Posted by Chuck on February 27, 2020
High-Yield APY Accounts

Published on February 27th, 2020 | by Chuck

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Betterment Checking Will Reimburse All Foreign Transaction Fees On Their Debit Card (ATM Fees Also Waived)

The high-yield Betterment savings account is soon launching an accompanying checking account as well with a linked Visa debit card. They’ve just announced that all foreign transaction fees will be reimbursed on the account, including the 1% fee from Visa.

They also waive making ATM fees, even international, making all foreign swipes entirely fee-free.

They sent out an email:

We’re excited to share that, with Betterment Everyday™ Checking, you can now travel the world without paying to access your own money.

That’s right—not only do we reimburse ATM fees worldwide, but every foreign transaction fee is now reimbursed. Nice.

It IS nice. There are various banks/accounts who will waive ATM fees, perhaps even foreign ATM fees, but Schwab was one of the only banks who did not charge any foreign transaction fees, meaning that even the 1% Visa cost will is reimbursed. That’s in addition to waiving ATM fees worldwide. Betterment now joins Schwab as another bank who reimburses both of these fees, a useful account to have for travelers.

Advantages of Betterment over Schwab:

We’ll add Betterment to our list of Best Debit Cards For International ATM Cash Withdrawals.

Hat tip to readers Ryan Goldstein and Ian



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Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

I’d like to point out that SoFi is no different in practice than Schwab taking out money at Foreign ATM’s. I’ve never seen the 1% Visa fee that is talked about. I’ve taken money out in Canada, Caribbean and Europe with no fees whatsoever.

Tim
Tim

SoFi is converting the cards to Mastercard which could make it more difficult to find an ATM when traveling. https://www.doctorofcredit.com/sofi-money-debit-card-to-become-world-mastercard-cell-phone-protection-other-benefits-on-february-20th-2020/

Tim
Tim

Seems like a good replacement for the SoFi visa that is converting to a Mastercard since visa is more widely accepted overseas.

Avi
Avi

I think Fidelity also has zero fees. That’s what I use when abroad.

Zac
Zac

I’ve heard that Fidelity has 1% foreign transaction fee. Doesn’t it?

James
James

(meant to reply to Zac) Only for purchases, not ATM.

Avi
Avi

I take great pleasure in withdrawing 20 euro at a time.

Andrew
Andrew

Interesting to hear that they don’t charge a fee at present, although from their website, within the ATM reimbursement footnote they explicitly say that a 1% fee may be charged, and the wording is ambiguous as to whether reimbursement is only for special members: “For Fidelity Cash Management Account owners or Fidelity Account® owners coded Premium, Private Client Group, Wealth Management, or with household annual trading activity of 120 or more stock, bond, or options trades, your account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using the Fidelity® Debit Card at any ATM displaying the Visa®, Plus® or Star® logos. … there may be a foreign transaction fee of 1% included in the amount charged to your account.”

i.e. is it
(Cash Management or Fidelity accounts) with Platinum, 120 trades, etc.
or
(Cash Management) or (Fidelity accounts with Platinum, 120 trades, etc.)

https://www.fidelity.com/cash-management/atm-debit-card

Mystral
Mystral

It’s the latter. On the page you listed, click the “ATM Reimbursement Levels” link – it pops up a small table that lays it out for you.

Lin
Lin

You’re right. Fidelity also has this.

Jonathan
Jonathan

Same experience here. Fidelity cash management account has no fees as well internationally.

Staradmiral
Staradmiral

For those of you who use the Betterment savings account, do they have external transfer limits? I don’t want to put 5 figures in and then be told I can’t take it out all at once. A place to park my emergency fund need to be accessible!

Mystral
Mystral

This comment said it was limited to just one bank for the savings:
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/betterment-savings-2-69-apy-promotion-rate-through-2019-for-joining-waitlist/#comment-788093

I wonder if the checking product is/will be different.

I
I

The checking account has a routing and acct. number. (Unlike the savings account) So you can link an external bank and transfer with ach push. Not sure how it works linking in betterment as I haven’t done that.

H
H

A lot of the premium level checking accounts don’t charge any foreign transaction fee either.

Ian
Ian

Like who, besides Chase Sapphire Banking (with $75k in You Invest brokerage)?

Mystral
Mystral

It’s probably worth noting the timeframe of the reimbursement from the FAQ:

“You can expect a credit to your checking account by the following calendar day.”

Jake
Jake

In practice. Fidelity also charges 0 fee.

Ron
Ron

I’d be more interested in the ATM withdrawal limit. Schwab is still the highest at up to $1000 a day whereas the others are mostly around $500.

TWoK
TWoK

Schwab allows you to set whatever you want. I’ve pulled $80,000 out of overseas ATMs with no issue. I have a permanent daily limit set at $2500.

Ron
Ron

Does the ATM even carry that much? haha. I like Schwab, however, my only gripes is that their alerts are lacking. There aren’t any notifications when there are deposits. Also, you need to wait until the end of the month to get the reimbursement whereas most refund it the next day.

Jeremy
Jeremy

I think level offers this now too. However refund is up to $4.

Ted
Ted

Be careful with SoFi. They shut me down after about five days abroad in Singapore and India. To be fair, I didn’t leave any travel notes. But why wait five days?

Ted
Ted

This post is about Betterment? Did you have an issue with SoFi or Betterment while overseas?

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