Member Advice on Money

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Member Advice on Money

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Review of "Member Advice on Money"

published 18/05/2001 | mandyhaley
Member since : 30/11/-0001
Reviews : 66
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Pro Money saving
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very helpful

"Money, money, money"

Anyone who purchases travellers cheques nowadays is wasting their money. There are many more convenient (and cheaper!) ways of obtaining holiday money. I have travelled to many countries in the world, armed only with a credit and debit card, and have had no problems obtaining foreign currency.

Here are my suggestions...

The cheapest way to withdraw money is from your own bank current account. Banking is changing rapidly, and many banks now allow you to withdraw foreign currency from your current (or even savings) account. Make sure you have a PIN before you travel.

I bank with Citibank, and I can withdraw cash from cashpoints worldwide. This is commission free, and at the market exchange rate. (I highly recommend Citibank - see my earlier review). By doing this, not only do I get the best exchange rate available, I also leave my money in my current account until I need it (earning an albeit very small amount of interest!).

The next source I would consider is to take a cash advance from a credit card (preferably one where you always pay the balance in full). You will be charged a handling fee (usually a minimum of £1.50), but this again is cheaper than many commissions paid to a UK bank when buying currency. Again, you will probably get a better exchange rate.

Finally, I would take sterling (or US$) in cash and change it at a local bank or hotel as needed. I suggest you take clean notes in small denominations.

I, personally, don't worry about carrying cash, because it is covered by my travel insurance.

Another advantage of my Citibank account is that it allows me to deposit foreign currency notes into my current account, and doesn't charge commission, so I don't even need to worry about bring money home. I really do recommend Citibank as an international bank.

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Comments on this review

  • BNibbles published 26/10/2002
    One thing my wife and I do on holiday, is to constantly "divi-up" our cash on a daily basis, so we can only lose half of it, unless we're both robbed that is!. You didn't mention it, but I would never bother cashing a foreign cheque - I once received a cheque for $22Canadian, about £8, from the Canadian Customs as a rebate. My bank charged me £6.50 to credit it to my UK account leaving £1.50. Might as well have framed it!
  • tekk published 15/06/2001
    I would disagree with the opinion in general but there are two things specifically... 1) If you use a cash advance on your credit card you will also be charged a whopping amount of interest and 2) By getting travellers cheques you can follow the market and buy them when the currency is weakest getting maximum value for money.
  • CareBear published 29/05/2001
    VH although I disagree with you about cash being covered sufficiently on travel insurance. In my experience I have never found a poilicy that gives sufficient cover in this department. Also, it is unusual for credit cards not to charge you interest on advances from the day you get them, so even if you pay your bill in full you will have to pay interest on the amount.
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Product Information : Member Advice on Money

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Listed on Ciao since: 03/10/2000