Foreign transaction fees eliminated for debit card from ING Direct (Now Capital One 360) - Points Miles and Martinis

We have seen a positive trend lately from newly launched credit card products choosing to eliminate those pesky foreign transaction fees which are generally a small percentage for using a card outside the US. The same can’t be said for debit card products.

For years I have been using a no-fee ING Direct Electric Orange checking account as my primary checking account which includes the ability to mail checks electronically and an ING Direct debit MasterCard. I don’t have the same motivation to jump around checking accounts for promotions and signup bonuses as I do with credit cards because of the higher switching costs (time!) involved. ING Direct has been good to me so I stick with them.

As part of a restructuring agreement of the Dutch financial behemoth ING Group, the company was forced to sell off ING Direct which was picked up by Capital One. One of the very first changes Capital One announced to its customers was that as of November 1st, the ING Direct Electric Orange debit card would no longer charge any Foreign Transaction Fees. This used to be around 3% charge so for me this is an nice savings.

As I mentioned before I am headed to Japan this week. Japan, like most other countries outside the US is a ‘cash society’ where it is nearly impossible to find any restaurant or store that will take a credit card except in high buck purchases, which obviously doesn’t apply to me. As a result, when you visit you will need to take money out of an ATM abroad for purchases. In the past, I have written before about the Global ATM Alliance which allows 100% free withdrawals from my Bank of America secondary checking account though Japan does not have a participating member bank. The elimination of foreign transaction fees on the debit card means ING Direct won’t charge me a percentage of the total I take out of the ATM in Japan though the ATM itself may issue a surcharge which is generally a flat fee.

If you are in the market for a No Foreign Transaction Fee debit card, the Electric Orange checking account is currently offering a 50 USD signup bonus and my 20 USD referral link is here. All you other ING Direct members out there feel free to post your own link in the comments.

  • gomike said,

    What a capital idea :-)

  • Abhinav G said,

    Thanks for sharing this! Did not know that the Foreign Transactions fees were waived now. This is a welcoming news and I definitely going to carry less cash overseas to convert.

    Been a very happy ING Direct customer for years, and glad to hear new better changes.

    Definitely sign up, even for domestic uses:

  • Celio Martins said,

    Great Info: if you are looking for a link for getting FREE $50 with ING:

  • Setting up a travel notification on a Bank of America card - Points Miles and Martinis said,

    [...] have a Bank of America debit card that I use as a backup to my new No Foreign Transaction Fee ING Direct debit card.  For years I have been putting a call in to BOA and wasting 20+ minutes transferring from here to [...]

  • Stephen said,

    Thanks for this info. Would appreciate it if you would follow up via the comments for how this works out for you (I’ve subscribed). I’ll be heading to Japan next month and am concerned about which ATM cards I’ll be able to use. I know Citi works, but I don’t have an account with them.

    More specifically, would appreciate knowing where you’re able to draw cash from using the ING debit (NRT, 7/11, post office, etc). Thanks in advance!

  • alex said,

    @Stephen – I actually used this card in March when I visited Japan back when there was a foreign transaction fee.

    I had the same concern prior to my first visit but now I think the travel guides are a little out of date in regards to ATMs. Rural areas I can’t speak to but there was a 7-11 on just about every corner in the major tourist cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima. Narita Airport in particular had several ATMs that accept US debit cards.

  • Stephen said,

    Alex: Thanks. That’s just the info I was looking for. Enjoy your trip!

  • Jon said,

    True! Capital One will not charge fees, but I just called capital one and I was told that the bank or the ATM overseas may still charge you for using their ATMs. This may be or may not be a a lot of money, but they (Capital one )could not tell me how much. It is not a “no transaction fee” deal, as clearly stated by Capital one.
    Does anyone know how much are the typical fees charge by ATMS in Europe or elsewhere overseas?

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