MasterCard and Visa are good debit cards for frequent travelers, reports About.com. MasterCard owns the Cirrus and Maestro ATM networks, while Visa owns the Plus ATM network, and these networks are widely available in many countries. Both types of debit cards have online ATM locators that travelers can use to find network ATMs in the cities and countries they visit.
On the back of MasterCard and Visa debit cards are network logos that travelers can compare with logos on foreign ATM machines, to see if the cards and machines are compatible, explains About.com. Many of the network ATMS are available in cities and towns, and travelers should withdraw cash to have on hand when they visit rural areas. Although there are a few countries where ATMs may not accept these cards, travelers can use the online locators to plan ahead and be prepared with alternatives such as credit cards, travelers checks or cash.
Debit cards are small, portable and safer than cash to carry while traveling, advises About.com. U.S. travelers should have a four-digit Personal Identification Number, as five-digit PINs sometimes do not work in overseas ATMs. Unless ATMs are part of the network of the bank that issues the card, travelers pay a transaction fee and a fee for currency conversion when they withdraw money.