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1. Posted by MartinH (Full Member 67 posts) 11y

Zzzzz but it has to be done!

Currently I only have a Debit Card, so basically if I dont have it I can't spend it!

For when I go, a) is a credit card necessary, if you pay them off in time I'm sure theyre very useful and of course they could get you out of a squeeze.
But if thats the case, whats the best to get? Is there a must have travellers card, as clearly charges on withdrawals or purchases could rack up and some cards might not be accepted in certain places.

Also am I better spreading money? Having one account with majority funds in maybe a higher interest rate account and a second account with monthly budget and just transferring (somehow!) between them?

I'm planning on spending a fair bit of time in OZ, can you open local accounts with banks if you have passport/address? That way I presume you wouldn't get stung for lots of fees? If indeed you are allowed to open an account. (Wouldnt presume it to be credit, but some sort of current account maybe?)

Also have to keep in mind security, I wouldnt want to be up creek with no paddle if it were stolen/lost etc.

Ideas?!

2. Posted by robgmiles (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y

Hi mate, I havent got this account myself but I intend to get it before I go travelling next year. It is the Nationwide Flexaccount, it seems to get constantly reccomended by other who have been travelling and those on other boards. They swear by it.

Like I said I havent got it myself but apparantly there are no charges and fees for withdrawing cash from ATMs throughout the world. As far as I know it is the only account that does this. It would save you a hell of alot of money if you are regularly taking moeny out. Im pretty sure they dont even charge you a percentage of the cash you take out or a money exchange fee. I think if you take money out in the Uk, Oz, Thailand or wherever it is the same. You just get whatever the exchange rate is.

This also solves your problem about getting an OZ account, you wont need to if your british account doesnt charge you anyway.

I fully intend to get one of these accounts in the next couple of months.

3. Posted by MartinH (Full Member 67 posts) 11y

ah!

Cheers :D

4. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

One thing to be careful with with accounts that don't charge on withdrawals is what exchange rate they use.... if they add a few cents to the ER, it can end up costing more!

Personally, I only carry a debit card and my ATM card from home. If I intend to work somewhere for a while, it's smart to get a bank account there since employers will most likely not be interested in transferring your money to some overseas bank account which costs them 10-25 EUR !

5. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

I like the ease of credit cards when travelling, although I generally go for weeks - and not months - at a time.

I've found credit cards cheaper than always withdrawing, which adds up in withdrawal fees. Plus I don't ever have to carry cash around, and at the end of the month I have a record of exactly what I spent. It also gives me that ease of mind just in case I need a little extra that I just don't have at the moment (although I always pay the thing off within a month or 2 - that 18% can be a killer). I also get the exchange rate of the day I make my purchase, so no fees for currency exchange. Plus I rack up Air Miles, so that's a big plus.

I carry the bank's international number plus my credit card number with me, seperate from the card itself, in case it gets lost or stolen. If you learn to manage your credit card spending, it can be a big plus. Although if you can't, it can easily and quickly become your financial ball and chain.

6. Posted by Globerovers (Full Member 59 posts) 11y

What is the benefit of a debit card over a credit card? A debit card is connected to your bank account...so if it gets stolen, someone can wipe out your entire bank account? Right?...wrong?...so whats the benefit?

7. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

Really there is no difference between credit cards and debet cards, except that debet cards draw the money from your bank account automatically (in my case once a month on one card, and immediately on the other). The benefit is you don't pay ANY interest, whereas with credit cards that's the case. It would be just as hard to empty a debet card bank account, as it would be to max out a credit card if it was stolen. Verification uses the same 16 number kind of system, with a signature and sometimes even a photo on the card. I am pretty sure you'd have the same protection as with a credit card, ie, it could be the store who was liable since they should have checked id before accepting the card.

Personally I like the debet cards since I don't build up any long term debt that way and it's cheaper because of the no interest thing. But if you were financially in a hard spot temporarily, a debet card doesn't really help for very long since you'll have to pay the amount pretty quick.

Sam
ps. there is usually a withdrawal or payment limit on the debet card too to minimize the liability if it is stolen...

8. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

I've never heard of that type of debit card. Mine can be swiped at the merchant's or used at an ATM - but always for an astronomical fee, unless it's my own bank. Plus I can't use it to reserve anything in advance or put a downpayment on anything (say a bike rental that requires a $100 returnable deposit). And the ATMs is down...

9. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Quoting tway

And the ATMs is down...

That line came out as I was running to a meeting. Whoops... What I meant was "And if the ATM is down...". That is, a credit card can be debited manually if ever the system is down.

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