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Old Jul 15, 14, 2:27 pm #1
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Fidelity Cash Management Debit Card/ATM Forex: Real-World Experience?

Tried searching for appropriate existing thread, but none I could find. Thanks for patience with this question, if redundant:

I was under the impression that Fidelity Cash Management ATM cards used overseas for ATM cash disbursements charged a 1% FOREX commission, but that the ATM per-use fee was reimbursed.

I talked to a representative today, and he said that the 1% FOREX fee is only for purchases made on the card, but ATM cash withdrawals are not charged the additional 1%.

Does anyone have real-world experience with this issue regarding what fees are/are not charged when using a Fidelity Cash Management ATM card in foreign ATMs for cash withdrawals?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 15, 14, 4:56 pm #2

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Fidelity and Forex: Real-World Experience?

I recently used my fidelity cash management card in London and South Africa. There were no Forex fees and exchange rate was very good. It really worked well and I highly recommend this option for ATMs in foreign countries.
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Old Jul 15, 14, 6:21 pm #3

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Fidelity and Forex: Real-World Experience?

I routinely get right around the published exchange rate (.00148 vs .00147) for Rwandan francs living here. Never get charged the receipt fee listed on the machine nor any other fees. Cash USD get a slightly better rate but the fidelity ATM delivers as advertised. Customer service has been very helpful and quick with US based agents when I've had to call over Skype from India and Rwanda for issues like failing to set a pin before travel and security lockouts despite giving a pretravel notice. No complaints.
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Old Jul 15, 14, 6:22 pm #4

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Fidelity and Forex: Real-World Experience?

Ditto my experiences using Fidelity card all over the world.
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Old Jul 15, 14, 6:22 pm #5

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Fidelity and Forex: Real-World Experience?

Fidelity is one of the few nofee ATM cards available with a visa logo-important for African travel where the MasterCard network is MUCH smaller
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Old Jul 15, 14, 9:28 pm #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elf618 View Post
Customer service has been very helpful and quick with US based agents...for issues like ...security lockouts despite giving a pretravel notice.
Thanks everyone for their feedback! Glad that this card and the CS is well-received.

Any advice from anyone about how to ensure that one's pre-travel notice can best be done in order to avoid a security lockout?

Thanks again.
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Old Jul 15, 14, 11:59 pm #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Thanks everyone for their feedback! Glad that this card and the CS is well-received.

Any advice from anyone about how to ensure that one's pre-travel notice can best be done in order to avoid a security lockout?

Thanks again.
There is no way to avoid it. Fraud alert system would still monitor unusual activities. Even if you already gave travel notice, if your activities fall into some measures the system deem suspicious, it would still block your card. period.

If it happens, just call Fido. Have you gone to their website to poke around? They have local toll-free phone number for dozens of countries. Chances are, the places you go, there is a toll-free number for those countries.

I called them from Italy using the toll-free specifically for calling from Italy. fyi.
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Old Oct 15, 14, 12:50 am #8
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Fidelity Cash Management Debit Card/ATM Forex

Thanks in advance for those of you knowledgeable and kind enough to share your insights:

I am going on a long foreign trip, and am planning on using my Fidelity Cash Management debit card to withdraw cash in each city I visit. This is a new one for me, as I used to bring foreign cash or use travelers checks along with my credit card.

My question for those in the know: (1) Is there a fixed daily withdrawal limit? (2) Is this limit in USA dollars equivalent or some other measure, and (2) Does anyone have experience in getting the limit raised for them?

Many thanks!
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Old Oct 15, 14, 1:36 am #9

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Fidelity Cash Management Debit Card/ATM Forex

I've used this card for a couple of years. No problems at all. Call the and let them know where you are headed and ask your daily limit questions at that time.
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Old Oct 15, 14, 2:20 pm #10
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Thanks for your reply. For the benefit of anyone else who has an interest, I did call Fidelity when their "A" Team was in the office, and had my card activated for this purpose. They told me I had a $1k per day withdrawal limit, and that there could be a total of 8 transactions per day.
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Old Oct 15, 14, 9:44 pm #11
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Yes, there is a daily limit and is in US$. The limit is set by the bank your account is assigned to as you know Fidelity itself has no bank. Mine is assigned to Fifththird, with a paltry $500 daily limit. It is enough for our need as we mostly use credit cards whenever possible. The limit could be raised I am told.

I cannot believe in these days and age, one would still use Traveler's Check. We quit bring TC since late 1990's when ATMs starting showing up around the world. In countries where there were no ATM yet, such as Spain, we created a credit balance with our Visa credit card, then just did a cash advance at local bank with said card. No fee, just presented the passport.

ATM gives you the BEST possible Inter-bank average rate that is often 5% better than the retail rate you would get when you cash your TC to exchange for local currency, sometimes with a fee.

Here is a real story to ease your mind - we came back from a month long trip with the first half being in China, second half being in France with HKG in between - when boarding our Air China flight IAH-PEK, there was K9 unit on the walkway down to the jet bridge. After the lovely dog sniffed around, we thought it was done. Nope. There were 7 or 8 more officers further down the walkway. One asked me how much cash I brought, I said may be $100 or so. He then asked how much CNY I had. I said 0 but I brought 2 ATM cards. Aint there ATMs in China just like here? The officer next to him could not hold back his broad smile... Then the original officer asked my husband who was walking behind me... Without looking back I told him my husband probably had less than $20 on him. The other officer now could not hold it any more but laughed out... Similar thing happened on a land crossing to Canada a few years ago...

