Best cards to use abroad. (1 Viewer)

Sep 25, 2009
708
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south yorkshire
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Im looking for a card to use while travelling aroud Europe.I have a Yorkshire bank card that we have used for years with no problems using in shops supermarkets etc,but have never been able to use in automated petrol pumps :(.I can use it it if kiosk open.I am looking @ post office card or Halifax.Has anyone used these in petrol pumps etc.Any recommendations appreciated.(y).
 

Jackyboy61

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Jun 6, 2014
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We use FairFx ,but most cards are rejected at automated petrol pumps,just keep an eye on the fuel gauge and fill up when you see someone in the kiosk of the filling station usually after 9 o'clock in the morning.
 

Glandwr

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Jul 10, 2014
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It essential that you have at least two. There is nothing worse than being stuck overseas if your card is stopped for any reason.
I have a preload card the Caxtonfx as my primary card. The preloading allows you to hedge against currency fluctuations to some extent (working against us at the moment). It will do what ever your switch card will here without any charges throughout Europe.
I have only had problems with pay at pump fuel stations and CC operated machines that are getting more common on French aires. Beware if they operate an exit barrier, very often there is not a coin alternative (hence the need for a 2nd card or boltcutters LOL)
Dick

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Dave and Ginny

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Jan 31, 2013
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I'm with the Norwich and Peterborough and my debit card works everywhere including pay at pump petrol stations. The best bit is that there are absolutely no charges levied for use abroad. Dave
 
Jan 13, 2014
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We use the Halifax clarity card which has been accepted all round the world, used in France, America, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand with out any problems in any automated machine, well so far. (y)

Spot On, Never fails and no rip off exchange rates.

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Sep 16, 2010
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I'm with the Norwich and Peterborough and my debit card works everywhere including pay at pump petrol stations. The best bit is that there are absolutely no charges levied for use abroad. Dave

Yep.. N and P no probs and no charges.. My lady takes her Santander Zero card, for the same reasons.. (y)
 
Mar 11, 2014
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I use Post Office Credit card and have always managed to use it in the automated pumps. There are no charges associated with it for purchases. I use N&P debit card for withdrawals (and as a backup for purchases) as again, no charges for using it.
 

Moodybrook

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Jul 7, 2013
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We use the Halifax clarity card which has been accepted all round the world, used in France, America, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand with out any problems in any automated machine, well so far. (y)

Clarity is a credit card, can it be preloaded as I don't really want a credit card. However I would like it to work everywhere

What is the cards characteristic that determines its usability, Master card/Visa or the issuer ??

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Last edited:
D

Deleted member 29692

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I have a Halifax Clarity card that has worked everywhere I tried it, most importantly automated tolls and petrol stations. The key thing about that card is that there are no transaction fees outside the UK which isn't the case with a lot of other cards.
I also have a Caxton card but so far have only used that in ATMs.
 

RandallC

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Aug 4, 2012
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Suggest nationwide plus account debit for cash and select credit card for purchases. As long as you stick to that no commision/transaction charges. Halifax clarity card for purchases if you draw cash they charge interest, not a lot thoe
 
D

Deleted member 29692

Deleted User
Halifax clarity card for purchases if you draw cash they charge interest, not a lot thoe

None if you pay the full balance immediately the same as any other credit card. It's exactly the same for purchases.

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Emmit

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Aug 14, 2009
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Clarity is a credit card, can it be preloaded as I don't really want a credit card. However I would like it to work everywhere

What is the cards characteristic that determines its usability, Master card/Visa or the issuer ??


Hi Moody,

Clarity is Mastercard.

Somewhere on this thread I stated that I had preloaded this card on a recent trip. I didn't do it by much but, because we have a Hx Current account I was able to ensure that we were always in credit (sometimes not by much.)
Their Strict rules say you can't artificially increase the credit of the card by doing so but I haven't been dragged into the Headmasters Office for what I did so I'll do it again next time.
 

Moodybrook

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Clarity is Mastercard.

So Mastercard is more acceptable everywhere(Europe) ? does that mean that Fairfx which is a preloader and Mastercard would also be good to go everywhere ?

Or is it more to do with the issuer ? or is it whether it is a credit card or a preloaded card ?

Sorry Masman seems like I am hijacking your thread but I am after the same thing as you. (y)

:)
 

jtp890

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May 16, 2014
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travelex pre load used across france with no problem.
Top up as required via internet.

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RandallC

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Aug 4, 2012
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None if you pay the full balance immediately the same as any other credit card. It's exactly the same for purchases.

Hi, yes I preloaded the card and later had an interest bill for 50p or so. They eventually waived the charge as I'd only used the card in France and paid it off straight away. They argued the interest runs a month behind. Don't have this issue with nationwide.

Post post edit, if you check the t&cs you pay interest on the cash even if you pay it all off at the end of the month as this interest charge equates to a transaction fee.
 
