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  • good internet banking, which works on any browser
  • phone banking
  • accounts in multiple currencies (USD and EUR are a must - others would be nice to have)
  • can convert from one currency to another without going through a third one
  • card which works everywhere - ATM, POS, internet shopping
  • different cards for accounts in different currencies - very useful if - say - I keep both USD and EUR and want to have the choice of which account to spend from without having to convert before spending
  • low fees for withdrawals from any ATM
  • if card, pin, etc is lost, they can send it to me anywhere in the world
  • credit card

Possibly other points that you think are important for a "travel-friendly" bank.

So far I didn't meet any bank that is good enough for my travel needs, but I'm probably not looking in the right place.

I don't care where the bank is located - even whether it has a physical address or is online-only.

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    The question is to broad. Please specify the country you are in, and the countries you expect most travel. Also the currencies that you are interst in. Regulations in certain countries will come into effect. Suggest to make this at little narrow to get relevant answers. – Dheer May 25 '11 at 10:31
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    Agree it's a bit broad. But that's what I'm looking for - banks that are traveler friendly. Now if - say - I get some replies about US banks and I can't use them as an EU citizen, that's fine - the answers might still be useful for others. – ibz May 26 '11 at 2:45
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    As to where I travel - I'm particularly interested in Asia, as this is where I live and travel most of the time. But again - if there is a bank which is very friendly for EU/US travelers, please mention it, as it might be useful to others. – ibz May 26 '11 at 2:53
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Beware of the hidden cost of currency conversion. Typically it's not just the fees that add up, but the margin they charge when converting your currency. Look at the currency rates and the official forex conversion rate.

For example, look at the ANZ banks currency conversion rates:

http://www.anz.com/aus/RateFee/fxrates/fxpopup.asp

The Forex current exchange rate between the US and AUD is AUD$1 = USD $1.068. But the ANZ bank buy rate is AUD $1 = USD$1.0356

That means for every $1000 AUD you get, you SHOULD get US$1068 but if you use their card, you only get US1035.60

Every thousand dollars you lose USD$32.40 and that is before all of the other fees they stack on top of it.

[Please note the above example will be out of date, but you can go to that site and google "AUD USD" to get the latest rates for comparison]

To answer your question, if you're in Australia, get the 28Degrees card:

http://28degreescard.com.au/

Like the example above, Australian banks are notorious for ripping consumers off when it comes to retail currency trade.

With this card though, I've used it for online purchasing and the exchange rate they use is barely any different to the Forex exchange rate. Also, they charge no monthly fees or fees to use overseas ATMs.

It's a credit card, but before your trip if you put money into it so you have a positive balance, then it essentially becomes a debit card with no interest.

EDIT -

Might just want to add that there has been a change to the policy of this card. They have added a Cash Advance Fee (http://www.28degreescard.com.au/cash-advance-fee.html) so if you plan to withdraw money from ATMs while you're overseas, it's going to cost you 3% more.

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