In China I used the FIDO ATM card 5 times as it was largely still a Cash society. Transactions also did not show up in real time like in Europe. Withdrawal made on weekend showed up later than subsequent withdrawal made on Monday... Just little quirky things. Other than that, it is no different from the previous dozs of trips to elsewhere in the world... Europe, South Pacific, Asia... anywhere there is a Visa logo ATM, you can use your FIDO ATM card.

Seriously, when you travel, all you need to make sure is to have your passport, credit cards and ATM cards. I emphasize the s. Airports, Train and Subway stations in many cities always have ATMs. Even in St. Petersburg and Moscow, you can find ATM in subway stations. You really dont need to bring foreign cash except small amount of some very common ones or for places you tend to go very often, like Euro, that you would keep the left-overs from previous trip for future trip.

One of the big advantage of a no fee ATM card is, you can make small withdrawals as you go - this is important when your trip involves 9 currencies... when we had a 46 days trip in a "Circle Pacific" type trip in 2009, there were 9 currencies to deal with. Having the Fido / Schwab ATM cards truly made things simpler.

Last edited by Happy; Oct 15, 14 at 9:57 pm
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Old Oct 16, 14, 10:52 am #12

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There is a 1% foreign transaction fee per the check card agreement. (https://fidelity.com/bin-public/...0Agreement.pdf)
However it does not specify if it's for a swipe purchase or ATM withdrawal.

Anyone can clarify?

Thanks

Edit:

I just chat with Fido online, agent told me 1% fee applies to both transaction and ATM withdrawal, and is charged by VISA. Also he said the new accounts group can decide to do a hard credit check, it's up to them, and no way to know for sure.

Last edited by kenshinluo; Oct 16, 14 at 11:03 am
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Old Oct 16, 14, 11:24 am #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshinluo View Post
There is a 1% foreign transaction fee per the check card agreement. (https://fidelity.com/bin-public/...0Agreement.pdf)
However it does not specify if it's for a swipe purchase or ATM withdrawal.

Anyone can clarify?

Thanks

Edit:

I just chat with Fido online, agent told me 1% fee applies to both transaction and ATM withdrawal, and is charged by VISA. Also he said the new accounts group can decide to do a hard credit check, it's up to them, and no way to know for sure.
I've talked to several people in the Premium Account group, and have gotten consistent information that ATM withdrawals are not subject to the transaction fees. However, that is based upon having a Cash Management account.
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Old Oct 16, 14, 3:07 pm #14

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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
I've talked to several people in the Premium Account group, and have gotten consistent information that ATM withdrawals are not subject to the transaction fees. However, that is based upon having a Cash Management account.
The PDF says one thing, but it's not the reality.

No FTF is charged on ATM withdrawals.

Using a debit card is crazy to begin with, so the 1% on that is irrelevant.
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Old Oct 16, 14, 10:20 pm #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshinluo View Post
There is a 1% foreign transaction fee per the check card agreement. (https://fidelity.com/bin-public/...0Agreement.pdf)
However it does not specify if it's for a swipe purchase or ATM withdrawal.

Anyone can clarify?

Thanks

Edit:

I just chat with Fido online, agent told me 1% fee applies to both transaction and ATM withdrawal, and is charged by VISA. Also he said the new accounts group can decide to do a hard credit check, it's up to them, and no way to know for sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
I've talked to several people in the Premium Account group, and have gotten consistent information that ATM withdrawals are not subject to the transaction fees. However, that is based upon having a Cash Management account.
You are being misinformed. There is no 1% transaction fee on ATM withdrawal, but there is a 1% Visa NETWORK FEE, and is not charged by Fido, but the bank which ATM you use if the bank decides to recoup this from Visa.

My card is from the Cash Management Account which I turned off the linkage to the brokerage account that can have its own ATM card - regardless which account your ATM card is from, it does not matter - they function the SAME and are subject to the same terms.

Truth be told, the 1% is truly up to the bank whether it is charged or not.

Of the 5 or 6 years we use FIDO's card, we were charge 1% only ONCE, at a BNP branch in Aix-en-Provence. I took 100 euro, and there is a 1 euro separately listed, as "Purchase". That was the 1%. BNP in Paris does not charge that fee btw.

All other times, from all over the world, including BNPs in various places, there is never a 1% separate line. The exchange rates do have small variances to the XC site's historical rates of intra-day Avg bank rates, but the variances were within 0.03% or below, so I conclude they are truly due to rate fluctuation during the day, and not anything being padded.

One thing I do notice is, you would get a slightly worse rate if your withdrawals were made preceding a US Bank closing days, like weekend or holidays and the transactions would not post until next business day after the bank closure. Again, unless you are taking a large sum out, for the couple hundred bucks withdrawals, I would not get all worked up by that.

If you are bothered by the 1% charge potential, get the Schwab's Investor Checking account and its ATM card. Schwab has its own bank and the daily limit is a high $2K that could be raised temporary if you need that. No fee whatsoever, and they reimburse ATM fee on a monthly basis, versus Fido reimburses it immediately after each occurrence.

Last edited by Happy; Oct 16, 14 at 10:32 pm
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