'An overseas wallet... do you have one?' blog discussion

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  • What everyone else said, plus:

    - A colour photocopy (not an inkjet copy in case it gets wet) of the photo page of my passport (plus en extra copy somewhere else).
    - International Driving Licence, for places like Romania and Bahrain.
    - My M&S Morethan credit card for business expenses (so I get the benefit of vouchers).
    - A spare credit card in case the first one gets temporarily stopped due to 'unusual spending patterns'.... this usually happens when I am trying to buy fuel in Calais having used the card for shopping first, and the cashiers don't bother to phone through for authorisation....
    - Airline/hotel loyalty cards
  • MrGumbyMrGumby Forumite
    174 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Yes, I have one too.

    As well as the items Martin mentions, I keep the following (but weed some out on each trip, depending on where I'm going):

    o Contact numbers for all my card companies
    o Photocopies of my passport and driving licence (on a secure website too)
    o Passport photo (also on the secure website) in case of loss of passport
    o Copies of Which? articles on consumer rights when things (e.g. flights) go wrong
    o Airline/hotel/car hire loyalty cards (so my wallet's not so light after all!)
    o Extra business cards
    o EHIC

    I also keep a copy of the first two of those in each suitcase and bag I might carry.

    And in my carry-on bag I have noise-cancelling headphones, good-quality eye mask, ear plugs and slipper/socks, and a memory stick containing things like favourites/bookmarks and encrypted userids/passwords/passport details etc. (I use Roboform for that - highly recommended).
  • I take my:
    Nationwide card/Visa Cards
    EHIC
    Driving License
    Passport
    All Spare Foreign Monies
    and my Tesco/ Sainsbury's Cards for France (Coquelles).
    Contact Numbers for Insurance /Bank for lost/stolen cards etc,(not left in wallet) its no good if you lose your cards and don't have the number to phone then.

    Also when I go abroad my first port of call is the country of destination's National Post Office and ask for a Global Phone Card for calling the U.K. (this can be a just a receipt)

    Remember BT Phone cards can be used from abroad if you ask BT for the Country of destination access code to U.K.
  • linden_2linden_2 Forumite
    60 Posts
    I have a bank account with Citibank . Connected to this account are 2 savings accounts ; one dollar ; one euro . Every month I transfer some money into these 2 accounts , then move the rest to other , interest paying current accounts .
    I've told friends about this but noone has been able to open this type of account with Citibank .
  • jackiebjackieb Forumite
    27.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    My husband has one. He carries a photocopy of his work visa and the back page of his passport too.

    He's like the queen though because when he's at home he never carries cash (he rarely spends anything - he gets me to do it. If he does buy anything he uses his Maestro card). All the money he carries is in dollars and roubles. He has a Russian sim card in a spare phone, as it's cheaper than using his normal mobile for calls within the country.
  • I have two, one for US Dollars & one for Euros. DD bought me a Euro purse when she was on a school trip to German some years back & I have used it for Euros ever since.

    The Euro Purse contains
    Nationwide DC
    Nationwide CC
    Clothing size convertion table
    Travel Insurance detail card
    Euros
    Auchan loyalty card (French Hypermarket Chain)
    French phone card
    & Contact details for our friends in France

    The $ wallet carries the first four of the above list (transfered) plus
    US Dollars
    Macys discount card

    I also have a document wallet which we were given as a freeby when we first went to the USA in 2000, this carries our passports, EHIC's, OH driving license (he always drives), Travel insurace documents and any travel documents required for the trip.

    I usually have my UK purse with us which carries a back up card & cash which is also used for any expenses in the UK.
  • Can anybody tell me how to get a Nationwide Flexi account, as I live in France full time, but pay tax & national insurance on my pension in the UK, I thought I'd be able to open an account but it seems not, does anybody have an answer ?
  • If you are changing large amounts of currency (5k and upwards) its worthwhile speaking to a specialist currency transfer company.. NOT YOUR BANK... the specialist will ensure that you change the money at the right time or hold an interest rate for you at a certain agreed rate. it can make a big difference... check out http://www.no1currency.com they are one of the best!
    jno wrote: »
    I actually live in Austria but love Martin's forums and TV show. I often travel over the border to Hungary where they do not use forint.

    My only tip for Brits is that when changing cash for cash, think about when you might be travelling again and if you see yourself going again, change a large amount of money in one go to avoid paying charges on multiple occasions.

    Luckily I recently changed 5000 GBP into EUROs for my father when the rate was 1.46 - since then it has sunk to 1.28 - ok, it is impossible to know when markets are going up and down but based on recent events the exchange rate is sinking fast which backs up the the theory of changing large amounts and keeping them, either under the bed or in a euro account somewhere.

    I would welcome and responses from expats on how Brits can save money abroad.
  • johnfthetravellerjohnfthetraveller Forumite
    100 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Those pesky banks. I wonder what the job title is of the person who spends all day dreaming of ways the banks can trip you up into giving them more money than we want to?

    After reading about the advantages of the Abbey Zero card, it sounded ideal for me. I thought I would check just how good the card was by comparing the exchange rates Abbey had given me on the two foreign transactions on my last statement.

    Trans 1. I was in Spain and spent €50.50 and got an exchange rate of 1.115. I looked at INO (http://quotes.ino.com/chart/?s=FOREX_GBPEUR&v=d1) for the market rate on the same date. It was about 1.11. Excellent - glad I used Abbey Zero.

    Trans 2. I emailed an authorisation for someone is Spain to charge €1719.21 to my Zero Card. Abbey used exchange rate of 100.35, INO says the rate on that day was around 106 - 106.5! A loading of about 6%! Sorry I used Abbey Zero.

    As I was expecting the loading to be zero, I phoned Abbey to check. They claimed that this was the rate that they were charged, but it turns out that the use two different systems for foreign currency transactions. One for customer present, and one for customer NOT present (including online transactions). Reveallingly they are happy to print the exchange rate for 'customer present' transactions on the statement, but not for the 'customer NOT present' transactions, where presumably the use these rip-off loadings!

    If my understanding is correct......DON'T USE ABBEY ZERO FOR FOREIGN CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS IN THE UK, ONLY USE IF YOU ARE PHYSICALLY ABROAD!
    "Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie
    Which we ascribe to Heaven"
    - All's well that ends well (I.1)
  • Not sure if this query should be in credit card or travel section....

    But does anyone know if you can apply for an EC/Maestro card from any of the UK banks? The cards are the ones of choice in Germany and Austria and I have noticed in smaller places that "normal" credit cards aren't accepted - only the EC/Maestro card. It would be useful to be able to get one but don't know if you have to have a foreign bank account in order to have one. Grateful for any help!

    PS...Just tried applying for a Santander Zero credit card and as I heard nothing I phoned to track my application and was told (and they didn't know why) that the application had been abandoned. But they don't bother to inform you!
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