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Buying fuel (1 Viewer)

Jun 17, 2019
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East Yorkshire
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Hi it’s a simple question, we are travelling to France for two weeks end of May beginning of June not decided exactly where yet. Do I use my normal debit card, cash or credit card to purchase diesel?
 
Aug 18, 2018
208
410
Funster No
55,702
You can use any of them, although depending on the card, or where you change your cash, you will incur charges and not the best exchange rate.

A better approach that avoids these overt and hidden charges is to set up an account with one of the newer specialist card providers that charge less than more common bank-issued credit and debit cards.
A good example is Wise (formerly Transfer Wise) https://wise.com/
They provide you with the option of establishing multiple currency accounts. In your case, you'd open a Euro account. (I also have dollars and Swiss Francs, and you can set up hundreds of other currencies if you need to.)
You transfer some sterling into the Wise Euro account at the money market rate (the rate you'll see quoted in the press - FT, Mail, etc) and pay a small charge for the transfer. Wise will also provide you with a free Wise debit card. You can use that to take cash from ATMs in France - in euros of course, with no ATM fees as long as you take out no more than 2 withdrawals a month of up to £200 per month, after that it is 50p per withdrawal up to £200. The point is that there is no exchange rate conversion taking place, so no hidden skimming on the exchange rate conversion which is what will happen if you use your UK-issued debit or credit card.
Practically we rarely take out that much cash since pretty much everywhere accepts cards. We only use it for the odd coffee or street market where the vendor doesn't have a card machine.

There are other providers but we have found Wise works well and has a good website.
 

Riverbankannie

LIFE MEMBER
Mar 11, 2016
10,691
62,428
Bristol
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41,967
MH
IH 630 RL PVC
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12
Hi it’s a simple question, we are travelling to France for two weeks end of May beginning of June not decided exactly where yet. Do I use my normal debit card, cash or credit card to purchase diesel?
Check the charges your card holder uses, they do vary. I have a long standing Abbey Zero credit card that has now morphed into Santander and is no longer available but new versions are available from different providers. This has zero fees on foreign transactions.
On our last trip, I took a Revolut (like Wise mentioned above) card, zero charges which I was glad about as I found that even the morning boulangerie wanted card payment for a few euros and in the end only used cash once in 2 weeks for a couple of coffees.
It could mount up if you have a card with transaction fees.

Take 2 different cards just in case one won’t work or one is lost/stopped for any reason. We take 3, making sure at least one is mastercard and one visa.
 

suavecarve

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 18, 2009
7,671
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Surrey/Hants
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8,035
MH
Rollerteam 685
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July 09
We use a credit card.
Before we started venturing I refused to have one since the 80s.
Went over with a debit card and the transaction costs are shocking.
No charge for our Santander credit 💳
It is set up to go out automatically each month.
We have a residual amount of euros for paying at Aires or boulangerie (to get the change) and everything goes on cc.
I just go online and tell them where I think I LL be for however long

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Nov 4, 2011
6,002
40,172
Uk
Funster No
18,763
MH
A class
Exp
2001
Best to pay for the fuel, they don’t like it if just drive off🙂🙂

We use Revolut card and if that doesn’t work use a credit card.
 

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
54,089
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On the coast in West Sussex
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658
MH
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Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
A lot of UK credit/debit cards give poor exchange rates and add charges for foreign currency transactions.
For the best exchange rate without charges the best CC is the Halifax Clarity card and for a DC we use a Metro Bank card good rates no charges.
 
Mar 23, 2012
9,609
32,403
sleights
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20,245
MH
c class
Exp
1
Check the charges your card holder uses, they do vary. I have a long standing Abbey Zero credit card that has now morphed into Santander and is no longer available but new versions are available from different providers. This has zero fees on foreign transactions.
On our last trip, I took a Revolut (like Wise mentioned above) card, zero charges which I was glad about as I found that even the morning boulangerie wanted card payment for a few euros and in the end only used cash once in 2 weeks for a couple of coffees.
It could mount up if you have a card with transaction fees.

Take 2 different cards just in case one won’t work or one is lost/stopped for any reason. We take 3, making sure at least one is mastercard and one visa.
We have at least one each that the other person doesn't ( we leave the other one in the safe at home) so that if one of us loses our purse / wallet and we have to cancel the cards we still have at least one credit card between us. It's usually the least best one in terms of charges etc that we have as the back up.
 
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Leakylunar
Jun 17, 2019
480
622
East Yorkshire
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One a newbie
Thanks, I have a Halifax account so think my first call will be to them. I’ll look online at the cards mentioned above 👍🏻
 
Jun 12, 2020
469
1,342
Scotland
Funster No
71,681
MH
Carthago 138 Compact
Exp
Since 2017
Starling card for us. No charges and good exchange rate at ATMs. France was no problem, but it seems a lot of Spanish ATMs now charge for cash withdrawals from non-Spanish accounts.

