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Withdrawing Cash on Your Credit Card Abroad

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Credit Cards
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Credit Cards
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Thanks folks,
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  • guesswho2000guesswho2000 Forumite
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    I agree with this, I always use my Clarity to withdraw cash abroad and it doesn't seem to affect me.

    However, I think Halifax aren't too keen, since I don't use the card for anything else - after a particularly heavy month in South America and Asia drawing quite a lot of cash on the card (and repaying it), they cut my limit for no apparent reason.

    All my purchases went through the Aqua Reward at the time for the 3% cashback, so I can only imagine they were getting annoyed at bearing the cost of my travels for a few pence in interest. My friend, who I was travelling with, had exactly the same thing happen to him.
  • chattychappychattychappy Forumite
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    It's a pity that the opening paragraph waffles so much about damage to your credit score - when this language reinforces the myth that there is some sort score out there to be damaged. As we know, a score is generated on the fly by individual lenders (or CRAs when people cough up cash to pay for it). Latter paragraphs improve things a bit.

    I've always thought that the detrimental effect of cash advances has been overplayed - I rely on them heavily and never have a problem obtaining credit. I think other factors are much more important - electoral roll, missed payments, stuff you put on the form, paying minimums only, ratios etc.

    On the subject of getting cash on CCs, Santander Zero is still good - but probably not available to newcomers. Barclaycard not bad - they do charge 3% (in total or therabouts), but treat the withdrawal as a purchase for interest purposes, so you can get up to 56 days interest free.
  • BigglesBiggles Forumite
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    Quote from article: Aargh, you're confusing me.

    I couldn't agree more. In fact, the whole thing isn't actually a discussion on withdrawing cash abroad, it's a discussion on the effect of cash withdrawals on one's credit reference.
  • edited 22 May 2014 at 9:59AM
    broadmarshbroadmarsh Forumite
    37 posts
    edited 22 May 2014 at 9:59AM
    This is a coincidence. I had 3 fraudulent entries on my Sainsburys credit card over a 2 day period in April. One entry was for the London Congestion Zone payment and was paid over the phone. Surely the perpetrator will get caught because of the registration number for the vehicle? Anyway the whole problem was resolved and a new card sent out.

    So what is the coincidence you may ask. Well the Sainsbury's and Halifax Credit Clarity card people are linked. Although I understand that will change next year. Bank of Scotland I was told?

    Anyway, I ended up talking to a lady in the Halifax Credit card department 2 days ago (after ringing Sainsburys card services) and I told her I was going away again on holiday and needed to advise her of the dates and the country I would be going to. She proceeded to tell me to how to reduce all the costs for borrowing on the card by logging onto my account and paying off the bill from my bank as soon as it appeared on the account. I asked her if they would get upset about this and reduce my limit. She advised that it now common practice and she advised everyone to do this. I already knew this and had been doing it for some years, but had not been paying off other entries (supermarket purchases abroad) that were there.

    Please note. Over the past 3 years or so, I have only used the Halifax Clarity card for purchases and cash withdrawals abroad and have had my credit limit increased not reduced.

    I cannot see it making any difference to my credit reference, because being 72 years of age.....well what reference. No mortgage.....I just use credit cards for convenience.
  • Forgive me here for my lack of financial nous.
    For years I used a Santander Visa Debit Card, (yes, I know that it's from hell), to make ATM withdrawals abroad, and a Santander Zero M/C to make purchases/restaurant bills etc.
    I was in a position then where I didn't sweat the nickel and dime stuff, if it was £2.00 or £2.50 per withdrawal from an ATM, so what, it wasn't going to put me in the poor house.
    My circumstances have now changed slightly, but not dramatically.
    I have recently acquired a Halifax Clarity Credit Card, and a Halifax Clarity Debit Card.
    Reading that the Clarity Debit is from hell, I probably won't use that unless I have a gun to my head, but my question to you financial whiz kids is this, being aware that the Clarity Credit Card attracts 12.9% interest from day one of an ATM withdrawal and that the Santander Visa Debit Card incurs £1.50, maybe more, to £2.50 per withdrawal, assuming that I withdrew $300 X 7 times over two weeks, which would incur the highest total fee for those transactions?
    I could probably answer my final question by looking at the small print, but would you advise the Santander Zero for restaurant bills, or the Clarity Credit Card? Thanks for any advice, be kind, I'm a rookie.
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    Not directly answering your question but make sure you pay your restaurant bill in LOCAL currency.
    Generally even the banks from hell will give you a better exchange rate than letting the restaurant do it for you.
    You have to be very careful with this because receipts often show a conversion and it can be difficult to see sometimes which currency has been used. At this point the staff often lose their grasp of English (strange how that happens).

