Personal Finance

Euro Dominated Account that Will Let Me Spend By ATM??

  • Last Updated:
  • May 22nd, 2019 6:42 pm
Tags:
None
[OP]
Member
Sep 8, 2010
285 posts
41 upvotes
Chambly

Euro Dominated Account that Will Let Me Spend By ATM??

I opened up an account at interactive brokers and get great rate on conversion to euro. I am planning a family vacation in three weeks and thought I would open a euro account at scotiabank or hsbc but I learned today that I can only do teller withdrawals in Canada so that would not let me spend in Europe with the money I have loaded up.

Any ideas/suggestions on best way to meet my goal of spending in Euros at most economical way over next three months??

Many purchases like hotel and car rental will be paying in cash instead of of credit card
17 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 19, 2018
1372 posts
1496 upvotes
It is probably much more dangerous to be carrying cash for everything in Euro than using a credit card. Plus a lot of credit card has no FX fee that might actually beat you conversion rate these day, you are better off getting one of those credit card.

If you are dead set on sticking to cash, bringing it with you is probably the only way to consider 'economical'. There is no real good way to transfer cash oversea without an oversea account. Pretty much all oversea withdrawal will have some fee associated with it too along with limitation on where you can get cash.

If you do have oversea account, https://transferwise.com/ is a plausible solution with very low fee.

As you might see that is why most people just bring no FX fee credit card oversea these days. With something like Roger world elite you might end up gaining benefit when you spend money oversea. Still won't beat the best conversion rate but it is not far off and a lot less hassle. Plus you get insurance that come with the card.
Banned
User avatar
Jul 17, 2008
11042 posts
3840 upvotes
Cucumference wrote: It is probably much more dangerous to be carrying cash for everything in Euro than using a credit card. Plus a lot of credit card has no FX fee that might actually beat you conversion rate these day, you are better off getting one of those credit card.

If you are dead set on sticking to cash, bringing it with you is probably the only way to consider 'economical'. There is no real good way to transfer cash oversea without an oversea account. Pretty much all oversea withdrawal will have some fee associated with it too along with limitation on where you can get cash.

If you do have oversea account, https://transferwise.com/ is a plausible solution with very low fee.

As you might see that is why most people just bring no FX fee credit card oversea these days. With something like Roger world elite you might end up gaining benefit when you spend money oversea. Still won't beat the best conversion rate but it is not far off and a lot less hassle. Plus you get insurance that come with the card.
What are the current 0FX credit cards out there? Amazon CC was my go to card, but that's gone. I opened the Scotia passport but I will be canceling that as I don't like the ridiculous $140 annual fee.

Is Brim a thing or that was a flop in the end? Heard something about stack CC but that one is a weird one, on the phone only, etc? Any other would be the Rogers CC right?
Deal Guru
User avatar
May 8, 2009
14070 posts
11726 upvotes
Not Leask
@mcu please don't buy EUR at IB for a trip UNLESS you can wire it to an investment broker or bank account in Europe. Also, what's the spread? Aren't they at least 0.2% FTF??

+1 to what @Cucumference said...but wiring EUR to a TW German iban isn't too useful unless you can direct deposit it to a European bank account.

@Messerschmitt basically...
  1. ATM withdrawals for cash should be done on prepaid cards, since no-FTF debit cards don't exist in Canada. Lead with Stack, fallback on Koho. Can use debit card from TD Bank (US) if you do cross-border banking.
  2. Spend should be on no-FTF CC's as much as possible. HomeTrust Preferred for car rental insurance. For hotel bookings, if you book them online in CAD, you could use your favourite big bank or AmEx travel card as it'll hopefully give you anti theft insurance for the hotel stay. If paying locally, best to use your forex spender card. HomeTrust Preferred/Brim/Rogers/HSBC WE/BNS PP Inf are your options for now, unless you have TD Cash via US cross-border banking
  3. You can expand your fallbacks and outlets. You can move money cross-border via apps (TransferWise), crypto, 3rd party forex traders who will wire the funds for you, etc.
Premium Life: CDC [Icey Private Status]/SwissBorg/Netflix UHD [100% off]/Amazon [Prime 100% off]/Instacart [Express]
Banned
User avatar
Jul 17, 2008
11042 posts
3840 upvotes
titaniumtux wrote: @mcu please don't buy EUR at IB for a trip UNLESS you can wire it to an investment broker or bank account in Europe. Also, what's the spread? Aren't they at least 0.2% FTF??

+1 to what @Cucumference said...but wiring EUR to a TW German iban isn't too useful unless you can direct deposit it to a European bank account.

