Bank accounts abroad for longtermers

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Coolbeanz, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    Have many of you opened a foreign bank account? As we will be spending extended periods abroad from March we plan on opening an account in France and/or Spain otherwise we will be charged every time we draw money from a cashpoint. I have already swapped to a Halifax credit card as there is no fee for using it abroad. What are your experiences with foreign accounts or international accounts from a British bank? Has anyone discovered the cheapest way to access your money without having to pay to transfer it. I don't want a card I have to load with credit before anyone suggests that. I would love to hear about your experiences good and bad please :BigGrin:
     
  2. Rapide561

    Rapide561 Read Only Funster

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    Bank

    Hi

    Forget it is my advice.

    I asked about opening an account in euro with an Italian bank - all easy enough but beware that you still have to pay a fee for using the Visa card in another country!!!! No conversion fee, but a charge none the less.

    I then asked HSBC in Strasbourg - same thing.

    Instead, get yourself a fee free debit card with a UK bank - there are a few to choose from, Norwich and Peterborough, Metro Bank and the Cumberland Building Society. The latter has geographical restrictions in place. I use N&P and there are no fees on ATM withdrawals overseas.

    Get a fee free credit card too - no charged on foreign transactions - Halifax Clarity is one, but there are various others

    I had a pre loaded card but dumped it as the rates were not as good as the N&P. My comparison of rates is here.

    Russell
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
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  3. Momo

    Momo Funster

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    I think you will find all the information you need on SEPA payments on the following site:

    http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/payments/sepa/index_en.htm

    Basically it means that all money transfers between European banks are carried out exactly as if the transfer was within the same country. The longest delay allowed is 3 days but the transfer is usually pretty immediate.

    You will have to know the IBAN and BIC numbers of your British and Spanish or French Banks which if you do online banking are usually found at the top of your account page.

    In Spain this EU rule came into effect on 1st Jan 2012 and I have used it between Spain/France and Spain/UK and the payment was received the next day.

    Any EU national can open a bank account with any bank within the EU either as a resident or non-resident.

    Momo.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
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  4. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    what a con, no wonder the bankers can give themselves such fat bonuses!!

    Thank you, that is exactly the kind of info I was hoping for :thumb:
     
  5. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    Thanks Momo, it isn't so much the speed of transfers I am concerned about but more the cost of the transfers. I appreciate your info though. :BigGrin:
     
  6. Malcolm Bolt

    Malcolm Bolt Funster Life Member

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    I also use Norwich and Peterborough. No charges for ATM withdrawals or purchases. Have had it for over two years and no problems. You need to pay £500 per month into it. Rather than change from my original bank I simply use a standing order to pay a set amount into the N&P account. If we run a bit short we just do a supplementary transfer. Be aware though as N&P is a building society and not a clearing bank their internal systems tend to be a bit slow. I once transferred cash from my main account one Friday. It arrived in N&P that day but as the Monday was a bank holiday it did not show up in my account until the Tuesday. As I had drawn cash from an ATM on the Saturday I went overdrawn.
     
  7. Addie

    Addie Trader - Motorhome Wifi

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    You already have the best tool for the job.

    We spent almost £10,000 on our Halifax Clairty card over the course of a year. While you do incur interest on cash withdrawls (just 1.1% if your interest rate is 12.9%) this is the maximum assuming you withdraw on the 1st of the month - so is likely to be less. This is less than the "weighted exchange" fee charged by Caxton - which is always 2% below base rate.

    Set off a direct debit to pay off in full each month (or pay off early), use the card instead of cash wherever you can and sign up for an additional card holder on the same account if yours wears out or gets lost!

    http://www.europebycamper.com/2012/06/halifax-clarity-vs-caxton-we-saved-over.html
     
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  8. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    Your article is very interesting and enlightening. I am guessing that if we try, when possible, to draw cash around the time the bill is due to be totalled it will minimise the number of days we are charged interest? We currently use our Tesco clubcard credit card for almost everything we buy in this country and have a D/D set up to clear the full balance every month, this way we never pay any interest but earn lots of clubcard points which pay for our Eurotunnel crossings. We got the Halifax card to replace our old Nationwide one when they started charging for use abroad so once we leave next year we will stop using the Tesco one and use the Halifax all the time :thumb: (P.S. I got the Wifi boost to work by using my laptop to set it up instead of my Ipad so all sorted!) :Doh:
     
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  9. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    Do you think the system runs for free?
    Do you ever think that the cost of the ATM's and restocking and the comms is also free...

    The average retail banker does not get a big fat bonus as you suggest, the average wage is a lot lower than you think.

    The bonuses that you talk about are the investment banking are not the retail. That's why they are closing the domestic branches there is no money to be made, the overheads are so high and remote banking has taken over.

    The in-shop ATM's are not free, people still use them and pay for the privilege, the banking charges in the UK (free current accounts etc) are the lowest in Europe.
     
  10. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Just out of interest, why have you ruled this out? :Smile:
     
  11. Gunner29

    Gunner29 Read Only Funster

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    we use our Caravan Club Credit card when abroad Its free for withdrawals and we build up points for free nights on CC sites This year we have had 5 free nights
    At home we use Tesco Credit card and get free trips on the tunnel.
     
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  12. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    Blimey someone's got their knickers in a twist, has your bonus been cut :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
    The trouble with the written word is it does not convey tone and therefore leads to misinterpretation by some, as in your case. I am well aware that my local bank manager does not get a big fat bonus!! It was a joke, a tongue in cheek comment!! Fortunately I have a habit of seeing the lighter side of life. But thank you for the education although being a Financial Inclusion Officer I had a fairly good idea already :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
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  13. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    Only because I am always looking to maximise the earning potential of my money and the minute I load it on to a card like that it is just sitting there earning me nothing waiting to be spent. I would rather explore other ways although I think if we were just going over for a holiday I would definitely have considered using one :BigGrin:
     
  14. Rapide561

    Rapide561 Read Only Funster

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    I agree with Coolbeans - the pre paid cards take your money (you have lent them it) and they pay you no interest.

    Fee free debit card is the way forward for ATM usage - the rates are better than the pre paids too.

    Fee free credit card for general spending and of course the interest free period.

    Russell
     
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  15. elamessa

    elamessa Funster

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    If you do open an Account in Europe have a look at http://www.currencyfair.com/ for transferring money between the UK and Europe and vice versa.:Smile:
     
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  16. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I have a Portuguese bank account and will be delighted to help any Funsters.

    Simply send your money to my UK account and I will redirect it over here via the Isle of Man.

    Then simply text me and I will get the cash to you via my people.


    Terms and conditions apply.

    JJ :Cool:
     
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  17. alfandM

    alfandM Funster

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    :Laughing::Laughing::Rofl1: nice one :thumb:Happy christmas.
     
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  18. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Bank charges are quite high in France if ou have a debit card. Doesn't matter how much you have in the bank, they still charge.
    Also you would need proof of a permanent address in France, I believe.

    Saying in France is you have to take every document you've ever owned, plus your granny if possible, to have any account for anything ( elec, water, phone.......)
     
  19. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Thanks for this link.

    Before I sign up may I ask if it is a system you use yourselves?

    Are there any "glitches" I should know about?

    Many thanks..


    JJ :Cool:
     
  20. Coolbeanz

    Coolbeanz Funster

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    £10,000.00 on its way to you, hope that's ok? :Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
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