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Bank Cards

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
3,576 posts
86 reviews
Bank Cards

Contemplating a longer stay of several months in Nha Trang, I am wondering what the best options are for a bank card issued from a U.S. bank. It looks like the Schwab bank card would be a good option as there are no charges whatsoever and all foreign owner ATM fees are reimbursed.

So I have two questions:

1. Has anyone used this card in Nha Trang or Vietnam?

2. Is the pin associated with this card 4 or 6 digits?

My Bank of America ATM card requires a 4-digit pin, and even though I preauthorized its use for the last trip to Vietnam, I could not get it to work using my 4-digit pin or even with the 4-digit pin and padding a couple 0's after the 4 digits. After returning home, nobody at B of A could tell me why the card wouldn't work and they did recognize that is was authorized for use in Vietnam during my last visit.

I don't want to deal with travelers checks or carrying a lot of cash. Thanks in advance.

Richard

Lincoln, United...
Level Contributor
9,033 posts
46 reviews
1. Re: Bank Cards

I've used both 4 and 6 digit pins in Vietnam without any problems at all. Just wondered if your card was a chip and pin issue as a lot of ATM's can only read the magnetic strip. If your issuer doesn't enable that the card just doesn't work.

As for banking generally, you'd be better off opening a local account and transferring money from your US account into it. That way your don't end paying out ATM fees etc.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
3,576 posts
86 reviews
2. Re: Bank Cards

Long-term, I might open a Dong account and do a single transfer each month, albeit at the cost of an international wire. I think I can probably pull $500/day from the ATM for no cost with Schwab. Doing that once a week to pay for expenses isn't all that bad.

Richard

Pennsylvania, USA
Level Contributor
2,058 posts
29 reviews
3. Re: Bank Cards

I found that opening a local bank account was a major hassle.

Another option is while in the U.S. you open and account with a major international bank that has ATM's in Vietnam. If your account is with them, they don't charge ATM fees. For me it was down to either HSBC or Citibank. I went with Citibank because the Citibank ATM was closer to my house,

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
3,576 posts
86 reviews
4. Re: Bank Cards

@ Tecalli. Hmmm. Have you actually used your Citibank ATM in Vietnam? Here's the link I've been using to research the question:

flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php/Credit/Debit/A…

For comparison, take a look at Schwab. No ATM fees, no point of sale fees, and all foreign owner ATM fees reimbursed with bank accounts, which is what I'm considering. Thanks.

Richard

QLD
Level Contributor
1,377 posts
25 reviews
5. Re: Bank Cards

sounds similar to what I use

http://www.28degreescard.com.au/

You can load this with cash before you go effectively making it a debit card

Pennsylvania, USA
Level Contributor
2,058 posts
29 reviews
6. Re: Bank Cards

Richard G, yes, I have been using the Citibank ATM near my house in Hanoi now for about 3 years without a problem- no foreign transaction fees charged, no ATM withdrawal fees charged.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
3,576 posts
86 reviews
7. Re: Bank Cards

@ Decaro. Yes, that card is great but when I last looked at the application, it wasn't available to residents of U.S.

Richard

Edited: 26 June 2012, 06:50
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Level Contributor
7,579 posts
30 reviews
8. Re: Bank Cards

There should be no problem as long as you nitify your bank that you will be here. I have a 4 and a 6 digit card and both work. To open a local account, you have to have a 3 month visa and a fised address.

Lastly, you can use a Techcom or HSBC band to withdraw larger than 2000000 at a time.

Owee

www.owee58.com

USA
Level Contributor
347 posts
8 reviews
9. Re: Bank Cards

i thought that i read that schwabb charges international atm fees, it was in the fine print somewhere. maybe i misread. could have been ally bank.

capital one high yield checking account have no atm fees and the reimburst you for the machines' fees, up to a certain amount monthly.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
3,576 posts
86 reviews
10. Re: Bank Cards

Lazyy,

Undoubtedly worth calling them before signing up. Thanks.

Richard

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