“Folks don’t carry money around in their pockets. They’ve got to go to an ATM machine, and they’ve got to pay a few dollars to get their own dollars out of the machine. Who ever thought you’d pay cash to get cash? That’s where we’ve gotten to.”~Bill Janklow
Twelve years ago, we had to go to the mainland to take money out of an ATM. The first time we took our neighbor kids to Rivas, the ATM machine impressed them the most. They were amazed at the small cool room, and it really blew them away when money came out of a hole in the machine. When they told their Papa about the miracle they saw in Rivas, he asked us if he could get a card for the money machine, too.
Today, we have at least five ATMs to choose from in Moyogalpa. However, our MasterCard debit card from our bank in the states is only accepted by one bank and one private ATM at the Mega Super grocery store. Recently, our bank sent us new debit cards with the digital chips. Now, the only bank that accepts our chipped debit card is BAC.
Unfortunately, the BAC fee is $3 for a transaction, and our US bank fee for the transaction is $5. So, every time we go to the ATM, we withdraw our limit because no matter how much money we withdraw, the fees are always $8 for each transaction.
Over a period of a year, our transaction fees add up to $384, which is four transactions a month at $8 a transaction X 48 transactions. Outrageous!!! It is our money and we have to pay fees to access our own money. That is unacceptable to me!
So, here is what I do to avoid any transaction fees. We have a Capital One Money Market account. It is like a savings account. Not only is the interest we receive higher than what our bank in the states pays, but we can make six withdrawals per month from ATMs without paying a penny in transaction fees.
Next, we needed to find an ATM in Nicaragua that doesn’t charge a transaction fee. Our Mega Super grocery store does not charge a transaction fee because it is a private ATM.
It is simple to transfer money to our Capital One account from our bank in the states. We make the transaction through Capital One and not our stateside bank because in order to make an external transfer from our bank, we have to physically go to the bank. It cannot be done online.
We transfer money monthly to our Capital One account and make 4 withdrawals a month through our Mega Super grocery store ATM. And the best news is that we are saving $384 a year because we pay NO TRANSACTION FEES!
I am very pleased with our Capital One accounts. We have a Capital One credit card and a money market account. The service is exceptional and I can contact them online 24 hours a day if I need help.
So with the money we saved in transaction fees, we booked the TranzAlpine Scenic Train Ride in New Zealand.
How do you save ATM fees if you live abroad? And what do you do with the money you save?