Finance's on your travels

The black art of moving from A to B on foreign soil
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92kk k100lt 193214
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Re: Finance's on your travels

Post by 92kk k100lt 193214 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:00 pm

Can be issues with using prepay cards and also debit cards at card operated pumps and tolls in France.

The pumps, as said, block a deposit of sometimes €110 or €130 and it takes days to clear. Car it's not an issue, a tank of diesel will last and anyway won't be vastly different from the 'deposit' but on a bike 2 fuel stops a day over 3 days can mean more than €600 blocked on your card for a week if you overlap a weekend.

We get over it by early part of day using manned pumps as its the auto ones that present the issue, we also took turns to use one card to refuel, put €25 in each bike as one transaction. Works very well. Whoevers card is being 'hit' parks beside the pump and refuels the other bikes as they pull up along side him.

Guys in France are courteous, give someone €20 or whatever amount you want and they will generally put the juice in for you.
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djskinner
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Re: Finance's on your travels

Post by djskinner » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:17 pm

I've been using Monzo (https://monzo.com/) for over a year now as my day-to-day card (it's a pre-paid Mastercard) and most of my friends and family now have one too, some only for their utility abroad.

It's the best way to spend/get cash out abroad as a) there are no transaction fees and b) Monzo offer you the Mastercard wholesale rate on currency exchange. This is always a couple of pips better than any bureau de change and loads better than the exchange rate the cash machine offers you (of the order of €30 for every €200 withdrawn).

On top of that you get instant notifications to your phone with the cost and exchange rate so you know exactly what you're spending.

The only place in the world it hasn't worked for me so far is Cuba but that was to be expected. Last several times I've been abroad I arrive with no currency and get cash out the airport cash machine at a better rate than I could have got in the UK.

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Re: Finance's on your travels

Post by djskinner » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:21 pm

As it is pre-paid you might have the issues with petrol pumps and deposit holds on your card as described previously but as it is so cheap to get cash out the wall I just pay for petrol in cash and use a credit card for security deposits etc.

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Re: Finance's on your travels

Post by wideparting » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:06 pm

cash all the way,no one refuses cash.but many refuse cards.

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Re: Finance's on your travels

Post by AustinW » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:12 pm

wideparting wrote:cash all the way,no one refuses cash.but many refuse cards.
Except that everything you buy with cash it costs you around 3-5% more due to the fees paid when you get cash either here or from an ATM abroad* plus the not so good exchange rate you get from most banks for cash. It's an expensive way to fund your trip. Clarity card and others of it's ilk exchange at the interbank rate, ie the best on the day with no fees.

* Each cash withdrawal at a non -Santander ATM abroad I make costs me the higher of 1.5% of the advance or £1.99 plus a 2.75% handling fee. Other banks and other accounts charge more some no doubt less. .

wwdph02
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Re: Finance's on your travels

Post by wwdph02 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:16 pm

Post Office credit card - last time I checked they do not charge exchange currency fees that some cards have.
Used last 4 years across Europe, just pay in local currency and let PO sort out the rest.

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Re: Finance's on your travels

Post by DavidS » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:26 pm

We have had problems with credit AND debit cards, usually in France, even at supermarkets, service stations and tolls. Both Visa and Mastercard. It's probably just a French thing against Brits.

We have just started with Monzo and have used it online here for buying tickets in Rome and New Zealand and it works a treat.
The Post Office version is quite limited but we do use their credit card abroad.
We got the Monzo mainly to go the HK, NZ, Aus and Singapore in the new year but we also got tickets to the Vatican for October.
Well rated on Money Saving Expert and the turnaround with paying in is very quick.
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Tourider
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Re: Finance's on your travels

Post by Tourider » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:44 pm

wwdph02 wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:16 pm
Post Office credit card - last time I checked they do not charge exchange currency fees that some cards have.
Used last 4 years across Europe, just pay in local currency and let PO sort out the rest.
The actual rate of exchange is about 10% worse than you get with Clarity though.

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Re: Finance's on your travels

Post by Mike54 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:10 am

Like Skygod, I've been using a currency card (though FairFX not caxton - pretty much same thing though).

The benefit is you lock in a rate before you go (far better than any rate you get from a bank etc) and most places take visa or mastercard. It's also a cash card, and no fees on pulling out cash and of course no fees on payment when you use it as the card itself.

Always gave cash with you anyway, why wouldnt you, but I have a max of 200 quids worth of currency in cash, no more - and no point.

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Re: Finance's on your travels

Post by DaveCon » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:00 am

Cash and credit card for me. Used a prepayment card years ago but got stressed out by the number of refusals and also worrying about how much I had left on - did I load enough? etc.

Cash for the smaller stuff - credit card for things like hotel bills, large evening meals and all the fuel. The advantages of a credit card; it's almost universally accepted (some campsites still only take cash), every transaction is insured, you spend what you want without fear of running out and then get one itemised bill at the end when you get home (maybe that's a disadvantage to some :( ). I do get charged 2.5% on each transaction but to put it in perspective on my recent two week trip that came to around £20. Against the advantages I think it's well worth it :D

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