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Bank Cards

Los Angeles...
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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

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Lincoln, United...
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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.

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Los Angeles...
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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
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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,

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Los Angeles...
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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

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QLD
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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
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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.

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Hanoi
Hanoi
Vietnam
Los Angeles...
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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
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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
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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...
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10. Re: Bank Cards

Lazyy,

Undoubtedly worth calling them before signing up. Thanks.

Richard