Money Logistics- Our Recommendations for Credit and Debit Cards

When traveling internationally, it is important to know how you are going to access your money.

We each use the Marriott Rewards credit card for most of our purchases. It has an international chip in the card, which is necessary for most credit card machines outside of the United States, and charges no foreign transaction fee. They also give you the exact official exchange rate. At the same time, you earn points each time you spend to redeem at Marriott hotels.

For accessing cash from ATMs, I opened up a Schwab Investment Checking Account and Debit Account. With my debit card for these accounts (which are linked), I can use any ATM in the world and am refunded for any ATM fees imposed by the other bank, and Schwab charges to additional fee. This means I never pay any ATM fees to access my money.

In order to protect my money at home, I did not bring my primary debit card linked to my main checking account (which is not the Schwab account listed above)- this way it cannot be stolen while I am traveling, protecting the bulk of savings. My Schwab account only has the amount of money I budgeted for this trip in it- the rest stays in my primary account.

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