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



  • I have a nice thin wallet with just my E111 card, Nationwide debit card, some Euro notes and some emergency numbers. I also have another travel wallet full of expired cards, loyalty cards etc and about 5 euros which I sometimes take as a decoy wallet if travelling in a bit of a dodgy place. It's worked for people I know in the past when inter-railing and someone has rifled their bag and made off with the first wallet they found.
  • MothballsWalletMothballsWallet Forumite
    15.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I don't have a separate one, but I just take the carp out of my daily wallet and leave in:
    • Nationwide Visa Classic
    • Nationwide Visa Debit
    • Now I'll add my bmi Amex (that's based on a Martin recommendation)
    I don't have an Abbey Zero card, and it'll be a while before I apply for another credit card since I've had the bmi one since March

    I tend to take an extra travel documents wallet I bought from our local TJ Hughes a few years ago for (I think) a fiver, and I put all my tickets, insurance and other papers in there.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
    0 Posts
    Holiday Haggler
    My overseas wallet is quite hefty - it's mostly used for when I travel for work and so it's got lots of space for expenses receipts. It's got my Amex cashback credit card, my Hilton Hhonors card and some euros in it. When I go on holiday, those get swapped for whatever currency i'll need. I might also chuck in my Natwest mastercard for backup (not everywhere takes amex)

    I might chuck in a small photocopy of my passport and travel insurance for good measure soon.
  • JammieDodgerJammieDodger Forumite
    63 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Yes i have one too, and like everyone else, keep all my USD in there from each trip as I go back at least twice a year.

    I also have...
    international SIM cards for my mobile phone - makes texting and phone calls much cheaper if I have to use my mobile abroad
    Hilton Honors club card
    Amex credit card
    Amazon credit card (as I buy things on amazon.com in the US and have them delivered to the house much cheaper than here!)
    Boots Advantage card for the airport
    Neiman Marcus gift card. When the exchange rate was $2 to £1, I bought a $150 gift card at Neiman Marcus (As I always shop there) using my Nationwide credit card, and hey presto! Exchange rate is no problem for future trips!
    I also keep small change for the tolls on the highways, and a small guide to what some products (perfume, make up) cost in the UK so that I can compare easily.
    All my receipts on clothes I buy out there.
    Oh yes, and a nail file. Very important.

  • soco1soco1 Forumite
    467 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    I too have a holiday/overseas wallet as I work in France most days (love that tunnel & Op Stack!) and also use it for holidays.

    In have the Nationwide credit card and debit card so use the credit card for purchases and debit card for atm withdrawals when overseas.

    Never understood why people contemplate atm withdrawals on credit card? :confused: - don't people know that the banks already make more than enough from us and thay charge interest from day of withdrawal, even the new Abbey Zero!
    Before having the N/Wide debit card I took Sterling on holiday and changed as needed and for work I changed Sterling for Euros in bulk keeping the excess at home so only carried around €50 max for food for when I stayed over.

    Nationwide cards are fab and give excellent exchange rates when converting currencies to sterling.:j
  • D.A.D.A. Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    The overseas security adviser for our organisation also recommends the tip about the decoy wallet - put something in it which is reasonably convincing but completely worthless. Then, if in an attempted mugging or whatever, throw it on the ground just out of reach of the mugger. While he's looking at it, run. :-)

    I'd be interested to know though if anyone has told the Hungarians that they aren't using the forint any more... ;-)
  • bawbeesaverbawbeesaver Forumite
    8 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I go to Italy several times a year and have a holiday wallet that contains,

    Nationwide Credit Card
    Italian Bank Account card
    Italian fiscal code card
    Old blood donor's card
    EHIC card
    PAM loyalty card - Local supermarket that has partners with shoe shops etc
    Coop loyalty card -gives cash back at end of year
    Copy of insurance
    Railway timetable
    Italian sim
    Credit card sized calendar giving saint's names - useful for national and local holidays when sops and transport services may be affected
    I also have a small zipped coin purse to keep coins separate
  • wlcnetworkwlcnetwork Forumite
    31 Posts
    Excellent article, Martin, but I'm surprised no one has mentioned the FairFx Mastercard [Google "fairfx" without the ""] which is denominated in either US$ or Euro. It's a service run by FairFx plc, based in London, in association with Newcastle Building Society whereby you use any existing debit or credit card to top up, online, the US$ or Euro card with whatever you feel you'll need before, or during, your trip. The rate of exchange is better than anything I've ever come across.
  • luxor4tluxor4t Forumite
    11.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    We go to Egypt regularly and I always take a different wallet or purse (either an old one of a magazine freebie).
    ATMs are dodgy, so no cards - we keep sterling or travellers cheques in the safe.
    After 14 days of dirty (actually, filthy) money I throw the wallet away as it is a health hazard!
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

    Click reply to discuss below.
    I have a Dollar account with my bank because I receive a pension from the USA - this is my "overseas wallet". But here's an amazing way to save money on many spends in the USA:-
    JOIN THE AARP. This is the American Association of Retired Persons, and yes they accept members from abroad regardless of nationality. It costs $28, (pay with your UK credit card). I have booked an hotel for 12 nights - I get the $28 back in discount after the SECOND night. Rental cars, meals and many other discounts can be had with your membership card.
    I will post the web address where you can join.
    Eddie Thomas <><
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