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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Helen Saxon
    • By MSE Helen Saxon 28th May 15, 11:15 AM
    • 75Posts
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    MSE Helen Saxon
    0 WOW
    Prepaid Travel Cards guide
    • #1
    • 28th May 15, 11:15 AM
    0 WOW
    Prepaid Travel Cards guide 28th May 15 at 11:15 AM
    Hi!

    This is the discussion thread for the



    Click reply below to discuss. If you havenít already, join the forum to reply. If you arenít sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.


    Thanks folks,
Page 51
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 8th Jan 18, 9:52 AM
    • 132 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    EveryWhere
    Flip GTST, did not know you were an expert in this area

    Advice (from anyone) would be greatly received (idiots format is preferred as I am doh!).

    We are going to Thailand for nearly 5 weeks with a few days to Singapore, (DS1's wedding) and need to figure out what is the best cards to use. We would normally try to put the expenses on a credit card, but on reading it looks like debit card maybe more cost effective (we will need to put some expenses on a credit card as we don't have enough money).

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks

    SSM

    Originally posted by Sunshinemummy

    If you have the right credit card, such as Halifax Clarity, Creation Everyday, Santander Zero and Barclaycard Travel Platinum, some banks will allow to to take a cash advance over the counter, avoiding the ludicrous £5.70 ATM withdrawal fee levied by Thailand's ATM network on foreign VISA/Mastercard cards.

    .....and get one or two of these; https://www.starlingbank.com/travel/
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 8th Jan 18, 12:28 PM
    • 3,233 Posts
    • 7,697 Thanks
    gettingtheresometime
    Flip GTST, did not know you were an expert in this area


    Originally posted by Sunshinemummy
    I'm far from an expert in any area as my hubby will tell you!


    We found it handy if only to change what we needed to change. I was known to load sterling on it at the till and then convert it there and then. The other aspect that we've found useful is that we're converting some money each month for a trip to the US in June in an attempt to even out any currency fluctuations (it also stops you from dipping in of course lol!)


    Whether we get any problems in the US though will be anybody's guess.
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


    Next on the list - JD Williams
    • eDicky
    • By eDicky 8th Jan 18, 2:18 PM
    • 3,069 Posts
    • 1,401 Thanks
    eDicky
    the ludicrous £5.70 ATM withdrawal fee levied by Thailand's ATM network on foreign VISA/Mastercard cards.
    Originally posted by EveryWhere
    You made me think that the fee has been raised again already, but I checked four banks' ATMs this evening and they are still charging Bt.220 (£5.05) - ludicrous enough, but perhaps the pound is stronger since you last looked.

    However I did notice that Kasikornbank offered me a DCC rate of 40.09 (mid-rate now 43.64) on the same screen as the fee warning. So there were three options - Proceed With Conversion (with fee) / Proceed Without Conversion (with fee) / Cancel. Perhaps the other Thai banks also offer DCC on the next screen after you accept the fee, I was not going to risk proceeding to find out.

    Revolut is not so useful in Thailand because their normally perfect interbank rates are not applied to Thai baht.
    Evolution, not revolution
    • Sunshinemummy
    • By Sunshinemummy 8th Jan 18, 10:32 PM
    • 15,343 Posts
    • 188,756 Thanks
    Sunshinemummy
    The last time we went, we got a Saga credit card which had no fees for ATM/purchases - but this was 4 years ago which is a world away!

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/travel-credit-cards

    Also https://loot.io/

    Note that ATMs in Thailand charge Bt.220 (£5) for use of a foreign card.
    Originally posted by eDicky
    If you have the right credit card, such as Halifax Clarity, Creation Everyday, Santander Zero and Barclaycard Travel Platinum, some banks will allow to to take a cash advance over the counter, avoiding the ludicrous £5.70 ATM withdrawal fee levied by Thailand's ATM network on foreign VISA/Mastercard cards.

