Can I use my Wells Fargo Debit Card in Canada?

One of the questions every person asks when travelling abroad is the best way to pay in foreign countries. There are always several options available, and one is to use their debit cards. For holders of Wells Fargo cards travelling to Canada, you’re definitely wondering, can I use my Wells Fargo debit card in Canada?

Wells Fargo is one of the biggest banks in the US, with 70 million customers in the country. So, unsurprisingly, you can use its debit cards in several foreign countries, including Canada. However, it’s quite costly to use the card in Canada. As such, you need to find ways to cut down your costs.

Using a Wells Fargo debit card in any foreign country, including Canada, attracts extra charges. Therefore, it’s necessary to find ways around these costs to have a great time in the country. In this article, we discuss all you need to know about using your Wells Fargo card in Canada.

Can I Use My Wells Fargo Debit Card In Canada? 

You can use your Wells Fargo debit card to pay for goods and services in Canada.

There are two ways of doing this. One is to pay at the point of purchase by inserting, tapping, or swiping your card and entering the PIN.

Second, you can withdraw from an ATM. By withdrawing from an ATM, you will get Canadian currency to pay for whatever you get. 

ATM withdrawal can be a better option if your card does not work at the point-of-purchase terminals. In Canada, the terminals responsible for facilitating such transactions operate on the Interac network.

This network is unique to Canada and may be unable to access your information and debit your account in real-time.

Factors to Consider When Using Wells Fargo Debit Card in Canada

There are several factors at play when using Wells Fargo debit cards in an overseas country like Canada. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Charges

When using your Wells Fargo card in Canada or any foreign country, fees apply. These are standard charges attached to using your card overseas.

They’ll depend on the kind of debit card you’re using and whether you’re using it with a Wells Fargo ATM, an affiliated bank, or just a random ATM.

The bank charges $5 on every withdrawal, and the ATM operator may deduct its charges too. Where you buy something in foreign currency using the card, you’ll be charged an International Purchase Transaction fee, which is 3% of what you spend.

If you also check your bank account balance at an ATM that’s not Wells Fargo, you’ll be charged $2.

2. Exchange Rates

Another factor that affects how much you spend when using Wells Fargo debit cards in Canada is the exchange rate. It’s constantly changing, and each payment service provider has its rates.

The advantage of using a debit card is that the card companies set the rate. Fortunately, such rates are usually competitive.

3. Card Limits

Every card has a limit on how much you can withdraw or spend daily. It’s put in place to protect your account, and you should be aware.

The card limit affects your spending when on the trip. So, confirm that it fits your need and if not, see if the bank can increase it.

Also, the extra charges for using your card in a foreign country may be added when calculating your daily spending limit. 

Tips for Using Wells Fargo debit card in Canada 

While abroad, you might find yourself spending more than you want.

This is because of the extra charges that come with using the debit card for transactions.

However, there are some ways to reduce this cost and also to ensure seamless transactions.

1. Inform Your Bank

Before going on your trip, make sure you inform Wells Fargo bank of the trip.

This can save you from the trouble of getting your card blocked when they start seeing several foreign transactions on it. 

By informing the bank, it’ll not be surprised when foreign transactions start appearing in your account. Where you fail to do this, the bank might assume the card is stolen or used for fraud.

You can easily add your travel plans to Wells Fargo online. 

You should also inquire with your bank to know if you can use the debit card with foreign ATMs.

2. Change Your Pin

Most ATMs in Canada have a numeric four-digit PIN system.

However, if your card has an alphabetic PIN or 6-digit PIN, use a Wells Fargo ATM to change it before traveling.

Another way to do this is by calling the number on the back of your debit card or visiting a Wells Fargo branch.

3. Have a Backup 

It helps to have another card with you for the trip. This can help you avoid any unexpected circumstances. Knowing how to reach the Wells Fargo office will also be very helpful.

Part of having a backup is also going with foreign currency cash. This might help you cover some of the fees you’ll have to pay on arrival in Canada.

That way, you can avoid exchanging foreign currencies at exorbitant rates at the airport.

4. Check for Extra Fees

Generally, you can expect charges when you use your card in Canada. But there are times when it’s not only Wells Fargo that’s charging you.

The foreign ATMs might also be charging you for dispensing. 

So, make sure the one you use does not have such fees.

You should look for Wells Fargo ATMs and those affiliated with Wells Fargo. Avoid retail ATMs as they usually come with higher charges.

5. Switch Between Cash and Card

Both cash and card have their usefulness.

However, there are times when it’s cheaper to withdraw and pay in cash than use a debit card. For example, the standard charge for foreign transactions with the card is 3%, while it’s $5 for ATM withdrawals.

Although the $5 might seem high, it could be the better option in instances involving large transactions.

6. Get a Special Card for Your Trips

If you’re someone that travels to Canada often, you should consider reaching out to Wells Fargo to see if you can get a debit card that doesn’t charge you fees on foreign ATMs.

Several banks offer such debit cards to their users. We won’t be surprised if Wells Fargo does too.

The Bottom Line

Wells Fargo is an internationally recognized bank.

If you’re a customer, you can use your Wells Fargo debit card for payment and withdrawals in Canada.  But you’ll have to consider the extra charges and find a way to reduce such costs.

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