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  • FIRST POST
    • ZacharyJohn
    • By ZacharyJohn 26th Jan 19, 11:41 AM
    • 9Posts
    • 2Thanks
    ZacharyJohn
    0 WOW
    Opening a Euro Account
    • #1
    • 26th Jan 19, 11:41 AM
    0 WOW
    Opening a Euro Account 26th Jan 19 at 11:41 AM
    Hi,

    I go on holiday no more than twice a year (mostly within Europe) but I hate having to carry around a load of cash for the duration.

    I was wondering whether it might be worth opening a personal Euro account... is that plausible / are there any pitfalls I should be aware of?

    Obviously it would need to come with a debit card - I had a quick look online and only found the Santander Gold Bank Account that seemed to fit the bill. Does anyone know of any others I might’ve missed?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Page 1
    • eDicky
    • By eDicky 26th Jan 19, 12:05 PM
    • 4,934 Posts
    • 3,033 Thanks
    eDicky
    • #2
    • 26th Jan 19, 12:05 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Jan 19, 12:05 PM
    No, for that purpose it's not worth opening a euro account. Simply use suitable 'travel' credit or debit cards that convert your pounds to euros at the ideal rate with no fees when you use them to pay or withdraw cash. A Starling Bank account is currently the most useful and popular.

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/travel-credit-cards/


    Always pay in euros if the payment terminal offers the choice to be billed in pounds, and refuse any exchange rate offered by an ATM by selecting 'Without Conversion' or similar. (Because your card needs to make the conversion at the ideal rate.) Some Spanish banks charge an ATM withdrawal fee, others don't (yet).
    Last edited by eDicky; 26-01-2019 at 12:13 PM.
    • InMaHeart
    • By InMaHeart 24th Feb 19, 9:52 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    InMaHeart
    • #3
    • 24th Feb 19, 9:52 AM
    • #3
    • 24th Feb 19, 9:52 AM
    Always pay in euros if the payment terminal offers the choice to be billed in pounds, and refuse any exchange rate offered by an ATM by selecting 'Without Conversion' or similar. (Because your card needs to make the conversion at the ideal rate.) Some Spanish banks charge an ATM withdrawal fee, others don't (yet).
    Originally posted by eDicky

    ah! i thought it will be better to pay in pounds so the exchange rate will be done by the english bank/Credit Card provider! thanks for the tip
    • benjus
    • By benjus 24th Feb 19, 10:40 AM
    • 5,316 Posts
    • 3,273 Thanks
    benjus
    • #4
    • 24th Feb 19, 10:40 AM
    • #4
    • 24th Feb 19, 10:40 AM
    ah! i thought it will be better to pay in pounds so the exchange rate will be done by the english bank/Credit Card provider! thanks for the tip
    Originally posted by InMaHeart
    The ATMs often try quite hard to make it look like paying in the card's currency rather than the local currency is the better option. In reality they are making a tidy little profit from this, which is why they try to lead people down that route.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
    • londoninvestor
    • By londoninvestor 24th Feb 19, 7:45 PM
    • 1,335 Posts
    • 1,175 Thanks
    londoninvestor
    • #5
    • 24th Feb 19, 7:45 PM
    • #5
    • 24th Feb 19, 7:45 PM
    The ATMs often try quite hard to make it look like paying in the card's currency rather than the local currency is the better option. In reality they are making a tidy little profit from this, which is why they try to lead people down that route.
    Originally posted by benjus
    In fairness I think I saw some in Spain where the markup was "only" about 2-3%. So there's just about an outside chance that with a combination of a really bad UK card, and a not-too-bad foreign ATM, the DCC option would be better.

    That should be moot for everyone here, because as MoneySavers we all have the right UK cards for foreign use, and so paying in local currency will always work out better.
    • sandbrain
    • By sandbrain 27th Feb 19, 3:54 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    sandbrain
    • #6
    • 27th Feb 19, 3:54 PM
    TransferWise Borderless Account
    • #6
    • 27th Feb 19, 3:54 PM
    Hi,

    I go on holiday no more than twice a year (mostly within Europe) but I hate having to carry around a load of cash for the duration.

    I was wondering whether it might be worth opening a personal Euro account... is that plausible / are there any pitfalls I should be aware of?

    Obviously it would need to come with a debit card - I had a quick look online and only found the Santander Gold Bank Account that seemed to fit the bill. Does anyone know of any others I might’ve missed?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Originally posted by ZacharyJohn
    My wife opened a TransferWise borderless account 3 months ago during which time it's been used a lot and we've been very impressed. Prior to this we always used the Halifax Clarity credit card and still sometimes do, but wanted a way to fix exchange rate in advance in these turbulent times, and also thought an IBAN may be useful as we have family in France. Main features:

    Uses mid-market rate; Small conversion fee depending on Currency (0.34% for GBP -> EUR); Can hold over 40 different currencies; Includes Mastercard Debit card; Up to 200GBP cash withdrawal per 30 days free, 2% charge thereafter; European IBAN; not covered by FSCS, although regulated by FCA.
    Last edited by sandbrain; 27-02-2019 at 4:22 PM.
    • OceanSound
    • By OceanSound 16th Sep 19, 8:46 AM
    • 732 Posts
    • 120 Thanks
    OceanSound
    • #7
    • 16th Sep 19, 8:46 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Sep 19, 8:46 AM
    My wife opened a TransferWise borderless account 3 months ago during which time it's been used a lot and we've been very impressed. Prior to this we always used the Halifax Clarity credit card and still sometimes do, but wanted a way to fix exchange rate in advance in these turbulent times, and also thought an IBAN may be useful as we have family in France. Main features:

    Uses mid-market rate; Small conversion fee depending on Currency (0.34% for GBP -> EUR); Can hold over 40 different currencies; Includes Mastercard Debit card; Up to 200GBP cash withdrawal per 30 days free, 2% charge thereafter; European IBAN; not covered by FSCS, although regulated by FCA.
    Originally posted by sandbrain
    I have a borderless account with around a 30 GBP and 15 EUR balance. If I use transferwise borderless debit card online to pay for a ticket worth 12 EUR, will the money be debited from my EUR balance automatically? I mean, does it happen in the background seamlessly?

    Happen to see on transferwise website:
    If you're spending on your card in a currency you don't have in your account, we'll automatically convert the balance with the lowest fee, so you never have to worry.
    It seems if I make a purchase in AUD (a currency which I don't hold), then the GBP account will be debited - because the conversion fee is lower for GBP compared to EUR (0.37% versus 0.41%)
    • londoninvestor
    • By londoninvestor 16th Sep 19, 5:43 PM
    • 1,335 Posts
    • 1,175 Thanks
    londoninvestor
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 19, 5:43 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 19, 5:43 PM
    I mean, does it happen in the background seamlessly?
    Originally posted by OceanSound
    Yes it does.

    It seems if I make a purchase in AUD (a currency which I don't hold), then the GBP account will be debited - because the conversion fee is lower for GBP compared to EUR (0.37% versus 0.41%)
    Originally posted by OceanSound
    Correct.

    Also, putting these two scenarios together, let's say your ticket cost 20 EUR rather than 12.

    Then your whole 15 EUR balance would be spent, plus whatever amount of GBP was needed (after fees) to buy the additional 5 EUR.
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