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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 18 Jun 2003
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banks around the world

What would be a good bank (or banks) to keep money in? I'm not leaving for 15 months, but I figure my local credit union won't be the best bank in Africa. It's hard enough finding an ATM in the city where they started.
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Old 18 Jun 2003
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HSBC seems to have pretty good coverage even in Africa.

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  #3  
Old 20 Jun 2003
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Why would you need to find an ATM maintained by your credit union? As long as your ATM card will work in one of the networks (Visa, Visa+, Maestro, Cirrus...) you shouldn't have a problem finding somewhere to get cash. I've used my Affinity FCU cards all over the Americas and it's *easy*.

By the way - your credit union may belong to the network of credit unions that allow reciprocal (free!) use of each others ATMs all over the US. Give 'em a call...

James
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Old 20 Jun 2003
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My credit union ATM will work on several networks. I was just wondering about having a bank that I'm a member of in case there's any problems.
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Old 20 Jun 2003
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If you like your Credit Union, then you should probably stick with it. What problems can occur - losing your card or not having them work? Either situation can be dealt with over the phone. I am *very* happy with my Credit Union; if a card of mine is lost or stolen or expires while on the road, they will send me a replacement one wherever I am, enabled with a PIN. They also have excellent internet banking. My bank, by comparison, will not send a PIN-enabled card overseas, or even hand it over to my power-of-attorney back home, and charges for internet account access.

Get in touch with your Credit Union and find out what their policies are, they might be the best for you.

James
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Old 21 Jun 2003
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We recommend having TWO different credit cards as a minimum, and make sure they are TWO different networks - smaller towns and remote locations often have only one.

Ideally, two different VISA networks and a Mastercard, and as icing on the cake, an American Express card. Amex is very nice - can also be used as a mail drop, and can get cash even without an ATM.

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Old 21 Jun 2003
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Thanks. I'll have a couple of mastercards, a visa and an AmEx. Maybe I'll apply for another visa.
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Old 21 Jun 2003
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and don't forget the muggers wallet!



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  #9  
Old 21 Jun 2003
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Hi All

I agree with Grant, about carrying back up cards as have had problems with cards a few times in Africa. (One occasion my bank upgraded my account when I was on the road and cancelled my cards as they has sent a new one to my home).

I find visa is the most accepted and Amex is limited in Africa. It getting alot easier to find ATMs on the road so I wouldn't get too worried, but always keep some cash with you.

I carry a mixture of cards when travelling so as always got a spare if one goes wrong.

I always travel with a dummy wallet which has my expired cards in and a little cash.

The only thing to remember is which pocket you carry your dummy wallet in as in a panic you may give the wrong wallet. My right pocket is always my real wallet.

One thing to also be aware of is if you have internet banking that you use from a public location e.g internet cafe be very careful as there is software that details all you key strokes. So they would have access to your account.

Cheers

Julio
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  #10  
Old 24 Jun 2003
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hi all,

yeah two creditcards and one or two debitcards !

as I only travel with one creditcard and one debitcard, I had some problems along the way (four years...) - but as I allways carry some cash usd, no problem.

Will start to carry Euros soon !

Good News from Russia :

Now you can use your debit card (visa and mastercard network) on an ATM a the bigger city.

And even in Vladivostok you can exchange Euros now ! Diference between selling and buying rate is the same as USD.

No more travellerchecks for me !

MIKA from Vladivostok

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