I will be living abroad for the foreseeable future. Is it better to have a bank account in the US to pay for things like Netflix and other USD denominated payments? Or should I use an abroad bank? I am worried about currency fluctuations.

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Posted by Ahmed El Meleegy (MONEY FORUMS: 4, Answers: 0)
Asked on March 9, 2016 11:09 am
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I agree with Alix. I have just returned from five years living abroad, in two different countries. I did not close my US bank accounts, but I did open an account in each country. I linked the accounts so that I could transfer money easily. When you will want to transfer money back and forth depends on your financial details: which currency you are being paid in, and which bills you will have in each currency.
In my case, I was paid in US dollars. Each month, I transferred a set amount to local currency to pay rent, utilities, and provide for my cash spending needs. I used my US-based credit card for all credit card transactions, and paid the bill from the money in my US account.
In this situation, one main goal is avoid switching the same money back and forth between the currencies. You lose a small amount with each exchange, so avoid transferring back and forth.
Currency fluctuations can both harm and benefit you. If you live in a location with more volatile values, you may want to keep more money in your US account and keep the smallest amount possible in your local currency.

I do disagree with Alix about using credit cards abroad. I don't know how much South Korean banks charge to use their cards in the US, but we found it very competitive to use our US cards abroad. Shop around for a card with no foreign transaction fees. Most banks offer very competitive exchange rates and offer additional insurance and coverages.
Good luck to you and enjoy your time abroad.

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Posted by Kate Horrell (MONEY FORUMS: 0, Answers: 4)
Answered: March 13, 2016 7:25 pm
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As an international student from South Korea living in the States, I firmly believe that it is best to have a bank account in each country. This way, you can make a local purchase regardless of what product or service you are buying. Although VISA or MASTERCARD enables easy purchases in most countries, the easy quickly equates to costly. The exchange rate for instantaneous purchases are terrible and additional costs arise from many unexpected reasons that banks tend to inform only after you make the international purchases. Although dependent on the availability of creating a bank account abroad, it would ideal to only use your U.S. credit/debit card in cases of emergency.

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Posted by Alix Ryu (MONEY FORUMS: 4, Answers: 2)
Answered: March 9, 2016 2:28 pm
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