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Q&A: Should I Use My Credit Card to Get Cash from ATMs Internationally?

June 24, 2013
Airline Credit Cards, Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
Q&A: Should I Use My Credit Card to Get Cash from ATMs Internationally?
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We are going to Europe this summer and want a credit card with no foreign transaction fees but also want to be able to use it at the ATM for cash. We have debit cards but they are linked to our checking account. Is it safe to use our debit cards or should we get a new credit card?

I’d strongly recommend that you get a debit card that has no international ATM fees, or one with no foreign transaction fees. The Capital One 360 account offers no foreign transaction fees, and also reimburses ATM charges up to $25 a month. To avoid hitting the $25 limit, withdraw as much as you can safely do, being mindful of the $600 daily withdrawal limit.

Using your credit card at the ATM is a risky proposition that should only be used in emergencies. If you get cash with a credit card, you’ll have to pay a cash advance fee (usually 5%, more than your standard foreign transaction fee), and unlike regular purchases, you don’t have a month or so to pay off your balance before you’re charged interest. Instead, you start accruing interest the day you take the money out, and the APR can sometimes be higher than that for purchases.

» MORE: 7 Ways your credit card could save you money on holiday travel