flawlessly and I think I spent my last dollar’s worth of coins on pastries from the bakery for the kids to carry on the train to the next country.

    1. Nice! Wanderer is militant (if you can believe it) about having change in another currency. So he makes a point to “absorb” all the foreign change at a Tesco’s before going to another country. I’ve even caught him calculating what to buy with exact change on the day before we leave. Weirdo.

  10. We are definitely going to have to pay more attention to this in the near future. We have no issues at home with fees. But over seas we do.

    Thanks for the heads up!

      1. They certainly do, as we continue to venture more and more frequently outside our own borders, it’s becoming a bigger issue.

        Same with the phones. I think it’s time to go with Google FI. I just can’t stomach paying for a new phone. I guess I’ll just wait until the new cycle comes out and pick up an “old” one.

        Technology certainly is amazing this day in age, makes the world a lot smaller place.

        Speaking of which… one of these times we are going to have to cross paths!

  11. No reason to use anything other than the Charles Schwab card for ATM access. They reimburse all ATM fees without question at the end of each month. They have some way of figuring out what the ATM fee was when you use one, even if it is in a foreign currency.

    For American credit cards, there are so many good options it would take forever to discuss them all.

    1. “For American credit cards, there are so many good options it would take forever to discuss them all.”

      Aww, now you’re just rubbing it in 😛 We’re working on establish some American credit history with TDbank in the States so we can access some of those sweet sweet US credit cards.

  12. Yep. Schwab is the way for Americans if you travel abroad much and don’t like paying ATM fees. (I used to work for Schwab btw. Good people. Salaried, rather than commissioned. It helps.) If you Google “Schwab high yield savings sign on bonus” you will find a link straight to Schwab (the link is on their website–referral code “REFER”) that also gives you a $100 sign on bonus. Nice little kicker….

    1. Thanks for the tip, MI! Would love to use the referral link but sadly I don’t have a CS account since I’m not American.

  13. Geez, Wandered being militant about anything? Shocked I tell you! 🙂

    Oddly enough, that “bakery” I referenced in the comment where I spent my last few korunas was actually the in-store bakery at a Tesco Express in front of our apartment. 🙂

  14. Quebec is usually excluded because it is more cumbersome to offer products there – must have everything translated to French, need bilingual call centres, and there are different consumer protection laws and regulations. These regs restrict the features of cards (eg. can’t charge certain fees). There are also different bankruptcy rules in Quebec, so it is easier to file for bankruptcy so the credit card companies typically lose more $ there.

  15. Great tips. I’m not very good with these things because we don’t travel that often. We have a no transaction fee credit card, but no ATM strategy. I’ll check out Charles Schwab and Fidelity. I might go with Fidelity because I already have an account there.
    Thanks!!

    1. Yeah, Justin from rootofgood mentioned he’s using Fidelity and it’s working for him. So you’re all set!

      1. I got the Fidelity ATM card. I already have an account at Fidelity so it was pretty easy. Now I don’t have to pay ATM fees when we go to Iceland in a couple of weeks. Yay! Thanks.

  16. Can I just say that I love that you guys are Canadian finance bloggers? (Though you’re kinda all over the place now). Very helpful because you always include Canadian options for accounts, credit cards etc. Even if our choices aren’t as exciting. lol

    1. The good news is what we lack in credit card offers, we make up for in healthcare and sexy disney prince-like Prime Ministers 🙂

  17. So I could not sleep and decided to reread your blog post to prepare for our upcoming Thailand / Cambodia trip in July. Saw where you added the Charles Schwab “refer” link thanks to Mighty Investor. Just signed up and now going back to bed with a no atm fee card and a $100 bonus on the way! Thanks for all of the great tips!

  18. Interesting ways to save money while traveling. I didn’t know there was an ATM alliance that I could be a part of. I hope my local bank is under that because I often do not carry much hard cash when I I am in a foreign land, mostly due tot he fear of theft and exchange fees. Gonna run to my bank tomorrow and get this done because I have a Shengen trip coming up July. Thanks.

    1. Ooh, Bolivia, that’s on my list 🙂 You know someone’s a traveller when they have lots of different country’s coins collected over the years.

      For us, Wanderer’s militant about getting rid of coins before leaving each country, so the only coins we have right now as from Singapore (needed to keep money around for food at the airport), other than that, all coins have been used up.

  19. Great tips! I usually stick with Amex for credit cards since they waive Foreign Transaction Fees as well. Also, don’t forget to check your local credit unions (if you don’t live nomadicly but do travel multiple times a year). Our credit union reimburses all fees $5 or less, no matter what ATM it is. They also have a higher interest rate than most banks (every little bit helps, right?)

