Debit or Credit card? Beware with Nationwide!

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Debit or Credit card? Beware with Nationwide!

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1. Posted by enf (Budding Member 32 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


My boyfriend and I are planning a 10 month trip to South America & New Zealand, starting in January 2011.

I have an account with Nationwide which I thought I would be able to use while overseas, however Nationwide have now decided to completely cancel their 'travel-friendly' options on their debit card from Nov 2010 which means they will be charging for using the card and withdrawing money.

So, question is - do I use a debit card and get charged (a lot of money over 10 months!) or go for a good credit card and make sure I pay it off monthly? How easy is this considering I'll have to use secure internet to do this?

I'd be really grateful for any advice from anyone who's been RTW about how they used/accessed money while overseas...

Thanks :)


2. Posted by claire16c (Budding Member 5 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I would still use your debit card either to take out cash or pay for things on the card directly - remember that often you get a better exchange rate anyway compared to exchanging money for cash so the fee gets cancelled out in effect. I always use cards as much as I can.

You could still use your credit card to pay for stuff too though, and then you could set up a direct debit to pay the full amount each month, before you leave. Or use an internet cafe if you had to.

Just dont use your credit card to take out cash, because you get charged interest.

[ Edit: Edited on 07-Aug-2010, at 09:59 by claire16c ]

3. Posted by Jeanie9999 (Budding Member 27 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

We have credit cards (paying off full amount monthly) and debit cards with Nationwide which we only use for travelling.

They will be increasing their charge for withdrawing from ATMs worldwide from 1 % to 2 % Europe is free at the moment.

DO NOT withdraw money with a credit card you will pay interest immediately.

We are in the same position as you travelling in Africa this October although cash is king there so will take quite a bit of US$.

One of my next jobs is to research the market to see if there are any better deals out there for travelling, when I get the time to do it, I would suggest you do the same.
Best of luck

4. Posted by greynomadm (Budding Member 10 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


For what it is worth, my wife and I are about to take off for a three month trip North America, Europe and Singapore. All transport, all accommodation and many meals (35 days on cruise ships) have been paid for. I will need US&, Canadia$, Euros, Sterling, and whatever they use in Turkey, Egypt and Morocco.

I propose to use my credit card for most significant expenses and have set up a scheduled payment from our pension account. Hopefully the periodic top-ups will exceed the expenses.

I also have a debit card that I have loaded with about AU$2000 so that I can access cash from ATMs for those small expenses.

Finally, I have purchased som US$ currency in case all else fails.

It is difficult to predict how much you need and even harder to avoid fees and charges. Then just to keep things interesting there's the uncertainty of fluctuating exchange rates.

If anyone has a "PERFECT" answer I'd like to hear of it.


5. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I haven't studied it in great detail, but Halifax are advertising all over the place at the moment - their product called 'The Clarity Card'. I think it's a credit card, so they're gonna charge for outstanding balances (unless cleared before the interest is added - I assume), but they are also shouting from the hightest hill in the ad's that overseas transactions are free. I dunno exactly what the smallprint entails though.
Might be worth having a look.

6. Posted by Radhika Aj (Inactive 3 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I wouldn’t use a debit card or a credit card, and instead I use prepaid currency cards as they are much cheaper when used abroad, especially now Nationwide charges for use abroad. Both debit and credit cards charge around 2.75% on all transactions (i.e. 2.75% of how much you spend), and most debit cards charge another 2% fee on ATM withdrawals. Nationwide was the exception. However some prepaid cards have foreign exchange fees of around 1.5% and have much lower ATM withdrawal fees, so they are much cheaper to use - and they are MasterCard or Visa enabled so they can be used just like a debit card at ATM's or at restaurants, hotels etc.
-snip- Hopefully it will help
Cheers, Radhika :)

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

7. Posted by Jeanie9999 (Budding Member 27 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I have found a credit card which is the best on the market in the UK but it is only for the over 55s. SAGA
We can withdraw cash 2% fee and purchase at 0% worldwide, if paid off in full each month we have no interest charges. It's the only cc I know that doesn't charge interest from day one for withdrawing cash.

Post 8 was removed by a moderator
9. Posted by mendozza (First Time Poster 1 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!

I'm looking into this question about the best hotel credit cards

10. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 4936 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!

I have all the money on my card..."


My advice is to NOT travel with a single card! You can accidentally damage it making it useless. You could lose it or misplace it somehow. Or, you might have someone you trust steal it from you!

You will need some cash for cheap purchases. Bus rides, piece of candy in a small store, tip in a cheap bar or restaurant.