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Old 9 Mar 2009
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Nationwide no longer fee free outside of UK :(


Nationwide will charge you to use cards abroad


Land's End to Sydney 2009
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Old 9 Mar 2009
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Hi Ollie / all

I too was disappointed to read about Nationwide. But I must clarify a few things - there are 2 elements to any card fee. This is the bit charged by Visa (as with any use of a Visa credit/debit card) and the commission charged by the bank itself. Nationwide has said it will start passing on the Visa fee outside Europe, but customers using their cards in Europe will not receive any charges, as the Visa fee does not apply there. But Nationwide has also said its cards remain commission-free when used anywhere in the world.

Also bear in mind from the bottom of Ollie's article that you can still get commission-free credit cards from the Post Office.

Here's another article which explains the Nationwide issue better.

Where Nationwide cards allow free overseas spending? | This is Money


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Old 26 May 2009
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I recently investigated the various pre-loaded cash cards for my up-coming lap of Europe. I found Top 10 Prepaid Cards UK - Compare Best Pre-Paid Card useful, and settled on a CaxtonFX Euro card. Filled in the application online (with my passport no) and was sent the card in the post a couple of days later.

Haven't yet loaded it or used it in anger, but so far it's looking good.
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Old 27 Aug 2010
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I was disappointed to hear about the Nationwide account no longer being fee free as I got an account with them a few years ago specifically for travelling, but I've been using my Nationwide Visa debit card to withdraw cash from atms all over southern and eastern Africa since Oct '09 and I've not been charged a penny in fees.
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Old 1 Sep 2010
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Hi - interesting that someone has posted again on this thread at this time. I have recently had a leaflet from Nationwide which says they're going to start charging for all overseas ATM withdrawals wef 1 November

Nationwide to charge to use debit card abroad - North Cyprus Forum - Cyprus44.com

Anyone got any ideas about alternatives?
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Old 3 Sep 2010
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Originally Posted by RobRoy View Post
I recently investigated the various pre-loaded cash cards for my up-coming lap of Europe. I found Top 10 Prepaid Cards UK - Compare Best Pre-Paid Card useful, and settled on a CaxtonFX Euro card. Filled in the application online (with my passport no) and was sent the card in the post a couple of days later.

Haven't yet loaded it or used it in anger, but so far it's looking good.
Good tip i know they could work out more expensive but save the chance of having your Visa swiped & cloned.
I also use nationwide and a bit PO'd
We are the Pilgrims, Master, we shall go Always a little further: it may be beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow, Across that angry or that glimmering sea.
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Old 4 Sep 2010
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Hi we have a Santander ZERO account, so far no charges or commission on the exchange rates,

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Old 5 Sep 2010
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The co op do a credit card called the clear card - available to account holders, its not advertised on any of the sites - it allows free cash withdrawals in the uk, and free cash cash and purchases abroad no charges, but you do not interest free, although its free for 58 days then an interest rate of 12.9 % but if you make a standing order for the bill to be paid while your away then its free really. You need to have a £10,000 year income to get the card also with all things co op they are an ethical bank have invest money ethically they have turned down hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of investments where the investments conflict with the ethical policy of the bank. ie your money wont pay for wars, warlords, massive land destruction or deforestation etc. also a bit of the profit of the bank invests in saving rainforests, wildlife etc. I was so impressed with the coop I moved all my accounts to them. They use the post office system as there branches on the street so your never far from a branch for paying in or withdrawals. Last of all if you are a co op share meber you get a dividend every year from the coop profits thats the shops banks insurance etc. No i don't work for or have any ties to the company.
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Old 6 Sep 2010
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Mine went back a few weeks ago. As well as bringing in the charges they've gone security mad. Had my cards stopped when I tried to use them in Holland. (Fortunately I have business cards which only require a short explanation on the expenses forms for personal use). The cretins then insist you call them from your land line at home! Time to go back to having to log a call to the call centre fools before you travel.

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Old 13 Sep 2010
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Useful UK credit cards for overseas

Despite the new charges from Nationwide, it's still a relatively good card to keep hold of for traveling through Africa when you need to take money out or pay for things in capitals (especially West Africa), as it's a VISA card which is more widely accepted. I've basically told Nationwide that I travel abroad frequently, so they've stopped calling me or blocking the card when I use it in random locations.

I used to have the Santander Zero card and they drove me insane with their constant fraud and security checks (and card blocks), even when I had told them that I'd be traveling to certain countries.

Halifax has recently launched a credit card which offers the same benefits, with no fees, and there's a good article explaining good UK credit cards for traveling here: Cheap Travel Money: NEW top card for spending abroad...


p.s. I don't work for any banks or the MSE website... I'm Dutch so I like saving money where possible :-)
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Old 11 Oct 2010
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Post Office Card

The PO card used to have a good loophole in that if you pre-paid it then there were no cash advance fees and interest payments when used in foreign ATMs.

They are now closing that loophole as of 1 November 2010 by refusing to allow a credit balance.

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Old 12 Oct 2010
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fee free cards

plus one for Satander Zero Mastercard, though not accepted everywhere in Africa where visa is king.

Saga do a fee free visa card for those of a certain age!
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Old 28 Nov 2010
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Norwich and Peterborough BS is has has a Gold current account that will be fee free world-wide as of 1 Jan 2011. You have to pay in £500 per month to keep the account for free though. The card is a Visa.
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Old 28 Sep 2011
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Hi all - dredging a thread up from the grave!

Am fairly soon going on holiday, and suddenly remembered the Nationwide a/c is no longer free for overseas purchases and ATM withdrawals when I looked in the Guardian money section last Saturday. And whaddya know - MovingHouse is right.

Cheap Travel Money: Top cards for spending abroad...

then scroll down to Do you want a debit card instead? This seems to be the best 1 - Gold Classic Current Account | Bank Accounts | N&P | Norwich and Peterborough Building Society
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Old 5 Oct 2012
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Nothing stands still in the currency "world"

Originally Posted by ilesmark View Post
Hi all - dredging a thread up from the grave!
And dredging, again, just because I have been stung for bank charges - yet again - on a flying visit as far as the European mainland.
I usually deal with such things OK (well, good enough that I don't care too much) but this latest trip was short notice and I kind of lost sight of bank charges for both drawing cash from ATMs and charges for purchases.

Searching around to try to get a better handle on this, for next time, I came across this article - the comments/inputs at the end are as informative as the main article, probably more so:-

There is another thread in here (somewhere!) about the currency card issue (and along the way, the question of "if they can be used at the French toll booths"), but I can't find it and the recommendation about Credit cards in this article is useful for anyone based in the UK.
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