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 Post subject: Money abroad
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 8:02 am 
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Location: Lewisham, Greater London
Apparently a lot of British travellers are having problems with their banks & CC companies when they pay for things abroad with debit or credit cards. Seemingly, after the first or second use of the card, a computerised system puts a block on it, in case it's fraudulent!! :o And it has taken desperate & flat broke people days & loadsa dosh on mobiles, getting this sorted!! Scary.

The banks & CC companies say "we do wish peeps would let us know before going abroad", but it doesn't seem to make any difference to the problem if you do!

I can understand why they do it, but it's causing many folks a lot of headaches & leaving them stranded.

So beware! I think when I go to Lithuania - I'll take cash!! We always used to be warned before not to do this, but what's the option?? Travellers cheques, perhaps?

I remember a couple of years ago, I made a payment to an American company for almost £500, and they phoned me to say the CC wouldn't honour it - it was this same problem. But I called the CC people & they took the block off straight away.

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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:32 pm
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Location: West Yorkshire
It didn't affect us, because the daughter has accounts there. The bank say you should tell them your destination and take their phone number with you in case, then you should have no problem. The exchange rate for the euro is not very good. Four years ago we got £1.60 odd per pound, now its £1 23, we are gradually leveling out, when its parity I think then we will change to Euros over here in the UK.

Arfa

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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 6:33 pm 
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Location: Canada
It's unfortunate that the honest have to suffer for the dishonest. Everything gets more onerous. I compare it to speed bumps. Because a few idiots speed, we all have to put up with those annoying things.
Travellers' cheques are much safer than cash Thais.


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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:57 pm 
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Location: Lewisham, Greater London
I've been in touch with Barclays & MINT.

Both say they have now 'marked' my account so that I won't have any trouble. And both have given me a number to call from outside the UK in case I do. :? (So much for the 'no trouble' scenario!) MINT even say that the cost of the call will be reimbursed; Barclays don't!

I have ordered some litas just in case all this goes tits up. :roll:

9 days to go.... :turn-l: :D

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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:42 pm
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Location: Devon, England
This is no use to you at short notice thais, but the cheapest way of paying abroad is a Nationwide flexaccount debit card. They don't charge you any fee per transaction, nor any % on top. The transaction is calculated at the current days bank exchange rate, no extras added on. We use ours to draw cash out of the ATM in Turkey, and have occasionally used it to pay for big expenses like car hire.

Nationwide flexaccount has been our current account for 28 years, so turned out lucky for us that this is the cheapest and easy way to get cash abroad. Of course you need to have the mponey in your account, its not a credit card. We never informed them that we were going to use the card abroad & never had any problems with it. Oh... apart from when the ATM ran out of money over a bank holiday (we always take some sterling & lire as back-up) and once it went haywire after a power cut and didn't give us any money - tho it showed on our statement as paid out (we got it credited back tho - keep your receipts!)! Luckily there are 2 of us, so if the machine ate my card, we could use Nige's.

Travellers cheques in Turkey are a no-no, if you travel off the main tourist route it can be hard to find places to change them. Even in a big town like Antalya, the bank tried to charge us 9% commission!

sorry I have no idea about Lithuania!

hope you have a wonderful trip.


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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:40 am 
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Location: Lewisham, Greater London
Thank you Lynn for that advice.

It'll all come out in the wash! (as they say) :D

I just suddenly got into a panic, as I realised if I didn't get my currency & my cards sorted this week...there would be no time to do it!

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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:56 pm 
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Location: Penrith, Cumbria
Can even happen in the UK if the computer thinks you've gone too fast between two locations and thus couldn't be making a legit transaction. Never had it, but I tend to take money out as I'm going to keep the computer happy. Then again, I'm usually paranoid. :)

My CC (TSB) log the fact that I'm abroad between X dates, but the debit card they said doesn't need to be - a bit worrying really. Then again, only ever got cash out of bank ATMs and also got paranoid everytime I did that incase it swallowed the card. This is another reason I don't do holidays.

Trev

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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:20 pm 
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Location: Lewisham, Greater London
Well I never got to use my CC, as I couldn't remember the pin number!! :roll: :roll: How daft am I.

But the debit card went through OK :) I tried paying for the B&B with it - and it worked.

Then on the last night, I had a lovely Italian meal in Vilnius' Old Town with a guy called Pat whom I met at the conference.....we were discussing whether we had anough local currency to pay for it, and I said...never mind, I can always pay it with plastic. Then I discovered I'd left it at the B&B!!!! :turn-l: :lol: It's a good job we managed to scrape together the money with various different currencies, or we'd have had to wash the dishes!!! It was a close call, I can tell you!

:silly:

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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:44 pm 
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Location: West Yorkshire
I have a mobile number with my pin number hidden in it, if that helps

Arfa

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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:46 pm 
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It was my pin number I needed, Arthur, not yours! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:58 pm 
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Yeah, but if he gave you his card number too... ;)

Trev

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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:56 pm
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Location: Solihull, UK
We took some cash and some travellers' cheques to Italy. Someone recommended Euro travellers' cheques stating that they would be treated just like currency - as they are in the USA.

Load of rubbish! We couldn't get them changed at a change shop. They sent us to a bank. That bank sent us to another bank who did change them and charged us 4.5% commission for the privilege. :roll: :roll: So cash or credit cards from now on - just as we did when we went to NZ for a month..

We informed two of our credit card companies that we would be in Italy and we had no trouble at all. Even though we had the emergency telephone numbers if we needed them.

We use our Saga Card when abroad because, like Lynn's card company, we get a better rate of exchange with no charges.

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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:51 pm 
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Location: daggermoon essex
did you get any amber helen?

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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:14 am 
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Location: Lewisham, Greater London
amancara wrote:
did you get any amber helen?

No. There wasn't much time for 'shopping' anyway, but even so we discovered the 'real' amber was very expensive. The cheapo amber on sale is...plastic, and the medium range stuff is 'reconstituted', which means it's been melted to mould into forms - and even a few insects inserted!! :wink: The genuine original amber costs an arm & a leg!

For 'reconstituted', think of ham! :) It's not really a slice of a piggy's leg, it's reformed by pressed bits n pieces. One old chap in the group bought a necklace for his wife, and it cost him almost £90. Grajina, a Lithuanian lady who is a geologist, had a look at it & said it was reconstituted! It was very pretty & was in fact amber, but not natural pieces. I didn't take the chance & left amber alone.

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 Post subject: Re: Money abroad
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:15 pm 
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oh that was a shame :(

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