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How does Nationwide foreign exchange rate compare?
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# 1
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momoneysaver
Old 09-08-2009, 1:02 PM
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Default How does Nationwide foreign exchange rate compare?

I have a Nationwide Debit Flexaccount which, according to this site, is one of the cheapest ways to spend money abroad.
However, I am a bit confused. Whilst it's true that this card doesn't have any of the usual charges or fees that others have, doesn't the best deal have to take into account the exchange rate too? ie would buying foreign currency in this country from whichever organisation offers the best exchange rate (and no commission etc) before I go on holiday, be better value for money if the exchange rate is preferable to that offered by Nationwide?
Would be grateful for advice/experience. Thanks, Mo :confused:
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# 2
BritRael
Old 09-08-2009, 1:17 PM
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I too use the Nationwide Flex card and have done for years. The rate they use is equal to the 'mid rate' (as found on www.xe.com for example), which for me, certainly compares favourably with any other method of foreign exchange.
Whereas they previously had no charge for this, they now charge 1% for withdrawals outside of the Eurozone. Still competative though
You are quite right, if you could get a no commission + no fee deal, you would be better off. However, make a note of the current mid rate (it constantly fluctuates) for the currency you are interested in and compare it with the high street (they dont change very fast). I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with Nationwide
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Last edited by BritRael; 09-08-2009 at 1:21 PM.
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# 3
M4RKM
Old 09-08-2009, 1:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momoneysaver View Post
I have a Nationwide Debit Flexaccount which, according to this site, is one of the cheapest ways to spend money abroad.
However, I am a bit confused. Whilst it's true that this card doesn't have any of the usual charges or fees that others have, doesn't the best deal have to take into account the exchange rate too? ie would buying foreign currency in this country from whichever organisation offers the best exchange rate (and no commission etc) before I go on holiday, be better value for money if the exchange rate is preferable to that offered by Nationwide?
Would be grateful for advice/experience. Thanks, Mo :confused:
Well, today's rate for purchasing today is €1.165 from Thomas Exchange Global in London, or an average high street rate of €1.14 - €1.12.

However, the Visa card rate today, with 0% conversion is €1.17

So yes, exchange rate does come into account, but with each rate currently offered for euros is lower than what you can get on your nationwide card, the nationwide is the best. It doesn't however lock in your exchange rate, where if you buy euros, or get a prepaid card, does, so if the rate drastically drops when you're on holiday, you are going to get that days rate...


M
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# 4
stoat
Old 18-08-2009, 10:29 AM
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I have a Nationwide flex account debit card and their gold credit card, do they use the same exchange rate for both card purchases on either of these and cash withdrawals from the flex account while in Europe?

I know there is the section 75 advantage in using the credit card but while in Europe which is cheapest, purchase on credit card, purchase on debit card or draw ATM cash? Am I right in thinking these work out the same?

Thanks
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# 5
Simstwins
Old 18-08-2009, 1:49 PM
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Nationwide - the way to go

I have just come back from 2 weeks in Spain, only took a small amount of euros for the 1st day, and used my flex account card for the remainder of my euro requirements.
I have checked the rates I have been charged, since I came home, and have been pleasantly surprised by the rates received. As I was holidaying in Spain no addiitonal charges applied either
The additional benefit too, is that you only withdraw as much as you require, so no left over currency on return to change back at unfavourable rates.
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# 6
Donnie
Old 18-08-2009, 2:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BritRael View Post
I too use the Nationwide Flex card and have done for years. The rate they use is equal to the 'mid rate' (as found on www.xe.com for example), which for me, certainly compares favourably with any other method of foreign exchange.
Whereas they previously had no charge for this, they now charge 1% for withdrawals outside of the Eurozone. Still competative though
Please check your facts before posting this everywhere.
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# 7
eslick
Old 18-08-2009, 8:02 PM
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you can find the daily visa rate here

http://corporate.visa.com/pd/consume...r_ex_rates.jsp

you just need to know the percentage charged, not sure if this is the same for debit cards, but works a treat with credit cards.

fee for using NW cards outside of europe is 0.84% but best check the countries on the website to be sure. think there was some talk of away round the charge for flex accounts but might be wrong on this piece

Last edited by eslick; 18-08-2009 at 8:07 PM.
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# 8
dzug1
Old 19-08-2009, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momoneysaver View Post
I have a Nationwide Debit Flexaccount which, according to this site, is one of the cheapest ways to spend money abroad.
However, I am a bit confused. Whilst it's true that this card doesn't have any of the usual charges or fees that others have, doesn't the best deal have to take into account the exchange rate too? ie would buying foreign currency in this country from whichever organisation offers the best exchange rate (and no commission etc) before I go on holiday, be better value for money if the exchange rate is preferable to that offered by Nationwide?
Would be grateful for advice/experience. Thanks, Mo :confused:
Yes the best deal does have to take into account the exchange rate as well.

But the exchange rate will NOT be preferable to that used by Nationwide.

If we take Nationwide as the 'base' exchange rate, then the next best rate (available over the counter only at a couple of locations in London) is about 2% less. The High Street average is 5 or 6% less.

