Fidelity Cash Management ATM Review – Best ATM Card For International Use

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 Why Get the Fidelity Cash Management ATM Card?

A few people have asked me what is the best way to exchange money internationally.  There are many businesses in airports and banks that exchange US currency for local currency.  However, these exchange centers do not give you the best rate.  You can avoid all these exchange centers and go straight to any ATM machine and withdraw at the current exchange rate and pay no fees with the Fidelity Cash Management ATM card.   

What are the Features of the Fidelity Cash Management ATM Card?
Free ATM access Use your free Fidelity® Visa® Gold Check Card anywhere in the world and we will automatically reimburse all ATM fees.1
Free mobile check deposit Scan and deposit checks with your iPhone®, iPad®, or Android™ with Fidelity Mobile®.
Free checkwriting Get free checks, deposit slips, and online images of your cleared checks.
Free Fidelity BillPay® Receive and pay your bills on the web or on your mobile device.
Account dashboard Manage your cash online from one secure place, where you can pay bills, check balances and transactions, and access money movement options like electronic funds transfers and automatic investments.
FDIC insurance Earn interest on uninvested cash, which is eligible for FDIC insurance coverage up to $750,000—three times more than the typical bank.2
Current interest rates
Alerts & self-funded overdraft protection Use the Cash Manager tool to create your own alerts when you have excess cash to potentially invest, or link to other Fidelity accounts for overdraft protection.
Do You Really Get the Official Exchange Rate?

I measure the official exchange rate on XE.com  I did a test by comparing XE.com official rates to the rate I received while pulling money out from ATM’s in Germany and Italy.  Here are the results:

 

6/24/12 Exchange Rate @ 1.25755

6/24/12 Exchange Rate @ 1.25755

Actual Exchange Received

In Germany, I received 100 Euros for $125.84.  The actual rate I received was therefore $125.84/100 or 1 Euro = $1.2584.  As you can see, I only paid 0.00085 over the actual exchange rate, which is almost nothing. 

 In Italy, I received 210 Euros for $264.26.  My actual exchange rate was again $125.84.  There were no other additional fees after the fact. 

 How Do I Get the Fidelity Cash Management ATM Card?
  1. Sign up for a free account here.
  2. Choose either to open a Fidelity Cash Management and Fidelity Account at the same time or just Fidelity Cash Management Account.
  3. Fill out the necessary information.
  4. Link your checking account to transfer money into the account.
  5. Withdraw from any ATM in the world for free!
 Conclusion

In my opinion, the Fidelity Cash Management ATM card is a must-have card when traveling internationally because of its no-fee ATM withdrawals.  There is also a Charles Schwab card that provides the same benefits, but I have not tested it out personally.  You can read this comparison between the two on Fatwallet.  Not only does the Fidelity card give free international ATM withdrawals, it also can be used domestically whenever you need cash with no ATM fees!

Note: I do not receive any commission for recommending this product.  I write this article to share free tips to my readers.  Thank you!  

27 comments for “Fidelity Cash Management ATM Review – Best ATM Card For International Use

  1. Paul
    May 8, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Fidelity says they charge 1% fx fees but i guess you haven’t seen them show up? I’ll have to pay attention this upcoming trip.

    • May 8, 2013 at 8:33 am

      I haven’t seen them show up!

  2. Gabe
    May 8, 2013 at 8:11 am

    great tip. thanks!

  3. May 8, 2013 at 9:38 am

    $125.84 should be $1.2584

    I have had success using my own personal bank debit card overseas, but I didn’t check to see how close the exchange rates were.

    • May 8, 2013 at 9:53 am

      It should, but I don’t mind. It is an immaterial difference.

  4. toby
    May 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I already use schwab and they refund all fees. also no FX fees (i think, not positive on that one)

    • May 8, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Great! Thanks for your input.

  5. Ryan
    May 9, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Evantage bank gets you free international ATMS ANDDDDDDDDDD 2 percent interest. Does lack some of the fancier features that Fid offers though.

    • May 9, 2013 at 7:06 am

      That’s great! Haven’t heard about that one. If you would like to write an article on it, please email me.

  6. Robert
    May 9, 2013 at 5:18 am

    What are the monthly fees or any maintenance fee? Any minimum deposit requirements? Can I deposit money orders regularly from any mobile app? I need a checking account to do regular money order deposits. I don’t want to do money order on my chase or citi checking account cos they may also close down my credit card accounts.

    • May 9, 2013 at 7:05 am

      There are no monthly fees, maintenance fees, and minimum deposit requirements. I’m not sure about mobile app. I haven’t personally tested money orders, but I would assume you could mail them into Fidelity. Not sure if that is an ideal method though.

  7. Jerry
    May 16, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Rom,

    according to this: http://www.flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php/Credit/Debit/ATM_Cards_and_Foreign_Exchange

    it says the fidelity ATM card charges 1%, but you dont see it because it’s built in to the withdrawal. So perhaps you couldve done even better than XE? XE also only measures end of day FX rates so perhaps for that particular day, depending on what time you withdrew it, the 1% fee – the mid-day variations = your immaterial difference?

    • May 16, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      It does state 1%, but it doesn’t seem to calculate out to 1%. I’ve heard its a .20% implicit rate, but I’m not sure. Regardless, it doesn’t make a big difference. Thanks for your input, perhaps the Schwab ATM card could be a better choice, but I’ve yet to test that one.

  8. E
    September 2, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Did you get a hardpull for opening an account?

  9. Flyertalk
    September 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I used both Fidelity’s mySmart and Cash Management accounts in South America with the premise that the ATM fees would be reimbursed in Sept 2013. When I returned and noticed no fees were reimbursed for the international withdrawals, Fidelity told me that the ATM withdrawals had been classified as “cash advances” by Visa and were not eligible for reimbursement. Somehow it was neither my fault nor Fidelity’s but Visa’s but Fidelity claims they cannot do anything about it.

    Beware working with a company that makes excuses about not keeping its promises.

    The only competitive advantage is that they still give ~1% forex fee.

    • September 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Very strange… I had no problems the 10+ times I used it in Europe.

    • Lee
      February 2, 2014 at 6:56 am

      Not surprising! I had a Fidelity Cash Management account and I would highly advise anyone to NOT sign up with them. While I was traveling abroad recently in Asia, I used my debit card to withdraw some money – well, I never received the money because the ATM said my transaction was cancelled. I went to two different machines and was unable to withdraw money from both ATMs (one of them was an HSBC machine). However, it showed up on my account as having been withdrawn. I spoke with a representative and the money was credited back into my account; I thought all was fine. Well, four weeks later, the money that was credited back into my account was withdrawn by Fidelity without my knowledge. According to them, the initial re-credit was temporary and during their investigation into my account, they claim I had received the initial funds from the ATM. I repeat, I never received the money. On top of that, I currently live abroad and have spent countless hours and money on making long-distance calls to resolve the issue. So when they took the money out of my account, my balance ended up being negative. Now, I have pay more money to reconcile my final balance. Needless to say, I have since closed my account. What was even more pathetic, I was chatting with a representative (in order to save some money from making calls) and asking about how I should go about closing my account. The rep told me to save the chat and that would be considered a formal communication that my account is closed and was adamant I couldn’t receive an email. Really? Is that how they do business, purely through chats? Never again! They will leave you high and dry when you most need your money! I wouldn’t wish anyone to be stuck in a similar situation, especially while you’re traveling.

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  13. Grady
    April 27, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Sounds good. What about making purchases in stores, restaurants, etc? Any additional fees outside of the 1%?

    • April 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      No fees. I would recommend using a no forex cc like Barclay or chase sapphire preferred to get points.

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