    Easiest thing is to ask to pay in local up front.
  • DoshwasterDoshwaster Forumite
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    Reading that the Clarity Debit is from hell, I probably won't use that unless I have a gun to my head, but my question to you financial whiz kids is this, being aware that the Clarity Credit Card attracts 12.9% interest from day one of an ATM withdrawal and that the Santander Visa Debit Card incurs £1.50, maybe more, to £2.50 per withdrawal, assuming that I withdrew $300 X 7 times over two weeks, which would incur the highest total fee for those transactions?
    I could probably answer my final question by looking at the small print, but would you advise the Santander Zero for restaurant bills, or the Clarity Credit Card? Thanks for any advice, be kind, I'm a rookie.

    Remember the 12.9% is the APR so the amount per year. That works out as just over 1% per month. Take out $300 x 7 = $2100 = approx £1300. Pay that back in a month and you will pay approx £13 in fees. It will be less than that if you pay the balance off before the statement is due.

    On the debit card 7 x £1.50 = £10,50. Sounds cheaper doesn't it?

    However, on the credit card you don't pay any foreign exchange loading but on the debit card you also pay 2.75% (I think, it may be higher) so that mean £10.50 + £1300 x 2.75% = £46.25 :eek::eek:

    When it comes to withdrawing money almost nothing beats the Clarity credit card.
  • edited 22 May 2014 at 4:44PM
    broadmarshbroadmarsh Forumite
    37 posts
    edited 22 May 2014 at 4:44PM
    Phil Sheridan

    Halifax Clarity Credit Card

    1. Always ensure the credit card slip you sign is in the local currency and not converted to UK Pounds. This is very important.

    2. When withdrawing from an ATM, you will NOT get charged any currency transactions on your account and you will get the very high rate of exchange from Mastercard for your withdrawal. Google for MasterCard Currency Conversion Tool.

    3. It appears you are talking about the US, so you may get charged a withdrawal fee locally. It depends on the bank. I have not used it in the US so cannot comment any further. This would show on the transaction.

    4. You are correct. The rate is 12.9% but charged on a daily basis, so if you have online banking set up and have funds in another account, you can transfer the exact amount showing on the card and reduce the interest costs down close to zero.

    I was typing at the same time as Doshwaster. Take his advice. By the way, my bank being Barclays always charges 2.99%. Typical of them.

    I have been using a Halifax Clarity card for years and it is a no brainer.
  • eskbankereskbanker Forumite
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    I could probably answer my final question by looking at the small print, but would you advise the Santander Zero for restaurant bills, or the Clarity Credit Card?

    The Clarity has a much better APR but neither charges exchange loading so payment by either will look much the same on your statement, i.e. if you're not paying off in full then Zero would be more expensive than Clarity, otherwise they'd be the same overall cost for each transaction.

    Having a choice of cards to use when abroad is often a good thing too, so handy to have both!
  • Thanks guys, I appreciate your input and will take it all on board, and thanks for forgiving the fact that I'm as dumb as all get out when it comes to mathematics, my saving graces are the fact that I can speak French and as an ex black cab driver I can find my way around London blindfolded.
    If a fare said take 12% for a tip I could do it standing on my head, but comparing 12.9% APR with the Clarity to a 1.25% of the total withdrawn on a Santander debit brought me to my knees,
    Thanks again, P.S.
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