Many commit this “mistake“ and have to pay a lot abroad!

DKB Visa Card for the abroad use

Thanks to the DKB Visa Credit Card, you are able to spend your journeys abroad absolutely free of charge, referring to

  • paying abroad and
  • exchanging Euros (account balance) into foreign currencies.

How to really perform this 100 % free of charge, I will show you on this page.

But first, we take a look at how credit cards are normally used. This is not wrong – most people do it that way – but it costs you unnecessary charges through which the bank makes money. With the knowledge from this article, you have the option to make your payments abroad much cheaper than (almost) any other. Namely completely free of charge.


This page refers to foreign currencies abroad. So in all countries in which the Euro is not the currency.

1. Using the credit card abroad (conventional)

You are abroad and use the DKB Visa credit card to pay electronically, just as I did in New York, to buy a ticket for the subway. This works flawlessly, is comfortable, however, expensive too!

New York City Subway

In the subway of New York, one can pay with credit card or cash. Here, the foreign transaction fee for the German Visa credit cards applies.

According to the price list of the DKB, there is an foreign transaction fee of 1.75 % for electronic payments in foreign currencies. This is practically the charge of the bank to exchange the money you spend in a foreign currency (in my example US dollars) into Euros. In the end, your account at the DKB is held in Euros and also at an exchange office, one has to pay fees.

The billing of the charges remains transparent and is visible for you on the bank statement of the credit card:

Statement from the DKB credit card account

Billing of my ticket purchase on the DKB credit card account.

If you click on the icon lens, one can see the rate that was used for the exchange.

Detailed credit card statement including currency DKB / First Data

Here you can find the article about how to check the exchange rate – in German: Firstdata.

In this short example, my ticket for the subway has only increased by Euros 0.04 (1.75 percent), which was because the New York subway is quite cheap with Euros 2.75 for a two hour drive.

However, if I would have also paid my two overnight stays, my restaurant visits, the theatre, as well as the souvenir shopping directly with the DKB VISA, then that would have been quite expensive. Supposedly, I had spent the equivalent of Euros 500, there would have been an foreign transaction fee of Euros 8.75.

With these saving, I would have been able to ride the subway for a whole afternoon!

2. Using the DKB Visa Credit Card abroad (clever)

The DKB waives on charging the foreign transaction fee at cash withdrawals. Although the foreign currency has to be exchanged by the bank into Euros, the DKB does this as a part of its promise “withdraw cash free of charge worldwide”!

So instead of paying directly with the Visa credit card, you withdraw cash at the ATM free of charge first. With this cash you then pay all your expenses.

Withdraw cash with DKB Visa Card from vending machines - here US dollars

There are no charges for withdrawing cash from the ATM, but you already knew this being a DKB customer.

At the ATMs of New York and also in most other US states, there are ATM fees that are charged directly to the customer. These are often US$ 3.

This charge will be refunded at your request non-bureaucratically. How to do this, I have described for you in detail on this page: DKB reimburses foreign fees – in German: DKB erstattet Fremdgebühren.

Who uses the DKB cleverly, will never pay any fee!

In most other countries, there are no ATM fees directly born by the customer. The fees are charged separately to the DKB and are not passed on to you. This way, you do not note anything of the ATM fees and each cash withdrawal you will remain free for you.

Fair Exchange Rates

Incidentally, there are no hidden fees at the exchange rate either in order for the bank to make money.

At other providers, such as Skrill MasterCard or Western Union MasterCard, charges at the exchange rate – as a customer, you only notice it through the fact that the exchange rate is unusually bad, because it has hidden fees – are part of the profit model.

On can comprehend the exchange rate of the DKB Visa credit card through the exchange rates of Firstdata. How to do this, I have described for you here: How to check the exchange rates of the DKB – in German: So überprüfen Sie Wechselkurse der DKB.

You can see that the exchange rates from Firstdata / DKB are absolutely top notch by checking my last two cash withdrawal tests:

DKB Visa Card New York City - Manhatten

Since many years, the DKB Visa credit card is my favourite bank card for journeys. Here with a view to Manhattan, photographed from the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building.

If you are not yet in possession of a DKB Visa credit card, I recommend you to visit this page ⇒

Help for newbies: Here you will find help at the opening of the DKB account with a free Visa credit card ⇒ Open DKB bank account with instructions.

Supplement Autumn 2016: the DKB becomes even more attractive!

From the 1st of December 2016, the foreign transaction fee for all DKB-customers will no longer apply to card payments. For withdrawing cash at the ATM, it has not been charged anyway (see above). One does not have to roundabout through cash withdrawals anymore, but can pay fee-free with the card abroad.

For new customers after a year of “acquainted period”, for existing customers, the foreign transaction fee no longer applies from the 1st of December 2017, if one has the status “active customer” at the DKB. How to obtain this status (quite easy) and which changes took place since this blog article can be found here as a summary: The new DKB conditions in an overview.

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Who writes here?

Someone who gained experience with more than 100 banks in more than 20 countries during the past 15 years. My name is Gregor and if you click to continue you can find out why I am here and what this site is for ⇒ continue.

5 Responses to “DKB Visa Card for the abroad use”

  1. Anna says:

    Hi! Your website is great. Just one question, 1,75% does apply when paying by card in the Eurozone (ie. France, Spain..)

    thank you!

  2. shyaama says:

    Thanks Gregor, you are a great help.

  3. Sers says:

    It appears, that there is no more refund of third party (ATM owner) fees through DKB. Therefore a map or list of low-fee ATMs would be appreciated!

    • Gregor says:

      Yes, correct. The reimbursement program does not exist anymore. We had already started such a map twice, but there are not enough users who report machines and the machines sometimes change the conditions. Might be a good idea for an app startup, but not a job for our special portal. The demand for it is extremely low, and our focus is a different one.

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