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  #1  
Old 6 Apr 2014
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Spending Abroad

Hope this is not a stupid question, going with my son to Germany and Poland next month, first trip with him abroad on the bikes, should I use a debit card or credit card to pay for fuel etc, I seem to remember reading something a while back about this but cannot find it now. steve
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Old 6 Apr 2014
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I think there's been various discussions as to whether Visa or MasterCard are more widely accepted, although I've never personally noticed any issues with either. As to the Debit / Credit debate is concerned, personally I'd go credit every time. I NEVER use my debit card online (and, by extension, abroad) and this has shielded me financially when some thieving scrote uses my card to go shopping (one git started their spending spree at Anne Summers - I thought this funny until they'd amassed a bill from various sources of £1500 or so!). If. I can, I change a predetermined amount before I leave in 'local' currency, and only use any cards when I've reached me daily limit - hope that doesn't sound too anal!

I've been to both the above countries, and never had any issues with my MasterCard.

Hope you both enjoy the trip!
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Old 6 Apr 2014
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Lots of threads on this. One thing to consider: Try to go with a bank that does NOT charge Foreign Transaction fees for credit card purchases made outside UK or home country.

In the US we have banks that DO and DO NOT charge these fees. Debit cards also charge fees. I use a Debit card to get CASH out of cash machines abroad and credit cards when possible for everything else. Almost always some sort of fee for this on Debit Cards. Take LARGE amounts of cash as most Debit fees are PER transaction ... whether 20 Euros or 200 Euros ... fee is the same. So big withdrawals cost you less.

Always bring more than ONE card ... preferably two Debit cards and two Credit Cards. All from different banks. Many times, for whatever reason, your card will not work. At the next machine it may work. Or, switch to your other card ... and it works.

Also, before departure, call your banks and advise them you will be traveling and tell them NOT to block your cards when they see foreign transactions. This is a common reason for travelers cards NOT WORKING! CALL the bank.
Even doing this, I've had my cards blocked ... and yet another reason to carry more than ONE card. Many carry three or four.
YMMV, IMHO ...
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  #4  
Old 8 Apr 2014
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Spending Abroad

Mollydog +1

I travel with 3 cards. One of them is a visa debit from N&P. Zero transaction fees and they always give the market rate of exchange (unlike the big banks who use their own, which are of course never in your favour). N&P are based in the UK.

Never travel with fake cards in dangerous countries because if you get abducted with the fake one, the assailants will unlikely believe you that they are fakes.




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  #5  
Old 9 Apr 2014
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I've used both credit and debit cards abroad without issue but I do sway on using the credit card as it offers more insurance against theft.
But if you have concerns buy one of the travel cards that's been topped up with a limited amount, eg Post Office and Travelex (etc) do them.
Some fuel stations are unmanned and have card-only pumps which can be a bit of pain when your card doesn't work! So top up when you can and I'd also recommend finding fuel at the end of the day as it saves looking first thing & delaying your "off".

Poland was on my to-do list for this summer but I'm rapidly running out of annual leave, have a great time
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Old 9 Apr 2014
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Used credit debit and cash all over Europe no problems at all.
Halifax have a credit card that doesn't charge for overseas transactions or cash withdraws if your uk based. Just applied for one maybe I've just been lucky!!!!! Our I look to poor to have much cash.

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Old 9 Apr 2014
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I've just got a CaxtonFX card for Europe this year. Its a pre payment card, and u
can load it up online or by phone. Favourable exchange rate too from what I can see
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Old 9 Apr 2014
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Pre payment cards are good, I've not used them. What I do for travel is to call banks before departure and LOWER my spending limits. So instead of a $10K usd limit, I lower it to $2K usd.

Possibly less headaches if card is lost/stolen.
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Old 10 Apr 2014
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Combination of all is best I think.

I have a pre-paid card that I try to use for everything. I set a budget for the trip and stick that on the card, it's normally ran out a couple of days from home though

A few hundred quid of local cash spread around a bit is always good (I once packed a bag for a trip and found 150 euros in an inner pocket left from a trip the previous year....result!!)

I also have a couple of other credit cards just in case.

If you're travelling in a group, it can be useful if you have different cards; I've found that fuel pumps will reject one but accept another. We don't bother keeping tabs on who buys what during a trip we just sort it out when we get back. Saves trying to remember who's round it is for fuel, food, .
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