I'm new to travelling and am just about to embark on a lengthy trip to Australia, New Zealand and Africa. I'm quite apprehensive about the whole thing and just wanted to know what tips I could get for the whole issue of accessing money. The options I have so far as follows:
- Travellers cheques
- Change GBP to destination currencies in UK
- Change GBP to destination currencies at destination
- Get a STA Cash Card (http://www.statravel.co.uk/cps/rde/xchg/uk_division_web_live/hs.xsl/cashcard.htm)
- Open a bank account which gives me a Cirrus card
- Find family contacts who live out there and use their local account after transferring money from UK
Any recommendations or alternatives? Many thanks in advance.
Yes, Credit Card.
And if you are from the UK look into a Nationwide account.
Traveller's Cheques are almost useless today, everybody just uses plastic instead. In case you really need them it will be a true pain in the you-know-where to exchange Traveller's Cheques into cash. You might loose up to 50% of the value if you do.
Cash has a big risk of being lost and stolen, plus the best way to exchange money is usually to withdraw cash in the local currency with an ATM card or visa card.
Yeah I wasn't really looking to take travellers cheques to be honest.
Why did you suggest Nationwide?
I would suggest the nationwide card also, they used to offer 0% on withdrawals abroad for all countries but they have reigned it back a bit now.
They still offer 0% in the EU and charge a small amount for everywhere else, but upon investigation it still appears to be cheaper than the alternatives. Its just a normal bank account that allows you to withdraw money from a cash machine, so I find it safer than carrying a lot of cash around with me etc
Wow- thanks! I take it thats a Cirrus card, is that right? I'll definitely check into that tonight. I'm just surprised that there are no extremely low cost options; would you say this is the best?
[ Edit: Edited on 02-Mar-2010, at 11:58 by alzy ]
Its a Visa Debit card, and from my experience this has the lowest cost for withdrawals, plus you get bank rate for FX's which is better than the currency exchange shops etc. Have a wee look at the below link which gives a summary:
There is also a HSBC cash card available I believe that allows 0% for withdrawals, I've never used it though so dont have any experience of this though.
Yes, don't take travellers cheques or all your cash with you! You will end up paying more to convert your travellers cheques while away.
The Nationwide card is good, I used it in India and I think they now charge 1% or soemthing for ATM withdrawals.
I am a recent fan of currency cards too, you use them like a credit or debit card but you get good exchange rates and you don't pay a commission fee when you make purchases abroad! (Commission fees always add £3-4 on your purchase!). I think you can save money with them, and the -snip- doesn't charge you for ATM withdrawals abroad, so could be worth looking into?
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]