  20. I just applied for a Home Trust VISA to avoid foreign transaction fees as unlike the ScotiaBank card with that feature it is a no fee card. However, keep in mind it only offers $8,000 in credit at any one time. I can get around that if necessary by setting it up as a “pay bill” on my CIBC accounts and transferring in cash onlinw while travelling it it looks like I need additional credit.

  21. For Canadians, there is another credit card (Rogers Bank Master Card) that i am using for the last two years and recently converted to “Rogers World Elite Master Card” with additonal Travel insurance benefits.

    https://www.rogersbank.com/en/rogers_worldelite_mastercard_details

    4% unlimited cash back rewards on all eligible purchases made in a foreign currency (after deducting 2.5% Foreign trax fees…you will still received 1.5%cash back with)
    2% unlimited cash back rewards on Rogers™ products and services charged to your card1
    1.75% cash back rewards on all other eligible purchases1

    1. Yeah, we looked into the Rogers Mastercard too but the rewards were all credits towards Roger’s products. Too restrictive for us but thanks for mentioning it.

      1. not true – there is a special clause statement that says you can redeem it back to your statement (hidden in the pdf document for this card)

        The statement credit can be applied directly to the card balance during the month of January (whenever the statement arrives depending on the dates set by the cardholder for billing).

  22. When withdrawing cash, be careful to compare your Bank’s exchange rate with that of the your credit card. My experience has been that the Bank’s exchange rate greatly exceeds that of the international rate offered by your credit card. Before I leave on a trip where I know I will need significant amounts of cash (e.g., VRBO’s), I overpay my no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card by the amount of cash I expect to need. When I need cash, I use that credit card at the ATM. Because I have a credit balance there is no cash advance fee. There is a minimum fee of $5 or 1%, but in my experience this is small compared to the exchange rate savings from using the credit card. You need to be careful to ensure you have a credit balance first – you may need to top this up during the trip.

  23. Just checked and Tangerine is now offering 2.75% for new accounts (for 6 months) so a tad better than the previous 2.5%. Unfortunately, several countries in the EU that I visit/plan to visit are not covered under this no-ATM fee alliance ( Ireland, Portugal, Croatia, Greece……) but that is to be expected. Paying that $5 ATM fee ( to RBC in my case) + whatever extra % they further skim off the top of my hard-earned money is the price I have to pay for the comfort of not having to carry loads of cash with me when travelling for long periods…but I digress.

    Same when it comes to using credit cards that further squeeze us : in the grand scheme of things, I will pay $30-40 in additional foreign conversion fees for each chunk of $1000 I spend on my ViSA while travelling abroad, but I can save that amount in just one day by simply avoiding the “spontaneous” coffee & desert at a “tourist trap” resto located in the city square…but I digress. (Ooops, sorry for 2 digressions in the same post!) Thank you for the Orange Key btw…much appreciated!

  24. Quebec has civil law system (like France) and the rest of Canada has common law system (like USA) so rules and regulations are different; that’s why many contests (Regie des lottos) exclude Quebec, as well as Tangerine or President’s Choice or Simplii banking system and insurances.
    As for starting a business, it is true regarding law 101, everything must be French, but on the other end, starting a business there is usually beneficial because lawsuits are much harder to achieve (towards a company)

    1. Yeah, I keep hearing from readers that they can’t access the same offers or get WorldNomad travel insurance in Quebec. Now I know the reason. Well, at least the businesses there won’t get sued as much.

  25. What about the Rogers World Elite MC? No annual fee, 1.5% net cash back on foreign purchases (4%cb-2.5%), 1.75%cb on all CAD purchases. My cb gets paid monthly to my statement.

    I’ve been using it even before it became a World Elite card. I have the Home Trust as a back up, as the cb is only 1%, as I don’t like how you can’t change the pin, and I believe it’s only an annual cb.

    1. Another reader also recommend the Roger’s card. If we ever get a chance to try it, we’ll write a review.

  26. Happy to report that as of Jan. 2018 the Citi Costco card has not foreign transaction fees. This card is a high cash-back card, but not useful for travel / points, so be aware of that.

  27. I’m Australian and I use ING Direct Orange card. Looks like your Tangerine card and same sign-up bonus for getting other people signed on. Also is pretty much the same deal as the Charles Schwab card. However, the banks have received a lot of pressure from a finance guy called The Barefoot Investor and a lot of his fans (including myself) switched banks and straight away and now the other banks have followed suit.

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