best way to pay.

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by hedgefordpete, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. hedgefordpete

    hedgefordpete Read Only Funster

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    hi funsters, i have booked four weeks in france for may. it as been three
    years since i was last there, towing a caravan. after reading all the advice given by youselves i realise that there have been a lot of changes.
    my question is , which is the best way to pay eg. toll charges and fuel.
    with a bank visa or credit card, or a caxton fx or a tuxedo prepaid cards.
    everything else is falling into place.
    many thanks for all your advice.
    regards, pete.:thumb:
     
  2. Xabia

    Xabia Funster

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    I find the Caxton card excellent for everything except the tolls, can't use them there.

    Beauty is that you can buy the Euros when the exchange rate is favourable and leave them on the card until you need them. Rate poor at the moment but advice is that there should be a spike in the sterling rate in the near future.
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    been a while since we were there but UK credit/debit cards wouldn't work in automated fuel pumps so we bought at manned stations making sure we had sufficient for weekends/nights.

    the few tolls we paid were paid in cash (correct amount)...quicker than by card...hand over cash and go.

    Caxton cards should accepted most places.
     
  4. Phill D

    Phill D

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    last summer we used credit card in the motorway tolls and found it quick and easy and no fiddling with cash at the pay booth. but this is not the cheapest option.
    also every service station we used our credit card in pumps and no probs.:thumb:
     
  5. mick noe

    mick noe Funster

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    visa card works for us...fuel in 24h. unmanned petrol stations, parking barriers etc and cash for everything else:thumb: enjoy your stay:Smile:
     
  6. OwnedbyCollies

    OwnedbyCollies Funster

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  7. Cyclewalkbob

    Cyclewalkbob Funster

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    We went to France for 6 weeks last year and used the following.

    A Post Office pre paid Debit Card. Used for cash withdrawals and some motorway payments.-No transaction costs.

    Then had a Halifax visa credit card on which I did not pay transaction cost - I think it was called Clarity.

    We then used our normal HSBC Debit card when we had run out of Post Office funds - we had to pay a transaction fee.

    Do not forget to arrange direct debits for all your other credit cards - I forgot ( though I thought I had) to set up a direct debit for my M&S card. I got back and found that I was getting threatening letters for non payment of a £10 debt (missed two payments). I had been with them from over 20 years - Pi---ed off I was!!!!!
     
  8. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Some years ago British cards didn't work in the automated pumps. It seems they have now got their act together and some, if not most, seem to accept them.
     
  9. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    Change your HSBC account to HSBC PREMIER, there are no charges for card usage. They charge extra for the card but if you have a word with them they will waive it. We don't pay anything for these cards.
    Jim
    :Smile:
     
  10. Loujess

    Loujess Read Only Funster

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    I always use my Santander Zero Card for fuel and site fees, which is automatically paid in full at the end of each month. I'm sure this isn't the cheapest way to do it but convenient nonetheless. I'd be interested to know how the Caxton card works. :BigGrin:

    Ivy
     
  11. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    I havn't a clue about what is cheapest-I work on what is convenient for me.I always hated travellers cheques,and caxton seems to me to be a digital version of them-with a few disadvantages.
    We take cash and our usual debit cards-they've worked in France,Spain and Portugal so far.
    We have credit cards as a back-up,but dont often use them.
    We don't use Direct Debit for anything,so we do have to have internet access now and then to pay things like gas and electric in UK-but it's no real problem.
    Mike.
     
  12. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    The Caxton card (other pre-paid cards are available) is a card which you 'load' online with as many euros as you require. That's done at the prevailing rate at the time of loading. You then use it like any other debit card but it incurs no charges like a bank card would.

    There is also a version for US dollars and a global card.

    Works very well. Never been refused. More info at:

    http://www.caxtonfxcard.com/

    Wyn
     
  13. OwnedbyCollies

    OwnedbyCollies Funster

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    Hi Ivy

    Fee free credit cards paid off in full each month are the cheapest :thumb:

    I have a Santander Zero for fee free worldwide and also a Nationwide CC for fee free europe. I only use them for holidays (or euro / dollar payments on the internet) and pay in full by direct debit every month - always get the best rate with these. Other cards are available - see moneysavingexpert.com for the most up to date information.

    The next option for me is a Caxton FX - load when the rate is high and use to withdraw cash from ATMs abroad fee free. Saves carrying lots of cash around and a better exchange rate than travel bureau.
     
  14. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    I use a Caxton FX card

    I even renewed my ADAC using my prepaid CaxtonFX card only last week.

