Recently, while still in Seattle, I made a trek to an international bank. It was a beautiful day.
The sun began to shine, my Uber driver delivered me safely, and it was such a delight to speak with foreigners at the bank.
I went to this international bank because, for quite some time, I've wanted a true chip-and-PIN credit card that could reliably work overseas in unmanned/after hours kiosks (as that's where my American chip-and-signature credit cards can fail to operate, thus, where a trip to an ATM becomes necessary).
After Living Cashless for Years, I Almost Can’t Fathom Tracking Down an ATM Just so I Can Proceed With My Day
But that's what happens if my credit card fails to work. And I'm a firm believer that life is simply too short and precious for activities such as these:
- tracking down a safe ATM
- tracking down an ATM that belongs to my bank's network
- tracking down an ATM that disburses the currency type I need (Euros vs other currency)
- avoiding ATM fees
- avoiding bank fees
- avoiding foreign transaction fees
- avoiding currency conversion fees
- finding my way back to where I was trying to make a purchase
- finding a way to reduce the bills the ATM gave me into smaller bills and coins
- figuring out how to place said bills and coins into the appropriate slot/hand
- wondering how clean the currency is =)
I Want Much More, Too
I want a true chip-and-PIN credit card that...
- has no annual fee
- has no foreign transaction fees
- pays me points
- is a VISA or Mastercard (because American Express and lesser known cards are not always accepted outside the United States)
- comes from an international bank (so I can also enjoy having an international bank account)
After a long search with few options, I'm so grateful to have stumbled upon HSBC (and one of their chip-and-PIN credit cards, which more than met my needs).
The only challenge was this: my unique (lack of) address documentation required that I show up in person, at an HSBC brick and mortar branch, to officially apply for my credit card.
That was a challenge I welcomed with open arms, as it eliminates those future ATM treks I otherwise would have had to make.
It was a beautiful day.