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Unique situation re: os debt, usa trip... help needed please.

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MARKMAKAVELI
MARKMAKAVELI Posts: 272 Forumite
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edited 27 February 2014 at 10:20PM in Credit cards
Hi all,

I think I know what to do but would like your opinions please.

I have around 2k outstanding debt on Halifax Balance Transfer Credit Card, giving 0% on purchases for 17 months. I have had this around 13 months.

I will have 2k saved up by March payday. I currently have 1.5k saved.

I go to USA for 3 weeks in April.

I want to take around 2k spends maximum.

I currently have a natwest current account, an old natwest mastercard credit card that I haven't used in about 5 years and a barclays current account. Used to have a nationwide building society account, cant remember what happened with that!

From reading mse, halifax clarity is the best card to spend on over in USA but given my above situation and the timescales, do I borrow £500 from someone (family) now to clear the debt on the halifax card to close the account so I can open up a new clarity account and do up to 2k spending on that in USA? I wouldnt be able to pay it back straight away so am I best 0% balance transferring halifax debt to Nationwide (if I can), then closing halifax to open up new clarity acc? Then using the 2k I saved to instantly pay off any USA spends on the clarity card?

Sorry for the long post!

Comments

  • Tixy
    Tixy Posts: 31,455 Forumite
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    You may well still not be accepted for the halifax clarity card even if you pay off/transfer the existing debt.
    Rather than move your existing debt that is currently at 0% I'd probably look at the next best card to use in the US, try to work out how much difference that would cost compared to using clarity and if not huge (which I expect it wouldn't be on £2k spending) I'd try applying for that.
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give
    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
  • MARKMAKAVELI
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    Thanks Tixy, that would be the:
    Capital One Classic Extra
    *0% load worldwide & 0.5% cashback too

    This charges for withdrawals, so am I best just getting a travel passport thing and loading it up with my 2k savings?


  • MARKMAKAVELI
    MARKMAKAVELI Posts: 272 Forumite
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    Please help me someone :)
  • reclusive46
    reclusive46 Posts: 2,698 Forumite
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    Thanks Tixy, that would be the:
    Capital One Classic Extra
    *0% load worldwide & 0.5% cashback too

    This charges for withdrawals, so am I best just getting a travel passport thing and loading it up with my 2k savings?



    Take 100 or 200 dollars with you and pay by card for everything else. You don't really need much cash (Or any if your going to be in a big city or Orlando) in the US. Its more convenient paying by card usually anyway as they still use the swipe and sign system but for purchases under 50 dollars its usually just a swipe. All restaurant tips (Which is usually 20% before tax in the US) are done by card.
  • jonesMUFCforever
    jonesMUFCforever Posts: 28,898 Forumite
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    Take 100 or 200 dollars with you and pay by card for everything else. You don't really need much cash (Or any if your going to be in a big city or Orlando) in the US. Its more convenient paying by card usually anyway as they still use the swipe and sign system but for purchases under 50 dollars its usually just a swipe. All restaurant tips (Which is usually 20% before tax in the US) are done by card.
    Personally I would take a little more cash than that - take up to the max that your travel insurance will cover.
    I agree then put the rest on a card. Have a plan B though in case the card stops working - take as many cards as you have - make sure you know that they will work by using them at least once before you go.


    After all that have a great time.
  • zerog
    zerog Posts: 2,478 Forumite
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    This is hardly a "unique" situation...
  • iAMaLONDONER
    iAMaLONDONER Posts: 1,669 Forumite
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    Typical no-nonsense reply!
  • bouncydog1
    bouncydog1 Posts: 2,696 Forumite
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    Call halifax and they will tell you over t he phone whether you are eligible to switch to a clarity. if you are they simply issue you a new card and transfer your balance to the new card. that way you will know straight away.

    I did this and didn't have to complete an application form - the account was seamlessly transferred.
  • MARKMAKAVELI
    MARKMAKAVELI Posts: 272 Forumite
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    Thanks for your help guys, Halifax said no go. I've applied for capital one cc, the next best one.
    Will take some cash but will try to use card for most things, depending on limit.
    Also thinking about asking the girlfriend to take out the Halifax clarity too.
  • agrinnall
    agrinnall Posts: 23,344 Forumite
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    zerog wrote: »
    This is hardly a "unique" situation...

    Having listened to Martin describe IHIC card resellers today as "shysters" rather than "scammers" as it's a more correct term, I think MSE should implement a title checker that automatically detects words such as "scam", "unique", "theft", etc., and ask the poster if they really want to use such a word when it's likely to lead to ridicule at some point in the thread. :)
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