    .....and get one or two of these; https://www.starlingbank.com/travel/
    Originally posted by EveryWhere
    Thanks, I have a zero debit card. I have read Santander site, which was a little confusing so I have e-mailed them asking for clarity.

    I have just made the application for Halifax Clarity. I am thinking of also applying for the Barclays card (one for purchases and one for case withdrawal) and will look into starlingbank, but if I can avoid I don't want to put money up front (as there is nothing left after flights/accommodation... )

    I am considering applying for another card whilst I am away so that I can transfer some of the spending to this and delay final payment (we are pushing the boundaries of our finances. Do people think that this is doable?

    Thanks
    Aim 20 lbs loss by 21.3.18.
    10 weeks to go - 16.5 lbs to go.
    20,000 step a day challenge.
    Day 1 - 27,024 steps. Day 2 - 24,000 steps. Day 3 - 18,554 Day 4 -13,207 Day 5 - 14,218 Day 6 - 27,238 Day 7 - 13,000. Total 137,241
    Banked steps for lazy days 0....
    • Sunshinemummy
    • By Sunshinemummy 8th Jan 18, 10:45 PM
    • 15,343 Posts
    • 188,756 Thanks
    Sunshinemummy
    GTST - you are so planned. I am trying to plan but feel like I am winging it!

    I set OH the task of sorting travel insurance - he is having a melt down. Good job I did not ask him to book two lots of flights from UK to Thailand, accommodation, fights for 4 to Singapore, accommodation, make sure the kids have booked the right time off work, that we are in the right place for the right time, with the right flipping culturally acceptable gifts in the right flipping colours for the right people. Rant over

    You made me think that the fee has been raised again already, but I checked four banks' ATMs this evening and they are still charging Bt.220 (£5.05) - ludicrous enough, but perhaps the pound is stronger since you last looked.

    However I did notice that Kasikornbank offered me a DCC rate of 40.09 (mid-rate now 43.64) on the same screen as the fee warning. So there were three options - Proceed With Conversion (with fee) / Proceed Without Conversion (with fee) / Cancel. Perhaps the other Thai banks also offer DCC on the next screen after you accept the fee, I was not going to risk proceeding to find out.

    Revolut is not so useful in Thailand because their normally perfect interbank rates are not applied to Thai baht.
    Originally posted by eDicky
    Flip, it is like a foreign language. I googled DCC rate - and got Dundee County Council!..... then scrolled down to Derby County Council, before eventually finding Dynamic currency conversion. I assume that this is the banks giving lower rates, but don't really understand what to do. What I had read is that when we are given the option to convert now or later - we do it now.

    Please fee free to shout at me.... every little helps

    Aim 20 lbs loss by 21.3.18.
    10 weeks to go - 16.5 lbs to go.
    20,000 step a day challenge.
    Day 1 - 27,024 steps. Day 2 - 24,000 steps. Day 3 - 18,554 Day 4 -13,207 Day 5 - 14,218 Day 6 - 27,238 Day 7 - 13,000. Total 137,241
    Banked steps for lazy days 0....
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 8th Jan 18, 11:20 PM
    • 7,558 Posts
    • 9,480 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    Dynamic currency conversion. I assume that this is the banks giving lower rates, but don't really understand what to do. What I had read is that when we are given the option to convert now or later - we do it now
    Always transact in the local currency. Let your bank convert to sterling, not the foreign bank.

    And get your travel insurance sorted fast.
    • Sunshinemummy
    • By Sunshinemummy 8th Jan 18, 11:40 PM
    • 15,343 Posts
    • 188,756 Thanks
    Sunshinemummy
    Always transact in the local currency. Let your bank convert to sterling, not the foreign bank.

    And get your travel insurance sorted fast.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    OH is getting really stressed about it.

