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mobile phone and using credit/debit cards abroad/charges

Travel Forums Round the World Travel mobile phone and using credit/debit cards abroad/charges

1. Posted by gardenia (Budding Member 25 posts) 3y

This thread is marked as being about South America


I am interested in some assistance please.

I have a mobile phone in the UK, currently pay as you go and its only £11.00/m. Its a monthly pay as you go, so it's possible to cancel easily.

I have a smart phone and use wifi wherever possible, and i am wondering if anyone could advice me on an international phone card? Is it worth the money or is it easier just buying a sim in each country in south america? I would like to stay if possible up to 1 year travelling through?

I am also interested in knowing thoughts on credit/debit cards charges etc?

I spoke to a lady at STA travel yesterday and she suggested i buy a card £22, and you can put your money on it and you dont get charged unless you use an ATM and costs are £2.25 each time. and she said if you use debit/credit card you dont get charged in places?

Thoughts on these travelling issues very welcome :-) thanks

2. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 550 posts) 3y

If you store your contacts on your phone rather than on your SIM card, buying another SIM in each country would probably work out cheaper, especially in Asia. We'll be doing the same thing in South America when we go at the end of this month. We usually do that but we don't really use the phone much when we're away - most places to stay have free wi-fi and we use a small lap-top. Our bank charges NZD6 whenever we use our debit card to draw out cash. I use that around the world but ensure I always get the max out each time - NZD250 - and that usually lasts for three or four days. Hotels and tours I pay for with a credit card as normal.

3. Posted by gardenia (Budding Member 25 posts) 3y

Ok thankyou for your help it has been very useful. This time around will only be in south america.

4. Posted by vicki01761 (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y

Is the lady in STA talking about using a currency card? If so there are a couple out there that are free to buy and don't charge you fees for making withdrawals. The -snip- is good and the exchange rates are very competitive when you load it

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

5. Posted by KellieBarnes (Travel Guru 813 posts) 3y

If you opt for travel money cards have a look around as there may be more competitive options than the one offered by the travel agency. In Australia, for example, you can pick one up from the post office, many banks offer their own travel card, and frequent flyer programs are now including this option by default. Just check the fees for any new card programs and compare to your current debit card charges.

6. Posted by gardenia (Budding Member 25 posts) 3y


Thankyou for all this information, I will look into it all.

I have noticed the card from thomas cook is cheaper to withdraw but it may not be accesible all over.