Using debit card abroad Watch

la fille danse
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#1
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#1
When you use a debit card abroad, does the bank convert your money at the ACTUAL market rate or at a worse rate (as currency exchange businesses do)?
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mikeyT
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#2
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It depends on your bank. However every bank won't convert your money at the market rate because they won't make any money from it. My bank, Halifax, give me a rate that is better than the tourist rate and a little worse than the money market rate.
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Joanna May
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#3
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HSBC charge 2.5% as the exchange rate on the money you withdraw from cashpoints.

Get a nationwide account. It's a hassle to get you to give them a debit card but its worth it to avoid the charges.
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whats_its_face
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#4
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(Original post by Joanna May)
HSBC charge 2.5% as the exchange rate on the money you withdraw from cashpoints.

Get a nationwide account. It's a hassle to get you to give them a debit card but its worth it to avoid the charges.
Indeed. A nationwide flexaccount - it has 0% load (conversion rate - you will get a 1% charge on conversion set by Visa - 1% above the interbank exchange rate, and therefore the currency exchange will be better than at most exchange places back home), and there is no change for using ATM's.

Compare this with Halifax - 2.75% load, and £1.50 for each withdrawl. Total ****ing rip.

If you apply for the nationwide card, you will get a Meastro/Cirrus card - basically, a cash card which can be used in any Mastercard machine. If you are already a Nationwide customer for 6 months, they might give you a Visa Debit card which will allow you to shop directly in shops without relying on ATM's.
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Joanna May
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Just thought I'd add that I had a lot of trouble getting the nationwide account, so try and get is sorted as far in advance as possible. My complete lack of credit score at all meant they'dd only give me a machine card, which isn't ideal. However, by setting up a joint account with my mum, they agreed to me having a debit card.

But yes, most definitely worth it to avoid being stung be fees!
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her0n
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#6
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Same here. I went through the online application for Nationwide and due to not having a regular income... well.. ANY income.. they would only offer me the cash card account (machine card) which is no use
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BrummyMan
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#7
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Well the only problem with taking a debit card abroad is that there are usually extra charges encurred such as a percentage charge or a low conversion rate. However when i was looking into this, specific countries offer mastercards which you pay around £10 for and they are still a debit card, but they are specialised for travel and you dont get many charges and you get a really really good currency conversion rate as they are aimed at the travel market. For example look at the sta travel cash card, that is what i used and i got a better rate than any online or high street retailer would offer me. I actually loaded my card with money then drew it all out and got a higher rate then i would changing money at the shops or online. Well worth it, check it out!

http://www.statravel.co.uk/cashcard.htm
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Joanna May
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(Original post by her0n)
Same here. I went through the online application for Nationwide and due to not having a regular income... well.. ANY income.. they would only offer me the cash card account (machine card) which is no use
Ah, see, but not offence, but I can understand their reluctance to give a card to someone without an income. Even if it is just a debit card. However, I've had £500 a month wages going into my HSBC account for two years now, and they can see I've made a huge deal of savings (in fact, I put a loadof money in a bond with nationwide, but in my mums names so i get no recognition for that- bum!) so it REALLY annoyed me.

I like to think I've beat the system by getting a debit card out of them.
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Ewan
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#9
Report 11 years ago
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Nationwide cash cards are brilliant. They are free, can be used in ATMs anywhere in the world, and if their stolen the robber can't use them for ****. In my opinion the ideal combination for holidays is one cash card, one debit card, and one credit card. Only the cash card should be carried on you.

Exchange rates with most banks are horrible as explained.
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