    Not sure if this is or

    He has given up and gone to bed!!
    Last edited by Sunshinemummy; 08-01-2018 at 11:46 PM.
    Aim 20 lbs loss by 21.3.18.
    10 weeks to go - 16.5 lbs to go.
    20,000 step a day challenge.
    Day 1 - 27,024 steps. Day 2 - 24,000 steps. Day 3 - 18,554 Day 4 -13,207 Day 5 - 14,218 Day 6 - 27,238 Day 7 - 13,000. Total 137,241
    Banked steps for lazy days 0....
    • eDicky
    • By eDicky 9th Jan 18, 2:26 AM
    • 3,069 Posts
    • 1,401 Thanks
    eDicky
    Dynamic currency conversion. I assume that this is the banks giving lower rates, but don't really understand what to do.
    Originally posted by Sunshinemummy
    Searching this forum for DCC, instead of google, should turn up plenty of info. I mentioned it because I had not previously noticed it on Thai bank ATMs in addition to their fee.

    The rule when using a fee-free card is to decline DCC whenever it is offered, by selecting "Without Conversion" (or similar) on an ATM, and selecting to pay in the local currency when a payment terminal gives the choice. Then your card/bank converts your pounds at the ideal MasterCard or Visa rates, instead of the local bank/merchant having tricked you into accepting their own terrible rate.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 9th Jan 18, 7:45 AM
    • 13,469 Posts
    • 17,683 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    I have just made the application for Halifax Clarity. I am thinking of also applying for the Barclays card (one for purchases and one for case withdrawal) and will look into starlingbank, but if I can avoid I don't want to put money up front (as there is nothing left after flights/accommodation... )
    Originally posted by Sunshinemummy
    I'm not sure I would b e comfortable leaving the UK, even within Europe, if my finances were balanced on such a knife edge.

    Actually, I know I wouldn't be comfortable.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • Sunshinemummy
    • By Sunshinemummy 9th Jan 18, 8:06 AM
    • 15,343 Posts
    • 188,756 Thanks
    Sunshinemummy
    Searching this forum for DCC, instead of google, should turn up plenty of info. I mentioned it because I had not previously noticed it on Thai bank ATMs in addition to their fee.

    The rule when using a fee-free card is to decline DCC whenever it is offered, by selecting "Without Conversion" (or similar) on an ATM, and selecting to pay in the local currency when a payment terminal gives the choice. Then your card/bank converts your pounds at the ideal MasterCard or Visa rates, instead of the local bank/merchant having tricked you into accepting their own terrible rate.
    Originally posted by eDicky
    Thanks that is helpful

    I'm not sure I would b e comfortable leaving the UK, even within Europe, if my finances were balanced on such a knife edge.

    Actually, I know I wouldn't be comfortable.
    Originally posted by Gloomendoom
    I know the feeling. I am used to being comfortable within our rather frugal life.

    We have had a difficult financial year, we had agreed to pay for DS2 masters degree, then the car died so newish car (much needed and saving money each week as I drive hours each day, and we got the cheapest/economical car), then DS1 proposes and decides to get married in Singapore and Thailand, so we have to cover DS2 and DS3s costs, and as I am an agency worker (in the same job for 6 years so very stable) but recently my take home was cut with IR35 (we still live well under my income - ooh did I say I am the only income in the household, OH gets a small pension) but I don't get paid when I am away. So it is a build up of things over the year.

    Despite all of this, the wedding cannot be missed. I have paid for the 4 flights to Thailand, then Singapore, the accommodation in both places, parking. Just need to find cost effective insurance.

    On the positive side, we have absolutely no debts except a small mortgage. I have never purchased anything that I have not been able to pay in full, so transferring a debt to another card is right out of my comfort zone.

    If he divorces I will kill him.
    Aim 20 lbs loss by 21.3.18.
    10 weeks to go - 16.5 lbs to go.
    20,000 step a day challenge.
    Day 1 - 27,024 steps. Day 2 - 24,000 steps. Day 3 - 18,554 Day 4 -13,207 Day 5 - 14,218 Day 6 - 27,238 Day 7 - 13,000. Total 137,241
    Banked steps for lazy days 0....
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 9th Jan 18, 8:20 AM
    • 13,469 Posts
    • 17,683 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    You do need to get your travel insurance sorted as soon as possible. It should really have been done when you booked the first component of your trip, or before.