@Messerschmitt basically...
  1. ATM withdrawals for cash should be done on prepaid cards, since no-FTF debit cards don't exist in Canada. Lead with Stack, fallback on Koho. Can use debit card from TD Bank (US) if you do cross-border banking.
  2. Spend should be on no-FTF CC's as much as possible. HomeTrust Preferred for car rental insurance. For hotel bookings, if you book them online in CAD, you could use your favourite big bank or AmEx travel card as it'll hopefully give you anti theft insurance for the hotel stay. If paying locally, best to use your forex spender card. HomeTrust Preferred/Brim/Rogers/HSBC WE/BNS PP Inf are your options for now, unless you have TD Cash via US cross-border banking
  3. You can expand your fallbacks and outlets. You can move money cross-border via apps (TransferWise), crypto, 3rd party forex traders who will wire the funds for you, etc.
I did ATM withdrawals from my Amazon CC after pre-paying it, then just paying the 1% fee (no ATM fee anywhere in the world). So I was looking at something similar. Obviously Rogers CC for this is a nono since they still have inherently the 2.5% FX, just gives 4% back on actual CC purchases.

Also, I do not deal with USD. I'm purely Euro/Asia that interests me.
Member
May 2, 2019
429 posts
487 upvotes
Vancouver
mcu wrote: Many purchases like hotel and car rental will be paying in cash instead of of credit card
Any reason for this? As mentioned, proper cashback cards beat cash purchases: Rogers World Elite (or at least Platinum), Home Trust Preferred, pass on Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite because of the annual fee.
Make sure you read prompts on ATMs/terminals carefully to decline currency conversion on their side.

Check other useful options titaniumtux mentioned, like booking services in CAD, getting a STACK card, etc. It's best to have several options if you can. You don't have much time to apply for new cards, though.
titaniumtux wrote: @mcu please don't buy EUR at IB for a trip UNLESS you can wire it to an investment broker or bank account in Europe. Also, what's the spread? Aren't they at least 0.2% FTF??
IB currency conversion is great. You get essentially interbank rates with minimal commissions - think your cost is about $3 to convert $10,000. Works best for USD<->CAD. But indeed not many options for the resulting Euros, other than to wire to an EUR saving account in HSBC or Scotiabank and get as cash. Maybe a receiving/intermediary bank will grab a fixed fee, too.

If possible to open a bank account in Europe upon arrival, another option for IB would be to send Euros there via a SEPA transfer.
Messerschmitt wrote: I did ATM withdrawals from my Amazon CC after pre-paying it, then just paying the 1% fee (no ATM fee anywhere in the world). So I was looking at something similar. Obviously Rogers CC for this is a nono since they still have inherently the 2.5% FX, just gives 4% back on actual CC purchases.
Home Trust Preferred Visa should work for that when prepaid. Also STACK sounds useful, though too new a product.
Banned
User avatar
Jul 17, 2008
11042 posts
3840 upvotes
yvrbanker wrote:

Home Trust Preferred Visa should work for that when prepaid. Also STACK sounds useful, though too new a product.
What about Mogo? Apparently lower ATM fees? (last time I checked HT was 1.5%, $5.5 minimum (worse than Amazon CC which was 1%, $5 minimum) / Mogo is $3 for any ATM withdrawal?)
Newbie
Jun 6, 2018
90 posts
80 upvotes
Toronto
If Interactive Brokers can do a SEPA transfer to a European bank, then I suggest opening a bank account in Europe.

The banking landscape in Europe is very advanced and competitive. A lot of new e-banks have in-app signup and only require a passport and a European address.

N26 is a German bank that is very popular in Europe. To sign up you just need a shipping address in the Eurozone to receive your card (e.g. hotel, Airbnb, friends address). Here are some good instructions on how to sign up. Once you sign up and receive your IBAN, you can receive Euros to the account from any other European bank with Euros.

If you don't have a Transferwise account already, I would also suggest signing up once you get to Europe. With a European signup address, you will receive a useful Transferwise debit card. Don't try changing your existing Canadian Transferwise account to a European one, they will require actual address proof in that case (e.g. utility bill, rental contract, etc)

I would also suggest signing up for a Curve card while you are in Europe. It's not a bank, but a really unique card that has zero foreign transaction fees and can be linked to all of your debit/credit cards (including Canadian cards). I've had one for a couple of months now and recommend it to everyone.

