I previously wrote about how my new E*Trade checking account included ATM refunds. I confirmed I was wrong, as Frank so kindly pointed out in the comments. In the end though, it didn’t make a difference whether I had the checking account or the money market account.
I reviewed the current features of the money market account, and I’m quite sure the policy must’ve changed under my nose. I’d have to keep $5,000 in the account, which is too much for my purposes, or I’d have to meet some rather high standards ($50,000 in E*Trade linked accounts, or 30+ stock trades/year). You can read E*Trade’s current policy on ATM refunds here.
So, it looks like I’ll be going with a run of the mill checking account to compliment my high-yield E*Trade savings account. I’m using my previously established ING Direct savings account to tuck away the money I saved to re-establish myself upon returning home.
Based on my reading, ATM bank fees are *not* the norm outside the United States, so hopefully this will all be a non-issue. And if I’m able to arrive back in the US with some travel money to spare (as planned), then I should be able to use my debit card with most merchants, thus limiting the need for cash via ATM’s.