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BMO Financial Tip of the Week: On International Trips, Carry a Debit Card That Gives You Direct Access to Your Canadian Bank Account at ATMs and Points of Sale

Use of debit continues to grow. Canadian travellers can use BMO Debit Cards internationally, wherever the Maestro network is accepted, to pay for their purchases



TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 27, 2012) - As part of BMO Financial Group's ongoing commitment to financial literacy and 'Making Money Make Sense' for Canadians, BMO is releasing a financial tip every week in 2012.

BMO's Financial Tip of the Week: When you travel abroad, carry a debit card that gives you direct access to your Canadian bank account at ATMS and Points of Sale.

  • Convenient, secure and affordable way to purchase local currency through an ATM. Through the Maestro network, cardholders can access millions of ATM's in hundreds of countries around the world.
  • Convenient alternative to your credit card. You can pay with debit at more than 13 million merchants around the world who are connected to the Maestro network.
  • Using your debit card to withdraw smaller amounts of a local currency when you need it is safer than carrying multiple currencies or large amounts of local currency while you travel.
  • Chip and PIN technology make debit cards highly secure. Be sure to guard your PIN number against "shoulder surfing" and never share it with anyone.

Summer is a popular time to travel for Canadians, and of the 84 per cent planning a trip, 37 per cent are heading outside the country.

David Heatherly, Vice-President, BMO Bank of Montreal, noted that one third of Canadians use debit as a preferred method of payment at home and suggested there is no reason why they shouldn't use this preferred method when travelling abroad.

While most Canadian banks have only recently made international debit transactions possible for their customers, BMO customers have enjoyed access to their Canadian bank account from U.S. and overseas locations for 15 years through the Maestro network.

"For some time now, BMO customers have had the option of travelling with a credit card and a debit card to ensure they have access to funds when they are abroad," said Mr. Heatherly. "I'd recommend that all Canadians carry a combination of a small amount of cash in local currency, a debit card that provides access to a Canadian bank account from local ATMs and Point of Sale terminals, and a widely recognized and accepted credit card. This will ensure you have the highest degree of payment flexibility, convenience and security when you travel outside Canada," he said.

For a low monthly fee, BMO's Performance Plan allows unlimited international point of sale transactions over the MasterCard Maestro network. In addition, BMO customers enjoy no-fee withdrawals from BMO Harris Bank and M&I ATMs in the United States.

If you have questions about the best financial product and payment options for your specific needs, stop by a BMO branch to speak with someone who can help you, or visit www.bmo.com/smartsteps.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $525 billion as at April 30, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

For media enquiries:
Ralph Marranca, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
ralph.marranca@bmo.com

Carol Greene, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
carol.greene@bmo.com

Ronald Monet, Montreal
(514) 877-1873
ronald.monet@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com

Web: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia