My bank charged a fee for purchasing lessons. How can I avoid this in future?

Sometimes banks charge fees on international transactions, or don't give fair exchange rates. LanguaTalk is based in the US and charges in US Dollars.

If you're based in another country and you plan to take lots of lessons, you can minimise bank fees by opening an account with Wise (formerly TransferWise). It's free and simple to create an account, then you'd just add some funds, which Wise will convert into USD at the real exchange rate. Then they'll give you a debit card to use for spending internationally (also useful for holidays!)

Wise is available in dozens of countries, including most of Europe. We recommend Wise specifically as we use it ourselves and have found their service a breath of fresh air compared to traditional banks. But there are also several other virtual bank accounts that can help you minimise fees when spending internationally. These include Revolut and N26.