A lot of people just recommend stuff related to the amount of their commission. We wouldn't do that and show you what we use for our digital nomad lifestyle. Other people collect game cards, we collect credit cards. But now I have tidied out.
After over three years of traveling around the world and countless plastic cards and even more accounts on various online services, it is time to evaluate my experiences.
I would like to share this with you. Maybe you are still at the beginning of a nomad life or you have planned a trip around the world.
I very often see that other digital nomads advertise the credit card of the DKB on their blogs. This may have been a good tool a few years ago, but I cannot recommend it anymore. In addition to the fact that the online banking and the TAN app are very cumbersome and brings a lot of bureaucracy when re-installing the phone, DKB sends you new credit cards out of the blue.
And of course, the old one will be deactivated. That’s really annoying, when you are traveling somewhere in Asia and rely on the card. In addition, the free cash withdrawal abroad only applies for an amount above 50 Euros. But if you only have a stop-over in Bali, 50 Euros is way too much money.
This amount lasts in Indonesia for a week. Even with my stop-over in the very expensive Singapore 50 Euros were too much money for the short stay. It’s really stupid, if the public transport then doesn’t accept card payment.
Thankfully Curve saved my butt there:
Curve is a brilliant app including a Mastercard. You can use Curve's Mastercard as a normal card, but the money will be debited from one of your other cards. In the app you can simply select from which other card it should currently being debited.
Cash withdrawals may even be free up to a certain limit on Curve. Otherwise 1% fee will be charged on using the card. For foreign currencies abroad, the fair conversion rates of Curve can be used, which even saves a lot of money at some banks, so that the 1% fees are even cheaper.
We can only warn about the N26. As of December 2019, the systems are very buggy and Chris had both taken two days to set up due to the bugs and had had a lot of trouble when he wanted to withdraw money for the first time.
The money was withdrawn but not paid out. Some of the support staff didn't speak German at all. So far Chris hasn't seen his 300€ again, although it should be returned after 12(!) days, which wasn't.
Interestingly, the same ATM that caused complications with the N26 worked without problems with Revolut. Chris doesn't believe that the N26 will even exist with the competition in a few years. Because if the system doesn't work properly on the outside, what about internal security?
Dennis has also had several bad experiences with this bank. At first he was still enthusiastic about it, but the problems started to accumulate. No matter if it is the annoying login, which has to be done again after every minimization or the money spaces, which, depending on the arbitrariness of the bank, brings unpredictable fees or repayments. An exact calculation is therefore not possible with the app.
The innovative company and fastest growing "bank" Revolut is also pioneering in the crypto market and is offering worldwide free payment and withdrawal. This one is also a good alternative to send money around the planet.
Just get a second revolute card for your friends or family members and they can withdraw the money for free anywhere in the world, if you have previously deposited money to the Revolut account via crypto or bank transfer. Many of these services are also available for the financial infrastructure of your company.
In the last years, many card providers have had problems. A provider that actually works right now is Wirex. This provider also offers many other nice features besides crypto payment via Visa card.
There is a general rule: If you withdraw from an ATM abroad, then always charge your account in the local currency that you withdraw. Because some machines ask you if they should do the conversion for you and charge your account in the its currency.
In general, however, the ATMs have a much worse exchange rate (like 10% or more) than the banks, so you'll be only ripped off if you agree.
Read more about crypto currencies and why the bubbles are not a problem at all.
Do you know even better cards? Are there any new brilliant providers? Please post it down in the comments and I will update this article!
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