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Old 01-12-14, 03:25 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: BC Canada
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I'm Canadian too, and planning a big global trip. I have been planning to get an account with Scotiabank because they are part of a "Global ATM Alliance" which allows you to use the card in ATMs of other banks in that alliance without transaction fees. See,,316,00.html for info.

I don't know yet if Scotiabank's debit card would be on the Plus or the Cirrus/Maestro network. It would be good to carry one card on each of those networks, because one or the other might not be supported by some particular third-world small-town ATM that you're trying to use. On my last trip (Central/South America, 2008/09) I had two debit cards, BMO and ING, both on Cirrus/Maestro, and had trouble getting them to work in a few particular places (Honduras and Uruguay) where a Plus network card probably would have worked. Also I paid a transaction fee of $4.50 every time I used an ATM, so I'd always have to try and guess what the local ATM limit per transaction was, so I could take out that maximum amount, and minimize the number of transactions I'd need.

I carried two credit cards (BMO MasterCard and CIBC Visa) but I never actually used them for any in person transactions, only for online purchases.
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