    You risk losing a lot of money otherwise.

    If you need any advice on Singapore, I may be able to help. I was there last week.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • Sunshinemummy
    • By Sunshinemummy 9th Jan 18, 9:11 PM
    • 15,343 Posts
    • 188,756 Thanks
    Sunshinemummy
    You do need to get your travel insurance sorted as soon as possible. It should really have been done when you booked the first component of your trip, or before.

    You risk losing a lot of money otherwise.

    If you need any advice on Singapore, I may be able to help. I was there last week.
    Originally posted by Gloomendoom
    I will get it done either tonight or tomorrow.

    What cards do you use in Singapore?

    Our schedule so far is:

    We arrive on the Thursday lunch. Book in hotel 2. Wedding 4. No idea what afterwards

    Friday is free

    Saturday it is 'the Singapore wedding meal'

    Sunday is free - with flight back to Thailand at 6 pm.

    Any suggestions for our free days would be greatly appreciated. We will have our two adult (I use the term adult loosely) with us, and at time the bride and groom.

    And a rather random question I have been looking at what women wear to Singapore weddings.... when I googled it, everything was like my gran would wear. Any ideas? I would like to leave my fascinator at home!
    Last edited by Sunshinemummy; 09-01-2018 at 10:20 PM.
    Aim 20 lbs loss by 21.3.18.
    10 weeks to go - 16.5 lbs to go.
    20,000 step a day challenge.
    Day 1 - 27,024 steps. Day 2 - 24,000 steps. Day 3 - 18,554 Day 4 -13,207 Day 5 - 14,218 Day 6 - 27,238 Day 7 - 13,000. Total 137,241
    Banked steps for lazy days 0....
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 10th Jan 18, 5:24 AM
    • 132 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    EveryWhere
    You made me think that the fee has been raised again already, but I checked four banks' ATMs this evening and they are still charging Bt.220 (£5.05) - ludicrous enough, but perhaps the pound is stronger since you last looked.

    However I did notice that Kasikornbank offered me a DCC rate of 40.09 (mid-rate now 43.64) on the same screen as the fee warning. So there were three options - Proceed With Conversion (with fee) / Proceed Without Conversion (with fee) / Cancel. Perhaps the other Thai banks also offer DCC on the next screen after you accept the fee, I was not going to risk proceeding to find out.

    Revolut is not so useful in Thailand because their normally perfect interbank rates are not applied to Thai baht.
    Originally posted by eDicky

    Saw that, but forgot to correct it. I was thinking in Euros at the time.

    Though as you state, £5 is ludicrous enough. Cash advance over the bank counter with credit card and in some cases, Starling Bank card is the way, if you don't have Pound notes to exchange.
    Watch out for the odd dodgy bank that adds an Admin Charge for a cash advance over the counter. Siam Commercial might do this.
    ATM is just a joke in Thailand, unless you have a fee free card that allows you to withdraw at least £500 in one go, in order to limit your losses to around 1%.
    • Sunshinemummy
    • By Sunshinemummy 10th Jan 18, 8:12 AM
    • 15,343 Posts
    • 188,756 Thanks
    Sunshinemummy
    Saw that, but forgot to correct it. I was thinking in Euros at the time.

    Though as you state, £5 is ludicrous enough. Cash advance over the bank counter with credit card and in some cases, Starling Bank card is the way, if you don't have Pound notes to exchange.
    Watch out for the odd dodgy bank that adds an Admin Charge for a cash advance over the counter. Siam Commercial might do this.
    ATM is just a joke in Thailand, unless you have a fee free card that allows you to withdraw at least £500 in one go, in order to limit your losses to around 1%.
    Originally posted by EveryWhere
    Does this card exist?

