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Go Back   Pollensa Forum > GENERAL > Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous Use this area ONLY if you can't find a suitable home for your topic. We'll create a new area if necessary and reserve the right to move topics to more suitable areas. Only post regarding the Pollensa area. This is not a forum for general discussion.

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  • 1 Post By El Gordo
  • 1 Post By cumberland8
  • 1 Post By marilyn
  • 1 Post By El Gordo
  • 2 Post By Deanscroft

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  #1  
Old 27-11-2012, 16:27
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Default Using Credit Cards Overseas

Whilst everyone has their own preference for handling payments abroad my own for security and practical purposes has been to use a credit card rather than carrying substantial amounts of cash - even Lidl in Mallorca will accept the use of a credit card in contrast with the UK. However having just returned from a late three week autumn break on the island I have become aware for the first time when reviewing my statements that a fee of 2.75% has been levied on the transactions I made during our stay. Sure enough the small print relating to my card (RBS Mastercard) confirms a levy of 2.75% irrespective of whether the credit payment is via euros or pounds. It may be that fellow forumites have been familiar with such an arrangement for some time but others may wish to take note. There are other card providers e.g. Saga which do not at present levy an overseas charge but this may become normal practice I fear.
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  #2  
Old 27-11-2012, 17:47
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Get yourself a SAGA Platinum card Zero charges and great exchange rates via VISA.
Today rate 1.2378
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  #3  
Old 27-11-2012, 18:33
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I find the most up to date info for "Cheap" spending abroad is via

MoneySavingExpert.com

Santander, although gets a poor customer service rating, has a debit card that allows cash withdrawal without charges but only through their ATM's at their banks in Spain.

They also have a Zero Credit Card that is also free of charges but this may no longer be available to new customers. But there are plenty of others available. see MoneySavingExpert.com
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Old 27-11-2012, 19:01
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Thanks both for your suggestions. I will certainly look at the Saga Platinum option and it seems that they don't charge an annual fee for the card. I wouldn't in all honesty be looking to use the card for cash withdrawals. What surprised me was that all my overseas transactions up to October had not been surcharged so it must be a recent introduction by RSB Mastercard. Presumably it must apply to all Mastercard issues.
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Old 27-11-2012, 19:44
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Some of you may remember me relating the tale of a learned Gent involved in the financial world informing members of the Easyjet que how much their particular credit /debit card was costing them for each Foreign transaction made.
It was fascinating,the lady in front worked out at 14 in every 100 but the best was my stupid Brother at 23.
Apparently there are all kinds of transaction fees, poor conversion rates ect applied to most cards but as he says people don't seem to care when they are on holiday, for the card company's it is the most lucrative period.It is absolutely
Disgraceful behaviour preying on the public.
The advise by Gordo above is very wise find out where the best rate is off the website &buy a decent money belt.
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Old 28-11-2012, 00:30
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I also like pre loaded FairFX card thats good also
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  #7  
Old 28-11-2012, 00:47
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Like Snowy, I use a pre-loaded card from CAXTONfx which can be used in shops, restaurants, etc and at ATMs. Generally good exchange rates available and it's quite enjoyable playing the currency market when drip-feeding cash into the card before the holiday.
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Old 28-11-2012, 09:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowy2007 View Post
I also like pre loaded FairFX card thats good also
FairFX have recently changed card issuer from Newcastle Building Society to another issuer who I haven't heard of, nor whose name I can remember.

That said used FairFX card for last years travels and found it faultless and reasonable, charges wise.

Just used it for cash withrawals and a Nationwide charge free credit card for purchases.
The arrangement worked well. Particularly the ability to recharge the FairFX card on the internet the day after payday rather than a week before before we travelled
Very helpful from a cashflow position!
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Old 28-11-2012, 12:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gordo View Post
I find the most up to date info for "Cheap" spending abroad is via

MoneySavingExpert.com

Santander, although gets a poor customer service rating, has a debit card that allows cash withdrawal without charges but only through their ATM's at their banks in Spain.

They also have a Zero Credit Card that is also free of charges but this may no longer be available to new customers. But there are plenty of others available. see MoneySavingExpert.com
The Santander debit card that you refer to was for use with a current account (the Zero account) which is no longer available to new customers. The only current account they are now offering is their 123 account, which I'm not sure has the same advantages of being able to use the Santander ATMs, with no charges.
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Old 29-11-2012, 13:41
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Just to confirm, with the Santander 123 account you can use Santander cash machines with no charge (I used the one in PP every time last year). With the zero account you had this benefit with any cash machine anywhere.

For debit card transactions you still get the same rate (which is the bak rate, so a good one) but there is a 1.25GBP charge per transaction. Given the good rate you get this can still be decent value.
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Old 29-11-2012, 17:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clinz View Post
Just to confirm, with the Santander 123 account you can use Santander cash machines with no charge (I used the one in PP every time last year). With the zero account you had this benefit with any cash machine anywhere.

For debit card transactions you still get the same rate (which is the bak rate, so a good one) but there is a 1.25GBP charge per transaction. Given the good rate you get this can still be decent value.
To Confirm the above here is a link to their conditions: Using Debit card in Spain
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Old 29-11-2012, 19:28
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As recommended on MSE we have a Halifax Clarity credit card. No charges for using abroad (apart from interest if you use it to withdraw cash). We got a rate of 1.24. So our carhire of €300 cameout at 240. A pleasant surprise
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Old 29-11-2012, 20:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marilyn View Post
................. We got a rate of 1.24. So our carhire of 300 came out at 240. A pleasant surprise
Make sure you are charged in Euros to benefit from this. Last time I used Goldcar, I was charged in s instead of s without being asked. I was asked for my signature on an electronic pad (no pin) and only realised later that this was authorising a deduction from my card, not just signing the Hire Agreement.
When I checked the contract later it used a poor exchange rate.

I have also encountered this in some shops where the receipt was in s not s

Same as at ATM's, make sure you don't accept their offer of charging your card in s ie "Say No"!
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Last edited by El Gordo; 29-11-2012 at 20:47.
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  #14  
Old 30-11-2012, 08:58
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Regretably it is not always as clearcut as always pay in euros. It does again depend on which bank the conversion is being made through. In my experience the mark up varies from about 3% lowest to over 6% with others. I have found that accepting the in shop conversion rate where the transaction is going through Bancia is cheaper than paying in euros so that the conversion is done at Nat West in the UK. Yet if I pay with a Nationwide debit card here in euros this is cheaper than accepting a Bankamarch conversion inshop.

When you live here and move money in this way over a year the difference can be significant. If you are only coming out for a few weeks on holiday then the few extra pounds it can cost isnt worth the bother.
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