Trip to Europe - How to pay while there

berghie

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Jun 5, 2014
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Gf and I are heading off to Europe next month for some travelling :) :cool:
Would appreciate advice on how to go about paying for day-to-day expenses, eg. groceries, petrol, accommodation.

Older threads mention getting cold hard cash from Rennies, but I would prefer paying by card.

Currently with FNB and they advertise a cash passport option, but their 2+% conversion commission fee is hectic.

I saw that Capitec have a compelling offering as below link mentions they have a 0.2% conversion fee.
This is better than any other bank, but it's difficult to find data on Capitec's website about forex conversion fees.

http://travpacker.com/much-charged-atm-withdrawals-pos-payments-south-african-debitcredit-card-abroad/
 

HavocXphere

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Just use a visa or Mastercard. Anything with pin and chip will do. Visa ideally seems slightly better supported than mc

And no the fee will be more like 2%...there are other fees on top of the conversion

As for travellers cheques - I honestly don't see the point but to each his own.

Be careful drawing money at airports - some have wild fees.

And if given the option to be charged in local currency or the cards home currency always pick local
 

Venomous

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if you are planning on using you debit/credit card while there..... Remember to inform your bank before you go.
 

Charlie600

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Use your credit card, easiest and most convenient whilst you could perhaps even earn some E-bucks! :)
 

Voicy

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What Havoc said.

Travelers cheques is a real 90s thing.

Just call up the bank and inform them you'll be in Europe for X amount of time and all is cool. I lived off my FNB VISA credit card for the first 2-3 months while living here. And it worked better in certain cases where my local bank card didn't.

As for cash, it's such a bloody schlep to get it in SA unless FNB's feeling nice on the day, but I had no stress drawing cash from atm's using my CC.
 

Method

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Just use your credit card.

I did this with FNB (VISA) and had no issues. It's like you're not even away :)
 

berghie

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Sweet :)
Will let FNB know that I will be using my card in Europe and hopefully all will be swell and bon voyage.
 

janinki

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Feb 23, 2014
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Open a Capitec Globel One Account, no fees when swiping and only R5 a month
 

krycor

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Simple.. Take some cash like 1k or less worth of $ for where there is no card machine based on your transit plan. Then off you go.. You can pay for uber via local card too so uhm, really not much use for cash except emergencies.

With the rand recovering in some ways it works out cheaper but if it goes the other way u lose a bit too. Ugh.. I think cc just more convenient but that's me
 

Nicodeamus

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I am using capitec over here, they do not charge any bank charges while swiping as soon as your withdraw cash though it will nail you. Just inform the bank before hand, the EU countries are full of **** some shops only accept maestro and others only visa etc
 

garp

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if you are planning on using you debit/credit card while there..... Remember to inform your bank before you go.
+1

This is very important. Some banks will try to phone you after the first transaction and block or limit your card if they can't verify that you're overseas. Has happened to me a couple of times and it's a hassle trying to get hold of them from overseas.
 

HavocXphere

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I am using capitec over here, they do not charge any bank charges while swiping as soon as your withdraw cash though it will nail you. Just inform the bank before hand, the EU countries are full of **** some shops only accept maestro and others only visa etc
Haven't seen a single shop that doesn't accept visa? Most even support amex
 

saor

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Sweet :)
Will let FNB know that I will be using my card in Europe and hopefully all will be swell and bon voyage.
If you have both a debit and credit card take both. I've had my credit card not work but my debit worked. Might just have been a really unfortunate glitch tho.

Have a great trip!
Enjoy the ebucks you'll be earning!
 

Dave

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Haven't seen a single shop that doesn't accept visa? Most even support amex
I was just going to comment along those lines, I think the last time I had a problem with a card being accepted was in 2003 at a restaurant in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus.
 

Nicodeamus

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Haven't seen a single shop that doesn't accept visa? Most even support amex
In the Netherlands and France you often find that some card machines only accept the one or the other. The large shops accept them all though. It has something to do with the rates that Visa or Maestro charges.
 

Waaib

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Check the transaction fees on your card before you go though.

Bidvest (ex-Rennies) do a euro based debit card. You buy it before you go, they give you 2 cards in case you lose 1.
Works like a normal VISA debit card but you buy the euro's up front so you are not subject to exchanges changes during your trip.
 

reactor_sa

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Standard bank is the cheapest, then Nedbank, then fnb, then absa. They are all very close though, so unless you are with absa and will change to standard bank, don't waste your time.

Nedbank charges 2% transaction, the others 2.75%, but Nedbank has the highest exchange rate so once that's factored in, the order is as I mentioned above. Virgin CC was also the same or more expensive. I did not think to check capitec.
 
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