Thursday, January 8, 2015

Money Matters

We really should of come up with this sailing idea sooner. The last few months has consisted of tracking down the best credit card, debit card and bank accounts for cruisers abroad. It really sucks to think of all the money we've thrown down the toilet in garbage banking fees, ATM fees, etc. charged by who we've been banking with.

After some research we've come out with some good financial resources we'd like to share.

First off. Ditch your bank. Skank of America. Hells Fargo. They all suck. Just leave!

We  recently opened a few accounts with Charles Schwab.  If you're one who isn't into paying ANY banking garbage fees and loves the online/ smart phone convenience then this bank is for you. But wait. That's not all.

With a high yield investor checking account  (like the account we just opened) you will never have to pay another ATM fee again. Never. Ever.  Worldwide.  In fact, if another bank charges a fee, Schwab will reimburse you! I know, I know. Music to your ears. Especially if you're like me and could swear that your spouse intentionally will drive past 5 bank branches to take money out an ATM that charges more in fees to take the money out than the actual amount he'd like to withdraw. So happy those days are over.  No minimum balance required, no fees, and fully accessible online or from your phone. 

And for all you highfalutin yachties like us (pure sarcasm) this checking account links directly to your brokerage account.  The money can sit in your brokerage account and automatically link to your checking to cover checks you write or drafts from your debit card. Why does this matter? With any "regular" bank you're limited to the number of times you can transfer money out of your savings into your checking before they charge you. I know. I've seen it happen.  Since your money is in a "brokerage account" (which you never have to do anything with) it can be transferred into checking as many times throughout the money as you fees.

So go for it. Drive all over creation and use any ATM you want, there's no fee. 

Now that we got the banking side of things taken care of we needed a credit card. After checking out a few good resources such as NerdWallet and Nomadic Matt we decided on a Capital One Venture card.

Remember when Capital One first came out and everyone couldn't wait to get one of their cards? Ya, till you found out that the limit was a lousy $1,500.  That's a bar tab!  

Well times have changed and Capital One is now offering a much larger limit and if you ask nicely they'll give you an even bigger limit.  Perfect for annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. 

Between Capital One and Chuck we think we've got the money matters covered. We'll let you know how this works out.


  1. How did you get a credit card if you're cruising? Do you have a source of passive income, isn't income something they look for in the approval process?

    1. We had credit cards before we set sail and brought them with us.