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Feb 22, 2016
3,641
11,057
York
Funster No
41,744
MH
Bailey 620 Approach
Exp
Since 2015
We have a Credit Agricole bank account and use their debit card when in France and in the rest of the EU.
 

denisejoe

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 6, 2014
5,657
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Warden isle of sheppy
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32,702
MH
A Class
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For getting cash out of a machine we use metro bank or Santander debit cards or paying by credit cards the same two plus nationwide all use the exchange rate on the day of purchase
 
Nov 19, 2021
885
2,017
Nr Wigan, UK
Funster No
85,517
MH
Rapido A Class
Exp
2002
Thanks, I have a Halifax account so think my first call will be to them. I’ll look online at the cards mentioned above 👍🏻
I also use a Halifax Clarity Card.
Before Brexshit I used this to draw cash from atm’s free of charges and at the full exchange rate on that day but not sure this is possible now.
I’m hoping Lenny will tell me otherwise and that it is still possible 😉😉

Just a note. You do not need to have a Halifax account to obtain a Halifax Clarity Card for those interested.
 
Dec 28, 2015
1,179
8,256
lake district
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40,888
MH
low profile mh
Exp
Since 2015
Take 2 different cards just in case one won’t work or one is lost/stopped for any reason. We take 3, making sure at least one is mastercard and one visa.
Yes excellent advice . last year at a petrol station neither of our cards would work , luckily we had our NatWest card that we don’t normally use because of the charges . Thereafter the cards worked fine so it was just that one place. Odd but I’ve heard of it before

Edit
Try a revolut card - we swear by ours

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Sep 29, 2009
977
674
East Anglia
Funster No
8,667
MH
Roller Team
Exp
Since 2009
Used a revolut card on last 9 week trip. Preloaded with sterling and watched exchange rate and transferred to euros when a good rate. Managed to have 1500 euros preloaded at 1.16 prior to trip. Things to know about basic card, exchange rate better on weekdays (commission on weekend) commission on exchange on more than £1000 per month. (Hence preloading months before). Most fuel stations are pay at pump, most need at least 150 euros to authorise the start of transaction, so always have a back up card. revolut card worked better for us than our normal cards.
 
Jan 16, 2017
306
609
Hillingdon
Funster No
46,924
MH
Vantage Med
Exp
Since 2017
Have look at the new HSBC Global Money account, it comes with a debit card. It enables you to transfer £ into local currency at your leisure when the rates are good. You pay in local currency with no charges. I’ve not used it yet but should be a good companion to a Halifax Clarity credit card.
 

Minxy

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 22, 2007
32,728
66,833
E Yorks
Funster No
149
MH
Carthago Compactline
Exp
Since 1996, had Elddis/Swift/Rapido/Rimor/Chausson MHs. Autocruise/Globecar PVCs/Compactline i-138
Get yourself a Curve card, it is an intermediary card which converts foreign transactions into UK ones so even if your UK card provider usually makes a charge for a foreign payment you won't pay it as they see it as a UK transaction (ie 'filtered' via Curve).

You can link 2 cards to the free Curve card so if one doesn't work you can use the other, you can change them as you wish too so not stuck to the ones you initially set up. The ONLY proviso is to check out the limits and don't use them on a weekend or UK bank holiday if you can help it as that incurs a small extra charge, although it's not massive and was a godsend when our other cards wouldn't work at one fuel station.

Coupled with Revolut for cash withdrawals at ATMs we find these are a good combination - if you want to get a Revolut card let me know and I can refer you then if I get a referral reward I'll donate it to Northernraider for his Moroccan doggy fund.
 
Jan 8, 2013
8,496
11,538
Dronfield - Derbyshire
Funster No
24,202
MH
Burstner Lyseo 690G
Exp
Happy FLT since 2011
Thanks, I have a Halifax account so think my first call will be to them. I’ll look online at the cards mentioned above 👍🏻
95% of our spending abroad now is on credit cards, we hardly ever use cash.
We have a Halifax Clarity and a Santander fee free credit cards.
Check if your Bank will charge you for cash withdrawals from the local ATM. Our Virgin Bank doesn't

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Mar 11, 2013
1,288
1,700
Gillingham
Funster No
25,056
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
since 2005
Never had a problem with the Halifax eXtra credit card. Best exchange rate, no charges.
 

TerryL

LIFE MEMBER
Mar 5, 2010
6,217
8,237
North East
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10,511
MH
Low Profile
Exp
2009
Slightly away from the thread, make sure you use hypermarkets for fuel, it's often a lot cheaper than "normal" filling stations.
LeClerc seem the cheapest, but not always of course. Super U also good. If you want/need it you can sometimes find premium fuel here too.
 
Jul 29, 2013
9,091
18,898
Salisbury
Funster No
27,215
MH
Hymer B678DL A class
Exp
since 2011
I had a JaJa card ( they took over my Post Office card ) but had a letter from them last week saying that they will no longer be operating.
I’ve not heard anything from them to date are you sure it’s a genuine it could be a scam of some kind?🤔
 

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