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Europe Topics specific to Western and Eastern Europe, from UK to the Russian border, and south-east to Turkey.
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  #1  
Old 2 Dec 2007
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ATM advice

I know this is a very newbie type of question but the only times ive left the UK in the last 10 years were day trips so i never looked.
can you use visa electron in europe? it took years to become useable everywhere in the UK & im just wondering if it has become the norm in europe too. be kind of embarresing to get to day one of a tour & not be able to buy petrol after all.
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  #2  
Old 2 Dec 2007
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Your best bet is some sort of Visa or Mastercard credit card. I've sometimes had problems using debit/cashpoint cards abroad, especially in France. I usually carry a few cards with me and there have been times when I've had to try 2 or 3 to get some cash out. It's best not to rely on just one card.
A barclaycard or similar should be ok anywhere, and there charges are usually more reasonable than bank cards.
Be aware that automated petrol pumps in france don't take foreign cards at all - it can make travelling across rural france on a sunday afternoon a bit of a pain.
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Old 2 Dec 2007
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europe=euro

Europe = Euro its easy really, use cash! I dont mean carry a huge wad, but 200 euros , split into two lots and secreted in different places and a 50 for emergencies then euro travellers cheques for the rest.

just a thought

martyn
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  #4  
Old 2 Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkLG View Post
Your best bet is some sort of Visa or Mastercard credit card. I've sometimes had problems using debit/cashpoint cards abroad, especially in France. I usually carry a few cards with me and there have been times when I've had to try 2 or 3 to get some cash out. It's best not to rely on just one card.
A barclaycard or similar should be ok anywhere, and there charges are usually more reasonable than bank cards.
Be aware that automated petrol pumps in france don't take foreign cards at all - it can make travelling across rural france on a sunday afternoon a bit of a pain.
this is not entirely accurate.

The best way is to have a Nationwide cashpoint or debit card. you can use any cirrus machine, which are most machines. Your account just gets charged for teh currency you use at inter bank rates, ( about 7% cheaper than tourist rates) Dont try looking for a link machine, there aren't any. sainburys cards only operate in teh uk.

By all means buy using a credit card, but then you will be charged tourist rates.

My visa card has worked in teh last three petrol stations I have attempted to use. This is a chip and pin card, the old stripe only card never worked. Make sure all your cards are chip and pin.

When drawing cash in teh uk, the post office is as good as you can get, not as good as using a NW card . when the tourist rate for the £ versus euro was 1.35 the post office was giving 1.39 and NW 1.45
good luck..
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Old 2 Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
My visa card has worked in teh last three petrol stations I have attempted to use. This is a chip and pin card, the old stripe only card never worked. Make sure all your cards are chip and pin.
..
Does your card work in the french automated card only pumps that you have to use outside of normal trading hours ie after saturday lunchtime on a weekend?? I have yet to get one of these to take a UK card, either credit or debit - all the brits I've spoken to on the road have had the same problem. No problem with similar pumps in other euro countries. No problem paying over the counter in french service stations.
If the french have brought their system into line with the rest of europe then it'll make life a lot easier.
I've also found Credite Agricole ATM's to be very fussy when trying to get cash.
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Old 2 Dec 2007
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well ive got a visa credit card too but the limit is rather low & i cant get it upped. will have to speak to my bank about a proper debit card i think.
whoever said cash, yeah that sounds like it'd make life easier as long as i can get more once it runs low.
cheers for the advice people, i had a feeling it wasnt as simple as the visa site made out.
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Old 3 Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by MarkLG View Post
Does your card work in the french automated card only pumps that you have to use outside of normal trading hours ie after saturday lunchtime on a weekend?? I have yet to get one of these to take a UK card, either credit or debit - all the brits I've spoken to on the road have had the same problem. No problem with similar pumps in other euro countries. No problem paying over the counter in french service stations.
If the french have brought their system into line with the rest of europe then it'll make life a lot easier.
I've also found Credite Agricole ATM's to be very fussy when trying to get cash.
I live (for 6 years now) here in france and for years there was a real problem. Now as teh machines are updated they are (mostly) connecting every where, but they do need chip and pin. I can use my new visa card in my local Le Clerc, a little village super u on the road out of belgium near Verdun and in Dieppe. Those are the only places I have tried. All out of hours.
my local credit agricole works fine with Nationwide card, as do all teh cash machins in my local city. ( five out of five). None work with sainsburys. I think it very possible to find old machines that do not work, but since my new chip and pin i have had sucess three out of three attempts. But do carry cash ( esp some small notes 5, 10 ) That way at a push you can pay some passing french motorist for your petrol via his card. it was sunday, I was on my way back from German diesel bike rally, and i saw a gathering of motorcyclists in this little village super u.. so i thought if i go through the motions of using my card, and it doesent work, i can ask them to help, but it worked. My card is a tsb visa card with chip and pin.
for some reason my local post office stopped working with the nationwide cards i had back in the summer, i think because they changed over to chip and pin and at that time my nationwide cards were only stripe. I haven't tried the new cards in teh post office as I have been using the credit agricol machine in teh shopping mall where we shop.
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Old 4 Dec 2007
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Atm

Hi Hooli, The first time I ever used a hole in the wall was in the Faroes. Luckily it worked and gave me confidence to use them back at home in the UK. The bank balance has never been the same since!!!!!!!!!. Sunday in France can be a bit of a nightmare. Maybe someone else can tell you how to use your card at the petrol stations on a Sunday, or even occasionally late Saturday evening too. "Motorways" are ok on Sunday, in my experience. In towns/cities I make sure I have enough cash and when I see a local using their card I approach them, (sometimes with helmet off, not that it matters in France) and offer them Euros in cash to fill up my tank with their card. I have never yet been refused, tho if possible Sunday is taken as a day of rest, submerging oneself into France. Cheers, Gill.
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Old 4 Dec 2007
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Thanks for the update. Should make things a bit easier next time I'm over there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
I live (for 6 years now) here in france and for years there was a real problem. Now as teh machines are updated they are (mostly) connecting every where, but they do need chip and pin. I can use my new visa card in my local Le Clerc, a little village super u on the road out of belgium near Verdun and in Dieppe. Those are the only places I have tried. All out of hours.
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  #10  
Old 5 Dec 2007
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Forget about travellers cheques, can't cash them out of hours.
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Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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