    We like to travel at night and avoid motorways as we are an RV plus a trailer with a car so tolls are expensive... we do only 14 mpg (petrol) so we need to keep our tank full so we refuel every 200 miles and we find with the Caxton FX card we can use the cheaper petrol stations in the middle of the night.. much cheaper than the toll roads.. plus we tend to make good speed on the National routes.. (add bonus is no risk of toll toad tow off charges by using the Nationals routes).

    We have used the card to also pay for camp site fees and draw cash from cash machines.. no charges... we have paid for meals with it as well. We have not found a down side to the card.

    We have had to now and then hop on and off a toll road.. we tend to pay by cash or if worse comes to worse using a visa or master card credit card.... the Caxton FX is by the way a Mastercard. We went with Caxton FX to avoid the hefty charges made by the debt cards and credit cards when they are converted in the UK.

    You can load it by computer, telephone or even text..

    Recommended

    Bob
     
  15. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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  16. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    However, if your Bank is anything like ours, every time you use your British debit card for a foreign transaction, you will be charged £1.50 ...... :Doh:

    You may need to bear that in mind.

    We always arrive with cash - nothing more frustrating than having to use a card for tolls that only cost a couple of €'s !
     
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  17. Bryan

    Bryan Read Only Funster

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    Caxton Card is the way to go :thumb:

    No charges for purchase or atm withdrawals and you load it as and when the rate is favourable.
     
  18. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I didn't care for this, from the caxton site;

    'The Caxton FX prepaid currency card is an electronic money product and although it is a product regulated by the Financial Services Authority, [HI]it is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme[/HI]. No other compensation scheme exists to cover losses claimed in connection with the Prepaid Card. This means that in the unlikely event that R Raphaels & Sons plc becomes insolvent [HI]your funds may become valueless and unusable and as a result you may lose your money[/HI]'.

    Unlikely perhaps but other firms have gone bust in todays financial climate.
     
  19. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    We make regular runs through France, last one 2 days ago and 4 so far this year.

    We travel mainly for business where time and convenience matter to enable us to be efficient, debit/Caxton/credit card is our overwhelming preferred method of toll, fuel and supermarket payment.

    We draw some cash in France via a debit card but rarely use it as drawing cash incurrs a fixed charge. The rate we receive is far better than we can usually get in the UK therefore the reason for suffering the fixed charge.

    It is cheaper for us to buy with a debit card as the cash element charge of the fee is not levied. We receive the daily rate that is shown here http://www.xe.com/ucc/ then the fixed rate commission charge is deducted.

    As others have mentioned UK Visa debit and credit cards have become acceptable in most places, but on the last two trips our usual debit cards were not acceptable at an Auchan at Cosne Cours (no major problem as there is a Carrefour 500m down the road at the same fuel price) although we have used this supermarket and the same cards maybe 10 -15 times each year for the last 6 years. The refusal was for the type of card not the account as we have two in credit accounts.

    The second was last Wednesday at Leclerc in Outreau (Boulogne) where they have lowered the amount of fuel allowed in one transaction, but not sure if that is due to being a general move on their part. Again not a big problem as just finished topping up by using the same card twice.

    At the back end of last year we were in the Lens area and tried 3 automated fuel stations during the night. None would accept UK debit or credit cards which really surprised us as this was an area we frequented a lot in the past.
    We ended up using our French bank debit card which was accepted although the charges for using it are high so we only keep for emergencies.
    Not sure if this is a new trend, but I doubt it as cards are used so widely everywhere in France now.

    This last trip I had to travel alone as Rosie had to remain in England. Our works van is RHD and when approaching a toll both (there are 4 on our route, 2 manned and 2 automatic) it's a question of getting the window down (for manned), finding the ticket, swapping seats and paying. Finding cash in place of pulling a debit card from the sun visor is a no no as even on the major routes there is usally only one manned open at night so it's possible there are others behind waiting to go through.

    At auto tolls it's easier to cross the beam to trigger the payment device, park toward the RH side, get out, stick card in machine and once payment is accepted press the button for the receipt, back in cab and pull over to the right to put stuff away and do seat belt. With cash it may add 1 - 1 1/2 minutes to this.

    That's our routine honed after hundreds of French trips, but maybe not for every one.
     
  20. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    don't pay that with a Caxton FX

    You pay no charges.. you load it when you want at the best rate at the time.. and you spend what is on the card as you want with no bank or exchange rate charges.


    Seems to me that a lot of members are using the Caxton FX card..... another good item is the ADAC membership for breakdown etc., -...... more than just a breakdown membership, has medical and dozens of extras and is cheaper by a mile than any other company.. ADAC has 17m members in europe and yes you can use it in the UK ..0800 number (goes to the AA).

    Plus you can pay a little more and it is valid in the USA.

    So Caxton FX and ADAC go hand in hand for me.


    Bob
     
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