Bunq is also a really good bank that you can use. They have a 1 month free trial and afterwards it becomes 8 EUR a month. They give you 3 debit cards (choice of Mastercard/Maestro cards).
Deal Guru
User avatar
May 8, 2009
14070 posts
11726 upvotes
Not Leask
Messerschmitt wrote:
I did ATM withdrawals from my Amazon CC after pre-paying it, then just paying the 1% fee (no ATM fee anywhere in the world). So I was looking at something similar. Obviously Rogers CC for this is a nono since they still have inherently the 2.5% FX, just gives 4% back on actual CC purchases.

Also, I do not deal with USD. I'm purely Euro/Asia that interests me.
@Messerschmitt

For Europe/Asia...
  1. for ATM withdrawals, lead with Stack MC. Most of the ATM's you visit will accept Stack. Skip the 1% fee entirely. Only absorb local ATM fee and MasterCard exchange rate, no markup. Load via e-transfer, bill pay or visa debit
  2. Koho should be your backup (at no opportunity cost). 1.5% fee (forex), but no minimum, and whatever you don't use, you can e-transfer back to bank. That's why there's no opportunity cost. You can literally fund it before you go to the ATM, and if you don't use it, move funds back to bank
  3. HomeTrust Preferred is your backup to these. It's a good card to use anyway, so pre-loading it isn't all bad. Granted min $5.50 and 1.5% fee is higher than Amazon CC, but...there's no Amazon CC anymore. This is now your third card for ATM use. If you find yourself resorting to backups a fair bit, you could grab Brim MC as another backup, but I find VISA gets you further than MC abroad. Since you spend (most?) of your time in Europe/Asia, you'd probably benefit from Brim, since the extra backup won't hurt. Also, the extra card allows you to travel longer, if you stagger card expiration dates
  4. Mogo is no longer useful in your case. 2.5% FTF has been added (but 3% cashback on forex...net 0.5% earn). This may be useful if you are buying casino chips in Macau or in Europe with CC (any "cash advance" type transaction in forex aside ATM's...prepaids can get you cashback on those, no cash advance fee, while real CC's will do the opposite). Mogo will sting you 2.5% FTF at the ATM, and they have the lowest limit on cash withdrawals plus an ATM fee. You can grab Mogo for these niche transactions, but it'll otherwise mainly be a dust collector
Premium Life: CDC [Icey Private Status]/SwissBorg/Netflix UHD [100% off]/Amazon [Prime 100% off]/Instacart [Express]
[OP]
Member
Sep 8, 2010
285 posts
41 upvotes
Chambly
I am in Quebec so stack does not seem like an option yet but their chat said it’s Canadian dominated account only. Is that not true?
Newbie
Nov 28, 2006
21 posts
29 upvotes
louisvz wrote: If Interactive Brokers can do a SEPA transfer to a European bank, then I suggest opening a bank account in Europe.

The banking landscape in Europe is very advanced and competitive. A lot of new e-banks have in-app signup and only require a passport and a European address.

N26 is a German bank that is very popular in Europe. To sign up you just need a shipping address in the Eurozone to receive your card (e.g. hotel, Airbnb, friends address). Here are some good instructions on how to sign up. Once you sign up and receive your IBAN, you can receive Euros to the account from any other European bank with Euros.

Yes... I can also say N26 is VERY good.


If you don't have a Transferwise account already, I would also suggest signing up once you get to Europe. With a European signup address, you will receive a useful Transferwise debit card. Don't try changing your existing Canadian Transferwise account to a European one, they will require actual address proof in that case (e.g. utility bill, rental contract, etc)

That would be great!.. The debit card is taking forever to come to Canada. Tired of calling them... I can provide and address in Europe of a close relative but I have already a TW account. How do I go about it? They are not going to ask for a proof of address, etc? Can you give more details? I'd love to have the MC debit.

I would also suggest signing up for a Curve card while you are in Europe. It's not a bank, but a really unique card that has zero foreign transaction fees and can be linked to all of your debit/credit cards (including Canadian cards). I've had one for a couple of months now and recommend it to everyone.

Same as above... I tried with the Curve app but they don't support Canada.. Any ideas?

I really appreciate your post... Exactly what I was looking for and I can't find the answers...
Thanks in advance...


Bunq is also a really good bank that you can use. They have a 1 month free trial and afterwards it becomes 8 EUR a month. They give you 3 debit cards (choice of Mastercard/Maestro cards).
Newbie
Jun 6, 2018
90 posts
80 upvotes
Toronto
@mcu Yes, the Stack card only supports Canadian dollars. It is popular for travelers because it has no foreign exchange fees or ATM fees and offers the Mastercard exchange rate. In your case it wouldn't make sense if you already have Euros since you would need to convert it back to CAD to use it with Stack. Regardless, it's a good card to have if you have CAD and will be traveling.

