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Nationwide account (going abroad) watch

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    I have been having a look online at the Nationwide FlexAccount as it allows you to withdraw money abroad without having to pay extra charges and I'm studying abroad next year in France. When I click on the apply button it gives me two options - one, to use it as my main account and transfer my other account or pay in my salary (neither of which I want to do). The other option for using it not as a main account gives certain criteria none of which I meet (the only one I could do is open a eSavings thing). Has anyone recently opened this account?

    I think you still pay the charges when making a transfer to a bank abroad (as in a large amount in one go, through the bank)?
    I've heard of some people just getting cash cards and not debit cards as well - has this happened to anyone?
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    My friend got one of these when we went on holiday, it's just a cash card - no chip and pin or anything.
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    (Original post by Belle-x)
    My friend got one of these when we went on holiday, it's just a cash card - no chip and pin or anything.
    FlexAccounts certainly can have full VISA debit cards with chip & PIN, it's just that Nationwide are somewhat stingy with handing them out.

    They're getting a bit tired of people just opening them for overseas transactions when they go abroad (which Nationwide subsidises, i.e. it costs them money), and not using it as their main current account, so they have tightened up the criteria. It's supposed to be a benefit for members, not something to be abused by people who have no intention of saving or borrowing with the society.

    Of course, you could just bite the bullet and open an e-Savings account, and deposit £1.
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    (Original post by snu)
    FlexAccounts certainly can have full VISA debit cards with chip & PIN, it's just that Nationwide are somewhat stingy with handing them out.

    They're getting a bit tired of people just opening them for overseas transactions when they go abroad (which Nationwide subsidises, i.e. it costs them money), and not using it as their main current account, so they have tightened up the criteria. It's supposed to be a benefit for members, not something to be abused by people who have no intention of saving or borrowing with the society.

    Of course, you could just bite the bullet and open an e-Savings account, and deposit £1.
    My friend already banks with them, she works there, so it's not like she opened this account just for her holiday and to have nothing to do with Natwest again!
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    I opened an account there, not as my main account, and got a Cash Card (not a Debit Card). Which wasn't ideal but at least it means free withdrawals when in France which is good! You still have to pay to transfer money to a foreign bank account but you could avoid that simply by withdrawing from a cash machine and putting that into a French account by hand (if you're planning on opening one).
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    When I moved to France in October 2008, I opened an HSBC France International Account, which you can open from the UK via their International Service. Cost £50 to open, but you get everything done for you, and can use an English address as the main address on the account - useful if you need a little more time to find accommodation. French banks generally don't allow you to open an account without a fixed French address...

    My international transfers between my HSBC accounts cost a max. of £9 per transaction, total. One of my friends transferred from Credit Agricole to NatWest and had to pay the sending fee (30E), plus a crappy exchange rate, and then a receiving fee (£60). Really adds up when you look at it that way. Was worth paying the £50 set-up fee with HSBC as it meant I could transfer all my money relatively stress-free.

    I had opened a Nationwide Flex account the year before to use whilst Interrailing in Europe, but the cost of international transfers made it better value to open an HSBC France account.
    Hope this helps
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    Oh, I've got this, but I still have the cash card. You don't pay anything for transactions in Europe, and on your statements your IBAN and stuff is on, so you can transfer money from here to a foreign account. THere is a way of doing it which I forgot though *blushes* Oh, and the e-savings, I usually have £3-£5 in there, and they don't care AT ALL.

    If you need it for studying abroad, and you have money coming in from the UK, I'd get the account, as you can internet bank and check your balance, soyou can always check it, and it means, if you're taking money out, you are aware of how much you do/don't have to spend.
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    I have a flex account.
    I transferred some money from Nationwide into my French acct last year. I was charged.
    This year I will wait til I'm in france and then withdraw the max £300 a day at an ATM until I have the amount I want to put in to my French acct. This will cost me nothing.
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    I tried to get a flex account but they wouldnt let me cos i was a student! like you i thought it would solve all my problems! might try the hsbc thing though!
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    Okay, thanks for all the replies! I might have a look into that HSBC account as well.

    (Original post by Angelharpist)
    When I moved to France in October 2008, I opened an HSBC France International Account, which you can open from the UK via their International Service. Cost £50 to open, but you get everything done for you, and can use an English address as the main address on the account - useful if you need a little more time to find accommodation. French banks generally don't allow you to open an account without a fixed French address...

    My international transfers between my HSBC accounts cost a max. of £9 per transaction, total. One of my friends transferred from Credit Agricole to NatWest and had to pay the sending fee (30E), plus a crappy exchange rate, and then a receiving fee (£60). Really adds up when you look at it that way. Was worth paying the £50 set-up fee with HSBC as it meant I could transfer all my money relatively stress-free.

    I had opened a Nationwide Flex account the year before to use whilst Interrailing in Europe, but the cost of international transfers made it better value to open an HSBC France account.
    Hope this helps
    Do you have to already have an account with HSBC to open this account? Also, in France, I assume if you want to take cash out you have to use a HSBC cash machine (in order for there to be no extra charge)? I wouldn't have thought that there are many HSBC branches in France.
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    You use any ATM machine in France.
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    (Original post by sailawayhoney)
    Okay, thanks for all the replies! I might have a look into that HSBC account as well.



    Do you have to already have an account with HSBC to open this account? Also, in France, I assume if you want to take cash out you have to use a HSBC cash machine (in order for there to be no extra charge)? I wouldn't have thought that there are many HSBC branches in France.
    Luckily I lived near a branch of HSBC in France last year so was able to pop by whenever I needed cash. My account allowed me 5 non-HSBC cash machine transactions every month for free, and after that they cost 1E. Bear in mind, there's no such thing as a free bank account in France - you have to pay for internet banking (5E/year), a debit card or credit card (30E/year), account management fees (5E/month)... So the HSBC account for me was very good value in comparison...

    I know that for HSBC Student Account holders it costs £50 to open, and for non-student account holders it's £100, though this is waived for Premier banking customers. Not sure if it's possible if you don't have an existing HSBC account.

    As a general rule, the branches haven't got a clue about International Banking - my local branch had to witness me signing my contract, and they'd never even heard of the forms before. You need to contact their central London office, who are very efficient and lovely.
    http://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/personal/t...IjwF:12ntf1tru
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    Nationwide now charge a teeny tiny amount for each foreign transaction you make but is still the best deal (I've totally loved having it in Australia) and if you just withdraw money at the atm you'll avoid the hefty money transfer fees. If they won't let you get an account cos you're a student try getting a joint account with your Mum or Dad, they wouldn't let me get a Visa debit even though I was an existing customer on my own because I had no credit history but they were fine with me having a joint account with my Mum so maybe it would work in a similar way with a student/non-student bank account.
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    i hate how they penalise us for not using our overdraft!!! i went in there yesterday to try and get a debit card cos i've had a job over the summer and so i was applying as a non-student and they still wouldn't give me one!
 
 
 
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