D

Deleted member 29692

Deleted User
Hi, yes I preloaded the card and later had an interest bill for 50p or so. They eventually waived the charge as I'd only used the card in France and paid it off straight away. They argued the interest runs a month behind. Don't have this issue with nationwide.

Preloaded? It's a credit card, how do you preload it?
 

RandallC

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credit cards can be preloaded by putting the card in credit. I sent via electronic banking a couple of hundred to cover initial purchases therefore at the start you have a positive balance and a negative one at the end. Least ways I did.

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Emmit

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Preloaded? It's a credit card, how do you preload it?

On my Halifax account when I go on line it asks, (once I get onto the Account summary page, "Do you want to pay your credit card bill" or something very similar.
Before I set off to France I went onto the account and I paid the outstanding amount on the card, despite it not being demanded of me and, in addition, I paid more in than the actual amount owing.
This put me effectively in credit. I then took it from there and, on each occasion when I was getting near to the point where I was in debt, I transferred more money onto my card from my current account.

Towards the end of the holiday, when I knew I had sufficient cash in my pocket to see me back to Blighty I did in fact use the card to pay for goods and finished up with a small debt on the card but all those amounts were on goods purchased and therefore did not attract a fee or charge. When the time came the Direct Debit paid that small amount off in full and therefore I didn't incur interest charges.
 

RandallC

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Ok. Interest charges are only charged on Euro cash withdrawals from say ATMs. NOT purchases unless you don't pay off the card.

Sorry just trying to make it clear I believe that the interst charges apply to any cash withdrawals in credit or not.
 

Emmit

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I can only tell youwhat I have found.
They can only charge you interest on a cash withdrawal if the money you are removing belongs to them.
If it's YOUR money you're removing they don't charge you interest because you are not in debt.

In my case I went onto the Continent. I was there for six weeks. I drew out cash on three separate occasions and used the card exclusively in addition for purchases.
I was not then, or have been since been charged any fees, penalties or interest for using the account in this way.

In the depths of their T and C's it says that you can't artificially inflate your account limit by preloading the card but by paying off the amount owing (and more) before you go, the system allows a user to operate without penalty.

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D

Deleted member 29692

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Sorry just trying to make it clear I believe that the interst charges apply to any cash withdrawals in credit or not.

Yep, you're right. I didn't realise that.

From the Clarity card faqs on the Halifax site:

Will I get charged interest if I withdraw cash from a cash machine?

You pay interest from the day you withdraw cash, but unlike many other cards, there's no withdrawal fee. Whilst we won't charge you a cash advance fee, some independent cash machine providers may charge a fee for their service.

Never used it to withdraw cash so not happened to me. It's still a good option with no transaction fees though.
 

Emmit

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Here's something else to try to get your head around.
On the trip I went on, we landed in France without euro's. The first hole in the wall was out of order so, the village we thought would have abank we stopped. Couldnt find a bank with amachine but we did find a Spar type store with a stand alone machine inside. It was the type that in the UK srews you for a fee.
After making sure that it didnt charge a fee I got 140 euros out of it. I expected this to show as a cash withdrawal on the card but I was amazed to discover that the transaction was regarded as a purchase therefore it would not have attracted an interest charge had my card been of the normal type that does.
Next time I go abroad, I will seek out another similar machine to ascertain if it was a one off or something of advantage for everyone.
 

hertsmas

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Jan 7, 2015
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I have a Halifax Clarity Card too purely for use abroad . Cant go wrong. I cant help thinking the deal wont last forever though its just too good and good things always go up in price eventually !

Mas

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lou020

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Oct 5, 2010
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I had a application form for a credit card from halifax ( along with the rest of the crap that comes with a statement),but after looking at the T&Cs it says that for foreign use there is a transaction fee of nearly 3% of value in sterling. Didn't say anywhere on the form about it being a Clarity card.

I'll stick with santander zero, which is brilliant,
and my caxton card
PS... just got a tesco credit card for the points,,,,,every little helps (only to be used in uk though)
 

Judge Mental

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i usually get a good few euros before we go, and use nationwide credit card for fuel/campsites/shopping etc....always come back with cash.

My sons going traveling (south/north america) for approx 5-6 months in April or March. Trying to sort out best way to travel re money.. 2 cards I guess? but which ones?:unsure:
 
May 29, 2012
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We have used Halifax Clarity and FairFX in the Euro zone and Scandinavia (non Euro). The FairFx is pre loaded with cash then I realised that it is cheaper to draw cash on the Halifax and transfer the money same day (via internet banking) than pay the FairFx withdrawal fee of €1.50.

Strangely enough I still find myself loading the FairFx with £100 or so now and then 'just in case' but in reality never needed it yet!

Since the Halifax Clarity card is so competitive I use it all the time when abroad (y)

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Jul 29, 2013
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Post office credit card no charges except for cash withdrawals which we don't do usually take enough with us and keep in the fitted safe most important.

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