    TIA
    Aim 20 lbs loss by 21.3.18.
    10 weeks to go - 16.5 lbs to go.
    20,000 step a day challenge.
    Day 1 - 27,024 steps. Day 2 - 24,000 steps. Day 3 - 18,554 Day 4 -13,207 Day 5 - 14,218 Day 6 - 27,238 Day 7 - 13,000. Total 137,241
    Banked steps for lazy days 0....
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 10th Jan 18, 11:53 AM
    • 13,469 Posts
    • 17,683 Thanks
    Gloomendoom

    Does this card exist?

    TIA
    Originally posted by Sunshinemummy
    The Halifax Clarity should allow you to do it if your credit limit permits. You will pay interest though.

    For Singapore, I use a Starling Bank debit card or a Halifax Clarity credit card. You probably won't need much cash as most places accept cards. If you intend to eat in the hawker centres as we do, cash still seems to be preferred.

    There is plenty to do and see in Singapore itself. I would particularly recommend the boat trip leaving from Clarke Quay but do it at dusk. If you like shops take a walk down Orchard Road. Another attraction well worth a visit is the Gardens in the Bay. We have also gone across to Sentosa Island a couple of times but, unless you are desperate for a swim as we were, or like Butlins/theme parks, I wouldn't really recommend it. The cable car does give good views of Singapore though.

    I'm not really qualified to comment on wedding attire I am afraid. Googling "singapore wedding etiquette" brings up a few hits.

    The other thing that occurs to me is that you first day is pretty full on if you haven't had a chance to get over the jet lag.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • Sunshinemummy
    • By Sunshinemummy 10th Jan 18, 12:31 PM
    • 15,343 Posts
    • 188,756 Thanks
    Sunshinemummy
    Thanks, I have applied for the Halifax Clarity already, and have had a little read of Starling, I will look further into this.

    We are staying on the Quay, so the boat trip will be lovely. I think I am the only woman in the world that hate shopping - it is my idea of hell.

    I will have a look at Gardens in the Bay and the cable cars, but avoid Sentosa Island - it sounds like hell.

    I have been reading about the etiquette of weddings for months, I think I have got my head around it, well I have copious lists. I am rather anxious as we are a rather down to earth and easy going family, and although we have been together for 30+ years, we never married. The Bride is lovely - more than we could wish for, but they have said that her family are extremely religious and argue about everything and anything, they have attempted to separate them, I don't think they discuss/negotiate anything - but they brought up a wonderful lady so they must have some wonderful aspects to their personality (I keep reminding myself of this but I am have to admit that I am still rather miffed that her father refused to give his blessing as he is white and not a Christian).

    We are in Thailand for a week before going to Singapore (to be with our son before the wedding as the bride has to be in Singapore for a period of time before the solemnising part), we have the meal there, we then return to Thailand for the beach wedding aspect.

    With all the stress, I now remember why we never got married!

    Thanks for your help x
    Last edited by Sunshinemummy; 10-01-2018 at 12:43 PM.
    Aim 20 lbs loss by 21.3.18.
    10 weeks to go - 16.5 lbs to go.
    20,000 step a day challenge.
    Day 1 - 27,024 steps. Day 2 - 24,000 steps. Day 3 - 18,554 Day 4 -13,207 Day 5 - 14,218 Day 6 - 27,238 Day 7 - 13,000. Total 137,241
    Banked steps for lazy days 0....
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 10th Jan 18, 2:52 PM
    • 132 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    EveryWhere

    Does this card exist?

    TIA
    Originally posted by Sunshinemummy
    Halifax Clarity and Barclaycard Travel Platinum( 0% interest on purchases for 12 months from the date you open your account
    No non-sterling transaction fees on your foreign spend and ATM withdrawals until 31 August 2022. After this, the fee returns to 2.99%
    .)..

