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Best Bank Accounts for UK Citizens in South America???

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Best Bank Accounts for UK Citizens in South America???

1. Posted by keef (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I am going to South America next March for about 5 months, and an trying to find the best UK bank accounts for getting round with out too much hassle. If anyone can give any tips I would appreciate it.

2. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I had a mastercard which I had put most my money in to (so I was withdrawing my own money off the creditcard) and used that to withdraw money from ATM's and also a normal debit card which has the logo's Cirrus Maestro. Only a couple of times did I have trouble finding an ATM that'd accept my Mastercard but you'd always find one that would work in a petrol station that had an ATM in it, but those ATM's had big fees with them so I only ever used as a last resort. Those places that didn't accept my creditcard also didn't accept the debit card I had (an Australian one) so I had to resort to my emergency backup supply of $US to exchange until I found a working ATM.

I don't think it matters which bank account you have in the UK as long as your card has both the Cirrus and Maestro logos on it. If you have a card with those affiliations and also had a mastercard or visa (preferably one that doesn't have cash advance fees if you have such a card in the UK) well you should rarely come in to any problems in cities. It is definitely a good idea to carry a backup supply of $US in medium-small denominations in a money belt just incase you run out of cash and can't find an ATM that will accept your foreign card. From what I have heard the best account in the UK for overseas travel is a Nationwide Flex account, so I would assume this would also have those affiliations I mentioned above (maybe check with the bank to be totally sure, if you apply for that card).

[ Edit: Edited on Aug 16, 2007, at 4:05 AM by aharrold45 ]

3. Posted by kyebrown (Budding Member 62 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I have a Nationwide Flex Account and that has worked fine in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.

Another bonus is the fact you don't get charged anything for withdrawing money abroad by them, and all other banks do.

4. Posted by spootnik (Full Member 62 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I have a Nationwide Flex account too with a mastercard debit card and it worked well in Brazil, Argentina, Chile,Bolivia and Peru. The big advantage is that they don't charge any withdrawal fees abroad.

5. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!


Post 6 was removed by a moderator
7. Posted by bruntonal (Respected Member 26 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Nationwide seem to be the best around for traverllers, as they don't charge for withdrawals and you can manage your account online.

8. Posted by tricky (Respected Member 323 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I have several Nationwide accounts now and they are by far the best for travelling.
As noted above you can look after it all online too.
I have 2 accounts, one for cash withdrawals only and one for paying by switch also. I have a credit card and I also have an e-savings. All these are interlinked so I can easily transfer cash from one to the other with a simple click.
The e-savings allows me to enjoy a better rate of interest until I need the cash in the current account. I set that up in around 1 minute online after my internet banking password etc were sent to me.

100% defo go with Nationwide. I reckon over the 6 months it will save me a few hundred quid and allow me lots of flexibility in managing my cash thus less stress.