Travel Money

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about Europe
1. Posted by AdamFrankie (Inactive 12 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

What could be the best deal to get best offers for travel money at very low rates?

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1380 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

Hi AdamFrankie and welcome to the forum.

That question was phrased in a bit of a spammy way - it caused it to get flagged as possible spam. But let's take your question at face value.

If you get the right debit card, paying by card can be the cheapest way to pay while you're travelling, but it does come with security risks. Many people will shop around for the right bank card deal so they can withdraw cash at an ATM while travelling - this lets them pay cash so they aren't risking their card data being stolen, carry a limited amount of cash around, and withdraw the money at a time that suits them (eg daytime) for security. The best deals depend on what country you live in.

For actual foreign currency, usually the best deals are to order on the internet and pick up at a local bureau de change or supermarket.

As to the best deal right now for this, we don't allow promoting of products and services on here. A search engine will show you the vendors local to you.

3. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 941 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

Hi. Welcome to TravellersPoint. When we travel, we get cash using our debit cards and pay for purchases using our credit cards. We only use bank machines at banks that are open. That way if our card gets eaten by the machine, we can go inside and get it back. Carry at least two cards so if one is damaged, lost or stolen, you still have a card. Always tell your bank and credit card companies where you are going and when so they don't stop payment when it appears to be used someplace unusual for you.

Here is a link to a short tip I wrote about getting cash when travelling. Click here for TravellersPoint tip on: Money, How do I get it?

4. Posted by Old Man At (Budding Member 49 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

The banks in Holland have never charged me for transactions using their debit or credit cards abroad. As long as the transaction is in Euros that is. This is not the same for all banks, as banks in Portugal and France have charged me for using their cards abroad. I imagine the same might apply for other countries.

I dont want to be marked for spam so I refrain from posting Dutch bank names here but google is your friend. Hope this helps.

5. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 659 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Old Man At

…. As long as the transaction is in Euros that is. ….
.
I dont want to be marked for spam so I refrain from posting Dutch bank names here

It wouldn't be a problem mentioning different banks by name.
Only posing links Could be a problem.

As the OP mentioned 'low rates' I'd guess he's talking about changing money to different currencies rather than just getting cash around Europe (even if he is European).

6. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 941 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

In France the banks won't charge you but your card company may. We've never been charged by a bank for using our debit cards in France.

7. Posted by Old Man At (Budding Member 49 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

@Andrew Mack: good point, my idea which I did not make very clear is to open a Dutch bank account and deposit it with euros. This way you can avoid on the fly fees. I have been a treasurer for a worldwide operating company for a number of years and can assure you Dutch banks give good rates if an initial conversion is needed. Overall better than Shanghai, Chicago or Londen. Offcourse these are professional rates but still. I am living in Portugal myself, but only have and use a Dutch bank.

@Beausoleil

I have been charged for using my French debit card in a German shop to buy a coat. I have never been charged for using my French card within France.

There is also a matter of credit cards. Visa/mastercard is widely accepted in North and South Europe. I have however had my Visa rejected in Germany in some shops where my AE was accepted. However AE is not always accepted in the rest of North/ South Europe where Visa is more of a standard. In Eastern Europe I found it to be a mixed bag.

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Nov-2018, at 23:31 by Old Man At ]

8. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 659 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Old Man At

my idea which I did not make very clear is to open a Dutch bank account and deposit it with euros.

I'm not sure that's a great idea unless the OP plans to spend a long time in Europe.

There are a number of banks in many countries that offer very good rates and/or zero fees when travelling.
Off the top of my head, I believe Santander and the Post office are both offering them in the UK, whilst Schwaab is doing something similar in the USA.
So my suggestion would be if you're not from the Euro Zone then research local banks first and only if you're spending lots of time in the 'Euro Zone' consider a Euro bank.

I'm not sure how easy it would be for an American, or Australian (or many other places) traveller from outside the EU to open a bank account in the Euro zone, but if someone does decide to do so they need to check the requirements (In the UK they need a lot of info to open a bank account which may not be possible if you're transient everywhere).

If they're from (say) Canada and their main travel areas are (say) India or S.E.Asia then there are much much better options.

[ Edit: Edited on 09-Nov-2018, at 05:28 by Andrew Mack ]

9. Posted by Old Man At (Budding Member 49 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

@andrew mack, yes we can agree on the fact that English banking system is horrible. I recently bought a house in Portugal and both the English real estate agent and my English lawyer were utterly amazed at the eaze of the European banks. UK not being part of SEPA really means they are missing out. ;)

10. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 659 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

They are undoubtedly poor, but the UK government requires the banks to collect a lot of info before opening an account in an effort to prevent money laundering. I think it is possible for a non resident to set up accounts but isn't worth the hassle for a temporary/short term account.

Obviously there are/have been some major benefits for the country by not being part of SEPA as well.

However I'd re-state that a Euro bank account isn't an especially good option for a non European spending only (say) 3 months travelling Europe, and it's questionable whether it's even worthwhile for them when travelling repeatedly in the EU.

Their own country probably has a better alternative,