You will not do better than a Nationwide card unless someone is prepared for whatever reason to trade at a loss.
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# 9
abacab
Old 19-08-2009, 8:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eslick View Post
you can find the daily visa rate here

http://corporate.visa.com/pd/consume...r_ex_rates.jsp

you just need to know the percentage charged, not sure if this is the same for debit cards, but works a treat with credit cards.

fee for using NW cards outside of europe is 0.84% but best check the countries on the website to be sure. think there was some talk of away round the charge for flex accounts but might be wrong on this piece
The Nationwide flex account CASH CARD has no loading outside of the eu at present.
As it is a cirrus network card it uses mastercard rates instead of Visa,but shouldnt be a whole lot different.
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# 10
sarah.hannah84
Old 20-08-2009, 8:53 AM
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Default Advice please!! ?

Hi there,

I just joined MoneySavingExpert so I could comment on this thread - as I am going away to spain on Sept 4th and am planning to withdraw my EUROs from my friends Nationwide flexcard...

She has called Nationwide who say they cannot advise what the rate is at the moment - has anyone been away in the last few weeks and withdrawn EUROs? If so what was your rate please?

Hope someone out there can help!
Thanks,
Sarah
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# 11
Simstwins
Old 20-08-2009, 9:52 AM
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Default spanish rates

Hi - I used my flex account debit card in Spain twice between 2nd August 2009 and 15th August 2009. The first transaction early in that time period has just come through on my statment and at nearly 1.17 euros to the poind was a great rate. The second trasaction later in the holiday was a slightly worse rate at about 1.165 - but both compared very well to the market rate available on those dates - I was very happy with the outcome.
Be careful when using the machines, as they offer to exchange there and then for you, and give you a 'bank' rate- which you have to decline - very confusing - so I took my time over each transaction
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# 12
fishngwild
Old 03-10-2009, 3:21 PM
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I'm going to Crete and have had a nationwide flex account for years which I rarely use but have a current visa debit card. I was going to load it up and use the card to withdraw euros when there, although I'm not sure how it all works. My husband was told it had to be my main account where my wages went into. Does this stand for existing accounts which have been open for years and can anyone tell me if it is simple enough to use the card abroad?
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# 13
Baldur
Old 03-10-2009, 7:04 PM
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Quote:
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My husband was told it had to be my main account where my wages went into. Does this stand for existing accounts which have been open for years
No - I only load mine up when I need to withdraw cash from foreign ATMs.

Quote:
and can anyone tell me if it is simple enough to use the card abroad?
I've used mine in Dubai a number of times and Bulgaria very frequently over the years, with no problems at all - most ATMs offer a choice of languages in which to conduct transactions.
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# 14
THENOX
Old 03-10-2009, 7:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abacab View Post
The Nationwide flex account CASH CARD has no loading outside of the eu at present.
As it is a cirrus network card it uses mastercard rates instead of Visa,but shouldnt be a whole lot different.
Hello,

I just found a FlexAccount with Nationwide for the purpose of spending money abroad but for no reason got punished with CashCard for a start . This card is operated by MasterCard via Cirrus system.

I already found out that this card is except from fees but would anyone be able to tell me what exchange rates it will use and how they exactly compare to Visa rates? :confused: I can't find MasterCard/Cirrus exchange rates on their website so would appreciate the link.

THX,

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# 15
Baldur
Old 03-10-2009, 7:48 PM
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Originally Posted by THENOX View Post
I can't find MasterCard/Cirrus exchange rates on their website so would appreciate the link.
As far as I'm aware, they don't publish their rates, unlike Visa.
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THENOX
Old 04-10-2009, 4:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Baldur View Post
As far as I'm aware, they don't publish their rates, unlike Visa.
I know that this might be a difficulyt one but then: does anyone know from practice (their transactions compared) how the two rates compere?

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# 17
Voyager2002
Old 05-10-2009, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by fishngwild View Post
I'm going to Crete and have had a nationwide flex account for years which I rarely use but have a current visa debit card. I was going to load it up and use the card to withdraw euros when there, although I'm not sure how it all works. My husband was told it had to be my main account where my wages went into. Does this stand for existing accounts which have been open for years and can anyone tell me if it is simple enough to use the card abroad?
Yes, it is all very simple. I assume that when you say "load it up" you mean you are planning to put some money (pounds) into the account.
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dzug1
Old 05-10-2009, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THENOX View Post
I know that this might be a difficulyt one but then: does anyone know from practice (their transactions compared) how the two rates compere?

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They are near enough identical
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# 19
dzug1
Old 05-10-2009, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishngwild View Post
I'm going to Crete and have had a nationwide flex account for years which I rarely use but have a current visa debit card. I was going to load it up and use the card to withdraw euros when there, although I'm not sure how it all works. My husband was told it had to be my main account where my wages went into. Does this stand for existing accounts which have been open for years and can anyone tell me if it is simple enough to use the card abroad?
If you want a NEW flex account it has to be your main account with wages going in.

If you have an existing flex account then no problem - carry on using it

It's as simple to use the card abroad as here. The only point to watch out for is if the machine asks you if you want to be charged in pounds, say no. Opt for euros.
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# 20
THENOX
Old 05-10-2009, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by dzug1 View Post
They are near enough identical

Could you tell on what you base your opinion (link reference, experience)?

Thanks
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