@horacio I went through the process of switching my Transferwise account to my Spanish address and here is the email they sent:
We can update your personal address from our end. But to do so we would need to see proof of address, which has your Spanish address on it.

On the proof of address we need to see all these details: your name, your full personal address, date of issue, logo, or clear name of the sender (e.g. your bank, your local authority, your utilities provider, etc) and the nature of the document (e.g. type of bill, subject of the letter, etc)

A valid document can be:

Your utility bill – Gas, Electric, Phone (We cannot accept mobile phone bills), which cannot be older than 3 months
Your bank or credit card statement (You must send a photo/scan of a physical letter or PDF copy of your statement), which cannot be older than 3 months
Your photo driving licence showing your address and its expiry date
Other government or financial institution issued document, which cannot be older than 12 months
I used my apartment rental contract as my address proof and Transferwise accepted it. In your case it would be difficult since I doubt you have any proof of residence in Europe with your name on it.

You can sign up for Curve as long as you have it shipped to an address in the EEA, see this link for the supported countries. If you have a relative in the EEA, you can ship it to them and have them send it to you. I wouldn't suggest a mail forwarding service unless you can verify that they handle bank related mail as most often don't.
[OP]
Member
Sep 8, 2010
285 posts
41 upvotes
Chambly
Curve is not available in Greece and stack not in Quebec. I presently have capital one aspire which charges 2.5% but then gives me 2 points for every dollar. So I am not sure signing up to Brim or Rogers would be worth the hassle. What do you guys think? Also I am not sure i will get it in time.

As for Bunq and N26, those seem like decent options but I did notice there are fees every month. N26 might be free but waiting for confirmation. How long before I can get atm cards for these? Also how long for transferwise?

Thanks
Deal Guru
User avatar
May 8, 2009
14070 posts
11726 upvotes
Not Leask
@louisvz OP hasn't bought Euros yet, only noticed the option of buying it from IB at a low rate.

@mcu if you can buy USD on the cheap, consider setting up cross-border banking with TD Bank. Convenience checking $100 USD min balance, no-FTF VISA debit card. Can use that in Greece.
  1. Cap1 2% uncategorized, 2.5% FTF is not the worst card on forex spend, but a far cry from the better options. You're out net 0.5%. ATM cash advances will charge you the 2.5%, you'll get no cashback...but a flat ATM cash advance fee? Not sure since you're in QC
  2. Since you're in QC, consider any TD or MBNA card for cash advances as backup. You'd prepay it (as you would with any prepaid card), and only incur the 2.5% FTF on cash advances. Again, this is your last resort backup if those Greek ATM's eat up all your other cards
  3. Definitely grab Koho. No opportunity cost. 1.5% FTF, no cash advance fee. $60 (20+40) welcome bonus with referral. This is your better card to use if you have nothing better, and your last resort if you have better options
  4. Rogers WE gives you net 1.5% on forex spend and Brim gives you 1%/no-FTF (no-AF) OR 2%/no-FTF ($199 AF). Either option outranks Cap1
Premium Life: CDC [Icey Private Status]/SwissBorg/Netflix UHD [100% off]/Amazon [Prime 100% off]/Instacart [Express]
[OP]
Member
Sep 8, 2010
285 posts
41 upvotes
Chambly
I have the US borderless account at TD. Is this the same thing? I don’t see any mention on their site about no-FTF for either.

Also with Koho, how would I save with that rather than going with N26 or any other European bank? Isn’t it just canadian dominated?

As for Rogers WE, I will be ahead 1.5% but in Rogers $$ only right? Can I use them to pay my bill each and every month th or only once a year like I believe I read somewhere
Member
May 2, 2019
429 posts
487 upvotes
Vancouver
mcu wrote: As for Rogers WE, I will be ahead 1.5% but in Rogers $$ only right? Can I use them to pay my bill each and every month th or only once a year like I believe I read somewhere
That restriction was removed recently. You can use your cashback as soon as you have at least $20 of it.
Newbie
Jun 6, 2018
90 posts
80 upvotes
Toronto
mcu wrote: Curve is not available in Greece and stack not in Quebec.

As for Bunq and N26, those seem like decent options but I did notice there are fees every month. N26 might be free but waiting for confirmation. How long before I can get atm cards for these? Also how long for transferwise?
Curve said they will add support for Greece this year.

The basic N26 account has no fees and that's all you'll need.

My Transferwise and N26 card arrived in a 3-5 days in Spain after signing up. N26 says it can take up to 10 days for the card to arrive.

Top