    So if you need to spread the cost out, the Barclaycard might be helpful.

    https://www.barclaycard.co.uk/personal/credit-cards/platinum-travel-credit-card
    • Sunshinemummy
    • By Sunshinemummy 10th Jan 18, 3:53 PM
    • 15,343 Posts
    • 188,756 Thanks
    Sunshinemummy
    Halifax Clarity and Barclaycard Travel Platinum( 0% interest on purchases for 12 months from the date you open your account
    No non-sterling transaction fees on your foreign spend and ATM withdrawals until 31 August 2022. After this, the fee returns to 2.99%
    .)..

    So if you need to spread the cost out, the Barclaycard might be helpful.

    https://www.barclaycard.co.uk/personal/credit-cards/platinum-travel-credit-card
    Originally posted by EveryWhere
    Thanks I have applied for the Barclays as well and remember to not do non sterling transactions. The 0% for 12 months will get me over the sticky patch, so I won't need to faff with opening another and transferring the balance to a 0%.

    So with the Clarity and Platinum I think I am sorted (although thinking about it I may get OH to get a Platinum as a safety net).



    I had a double bonus today, as my friend rang to say her house is sold and she is moving to her mums for a year whilst her new house is ready. I offered her our house for the 5 weeks we are away as respite. She offered to have the dog. Bonus, house and dog looked after.
    Aim 20 lbs loss by 21.3.18.
    10 weeks to go - 16.5 lbs to go.
    20,000 step a day challenge.
    Day 1 - 27,024 steps. Day 2 - 24,000 steps. Day 3 - 18,554 Day 4 -13,207 Day 5 - 14,218 Day 6 - 27,238 Day 7 - 13,000. Total 137,241
    Banked steps for lazy days 0....
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 10th Jan 18, 4:39 PM
    • 132 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    EveryWhere
    Thanks I have applied for the Barclays as well and remember to not do non sterling transactions.
    Always chose to pay in the local currency.
    The 0% for 12 months will get me over the sticky patch, so I won't need to faff with opening another and transferring the balance to a 0%.

    So with the Clarity and Platinum I think I am sorted (although thinking about it I may get OH to get a Platinum as a safety net).



    I had a double bonus today, as my friend rang to say her house is sold and she is moving to her mums for a year whilst her new house is ready. I offered her our house for the 5 weeks we are away as respite. She offered to have the dog. Bonus, house and dog looked after.
    Originally posted by Sunshinemummy

    You are confused about this. You can and should do non-sterling transactions whilst abroad. With all of the aforementioned cards.
    Always choose to pay in the local currency.
    The caveat with the Barclaycard is that only 30% of the available credit balance can be utilised for cash advances.
    But you might have the Clarity for cash advances, so perhaps not an issue.
    • Sunshinemummy
    • By Sunshinemummy 10th Jan 18, 9:47 PM
    • 15,343 Posts
    • 188,756 Thanks
    Sunshinemummy
    You are confused about this. You can and should do non-sterling transactions whilst abroad. With all of the aforementioned cards.
    Always choose to pay in the local currency.
    The caveat with the Barclaycard is that only 30% of the available credit balance can be utilised for cash advances.
    But you might have the Clarity for cash advances, so perhaps not an issue.
    Originally posted by EveryWhere
    Totally confused. So I always chose local currency. I need to write an idiots guide and keep it in my purse!

    It is very helpful to know about the 30% cash advances. I will need to see what credit limit they give me, I may need to think of something else. I've read a lot about the cash advances, but not much about using a card to make normal purchases in Thailand.

    I now have travel insurance, starting from today, and I even booked the kids parked, so I can breath and start to plan aka panic about clothes/suitcases and the gifts. 7 days in Benidorm seems attractive at this moment!
    Aim 20 lbs loss by 21.3.18.
    10 weeks to go - 16.5 lbs to go.
    20,000 step a day challenge.
    Day 1 - 27,024 steps. Day 2 - 24,000 steps. Day 3 - 18,554 Day 4 -13,207 Day 5 - 14,218 Day 6 - 27,238 Day 7 - 13,000. Total 137,241
    Banked steps for lazy days 0....
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