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What is the best bank account for travelling with?

Auckland, New...
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What is the best bank account for travelling with?

Hi everyone,

I am about to travel to South America for 3 months and I am shocked at how much the banks charge to withdraw cash from ATMs. $5 odd per transaction fee plus the 1-3% rate seems very expensive when you compare it to the daily cost of living in SA, especially when I don't want to carry too much cash on me at any one time in case of theft.

I am a dual Canadian/New Zealand citizen living in Canada but visiting NZ again before my SA trip so I can get bank cards from any bank in NZ or Canada.

Any recommendations for one that doesn't rip you off quite so much. I have seen other similar threads but they seem to talk about USA and UK banks only.


Destination Expert
for Vancouver Island
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1. Re: What is the best bank account for travelling with?

Citizens Bank of Canada Global Chequing Account https://www.citizensbank.ca

I found this a while back while on the Thailand forums. I don't know anything about them personally, but apparently some people have used them when travelling to Thailand to keep from paying the bank fees when taking money out through ATMs. We have changed our plans to go there again this fall, so I haven't followed up with them until we're ready to go again. This is what the poster recommending them had to say:

**Citizens Bank is actually Van City, an established credit union, and the accounts are insured up to $100,000 CAD by the CDIC just like any other bank. It's not just a virtual bank - it has a few physical branches as well. Recently they let me start an account although I'm not a Canadian resident, so I'll finally be able to access Canadian assets from abroad without getting wapped for five bucks each time by Royal Bank. I've found them very friendly and accommodating.**

Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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2. Re: What is the best bank account for travelling with?

I have a Citizens account. It's the Global Chequing Account that you want.

Citizens is a twisted triplet! It was formed by VanCity, a credit union, but it is a bank, and if you wanted a bank draft, for example, they would get it from their other triplet member, The Bank of Montreal. They act like a bank with the $100K guaranteed by CDIC, whereas credit unions now have unlimited funds guaranteed. You can go to their "boutique" outlet in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Otherwise it's internet, phone or ATM banking through the Exchange ATMs. I can't remember how I set up an account now, I think I used their online form and mailed it in. I think they sent me the debit card and I set up the PIN # at VanCity. I think I went through VanCity for a few other things as well. I have found them very accommodating. Their interest rates are a tad higher than other financial institutions because they have less overhead.

3. Re: What is the best bank account for travelling with?

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Removed on: 18 January 2010, 08:16