Great 'Countries you can't use your plastic in' Hunt



  • JHC
    JHC Posts: 20 Forumite
    I've travelled around Europe and the Far East for many years and generally I only use a card for paying hotel bills.

    I once paid for a dress for my wife in Krabi (Thailand) with a debit VISA card, which was copied and used to pay for flights on an Arabian budget airline. You also occasionally get scams in restaurants, so I don't generally use plastic outside my hotel.

    In Cuba a few years ago I tried to pay my hotel bill with a non-US credit card but it failed, due to "technical problems". Fortunately I had enough travellers cheques to cover it.

    Beware currency exchange kiosks in the main tourist areas of Prague - they're a rip off.

    I always take travellers cheques and a good amount of cash (local or US dollars, as appropriate), as well as one credit card and one debit card - preferably VISA.
  • Biggles
    Biggles Posts: 8,209 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Looks like Africa is pretty well a place not to take a MasterCard.

    Burkina Faso has plenty of Visa ATMs but none that take MasterCard.
  • Biggles
    Biggles Posts: 8,209 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I've never had any problems using credit or debit cards in the Netherlands, though some places do impose a higher minimum transaction cost than would be the case here.
  • I couldnt use my credit card in Tahiti (Mastercard) as they prefer cash an they accepted US$. If you go to New Zealand and you bank with barclays,look out for the westpac ATM's as they are a partner bank and you should be able to draw cash free of charge.
  • JHC
    JHC Posts: 20 Forumite
    One other (slightly pessimistic) thought.

    If travelling with a spouse or partner, ensure you both have access to money. If, for example, one of you habitually sorts out the money side of your holiday and signs all the travellers cheques, the other partner should take at least a credit card in his/her own name. Then if the "money person" is incapacitated on holiday then the other partner can still access money.
  • France

    Ive Just driven through france and spain and tried using my fairfx euro mastercard on the toll roads but they dont accept it, which is a pain as some of the smaller booths arn't manned when you try leaving the road.
  • I found things improved drastically, about 4 years ago, when the UK started going widespread Chip & Pin. For years I've been touring around Western Europe and always had problems prior to this.

    Since about 4 years ago, I found no problems at all, for Mastercard and Visa Credit Cards, in the most remote of locations in:

    France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland.

    I had one remote automated petrol station in Southern Germany in 2010, not work with my Mastercard Credit Card, Visa Credit Card, or Maestro Debit Card. France used to be terrible, but now is no problems at all.

    The Netherlands seems to be a seperate case, and my Mastercard and Visa Credit Cards don't work, nor do my Visa Debit Cards, but my Maestro Debit Card does.

    I don't use ATMs as a rule, because I haven't needed to, because I use cards pretty much everywhere, but always take plenty of Euro cash, just in case, and if Nationwide didn't so such a good deal on their Gold Credit Card (no fees on spending, wholesale mid-market spot currency conversion rate), would get a CaxtonFX card.


    Matt :)
  • Katrin
    Katrin Posts: 10 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    sugerfreek wrote: »
    I have to agree with the Germany comment. I'm living here at the moment and it is basically a cash economy meaning that ATM's are rare and everyone pays in cash. A lot of ATM's wont take your credit cards and shops CERTAINLY won't. Basically you are meant to carry large sums of money around with you. I use my Caxtonfx card around with me as it is accepted at pretty much any ATM and doesn't charge even at ATM's which have charged my German card up to 7€. My advice would simply be take the money you need out when you can.

    I am German but live in the UK. Using credit cards in Germany is difficult. In some shops like H&M you need photo ID to use credit cards. All major department stores accept cards, smaller shops don't. I found the best way of dealing with this is to use my Barclays debit card to withdraw cash from the ATM of Deutsche Bank in Germany. Barclays and DB are partners in a 'global alliance'. This means no extra charges on top of the normal foreign currency charge when I withdraw money in Germany. It's worth finding out if your bank has similar arrangements with a German bank before you go.
  • Doc_N wrote: »
    I suppose it must depend where you shop. I've never had a problem in the Netherlands using Visa or Mastercard credit cards.

    We live in North Brabant, near the border with Belgium and Zeeland. The nearest cities are Roosendaal, Bergen op Zoom, Goes - in these cities, in large well known chains I can't use my card, such as Media Markt, Albert Heijn, even international chains such as H&M and Dixons won't accept my cards! Maybe it's just this province though (though Goes is Zeeland).

    It's a shame, because Bergen op Zoom and Goes in particular have lovely shopping centres.
    Target Cash Net Worth: £25K by January 2012
    19.0%; May-09 40.0%; May-10 63.0%; May-11 58.4%; Jun-11 58.5%; Jul-11 58.9%; Aug-11 58.7%; Sep-11 59.0%
  • winston_1
    winston_1 Posts: 23 Forumite
    mj53 wrote: »
    I've just returned from holiday in Malaysia. Although the use of credit cards is widely available, it's worth knowing that they do not have a debit card system. Basically its cash or credit card. you can still get cash from an ATM with your debit card though.

    I frequently go to Malaysia and I've never had a problem using my Nationwide debit card in shops.
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