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  • FIRST POST
    • _Mrs_W_
    • By _Mrs_W_ 13th Apr 18, 5:23 PM
    • 8Posts
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    _Mrs_W_
    Credit cards and foreign currency
    • #1
    • 13th Apr 18, 5:23 PM
    Credit cards and foreign currency 13th Apr 18 at 5:23 PM
    Hi.
    I'm going on holiday in a week's time and unfortunately have had to spend 300 on car repairs at the worst time ever! I had to take it out of the money we'd been saving for the holiday so we are now a little shorter on spends than we hoped to be. My husband has a credit card that he currently doesn't owe anything on, so we were thinking of using that to purchase an extra 300 in foreign currency. We knew the rates wouldn't be great but I get an annual bonus in June which would easily clear it off, so we wouldn't be paying a higher level of interest for long!
    I'm now just wondering if there is a better way to do it? I know you can pay through PayPal using a credit card, so what I'm thinking is what if he sent me money through PayPal using his credit card, and I then withdrew it to my bank? I'm guessing there would be fees but surely not as high as our current options:
    a) Paying for foreign currency online using the card
    b) Using it to withdraw cash to buy the foreign currency with?
    There are no offers on money transfers with his credit card currently, I've already checked.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks
Page 1
    • Candyapple
    • By Candyapple 13th Apr 18, 5:52 PM
    • 2,752 Posts
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    Candyapple
    • #2
    • 13th Apr 18, 5:52 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Apr 18, 5:52 PM
    Have a look here to see how much the fees would be if you used his card:
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/travel-credit-cards#checker

    If you use Paypal, it's 3.4% plus 20p, so if you did 300, it would cost 10.40.
    https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees
    I'm a Board Guide on the Credit Cards, Loans, Credit Files & Ratings boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 13th Apr 18, 5:53 PM
    • 6,846 Posts
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    eskbanker
    • #3
    • 13th Apr 18, 5:53 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Apr 18, 5:53 PM
    Probably too late now but wasn't it possible to pay for the car repairs by credit card?

    Alternatively, you might find that purchasing more with the card directly (rather than using cash) when abroad or withdrawing cash directly from the card at an ATM at your destination works out better, but you'd need to look closely at the various fees it charges.
    • Emily Joy
    • By Emily Joy 13th Apr 18, 6:00 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    Emily Joy
    • #4
    • 13th Apr 18, 6:00 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Apr 18, 6:00 PM
    It worth checking which credit card it is. Usually buying currency on credit card counts as a cash advance, however, my Marks & Spencer credit card allows me to pay for currency ordered from M&S and this counts as a purchase, which is great deal, as it is 3 years 0% on purchases, too.
    • _Mrs_W_
    • By _Mrs_W_ 13th Apr 18, 6:05 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    _Mrs_W_
    • #5
    • 13th Apr 18, 6:05 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Apr 18, 6:05 PM
    Thanks for the replies. Yes it would have been possible to use the credit card but I just didn't think at the time. We've had the card for 2 years, we got it for a 0% balance transfer then after we paid that off we said we wouldn't use the card again because the interest rate went up to about 21%. We kept it just in case of emergencies, but then because we've never had to use it I forgot it even existed!
    It would be cheaper to use the card for spending over there than withdrawing cash, but we won't be making any major purchases so we'd just have to use it to pay for meals etc here and there. I don't like to even turn my phone on when I'm away if I can help it, and I'd want to be able to keep track of what we'd spent on it etc so for that reason I'd rather just take cash.
    I understand the fees from PayPal, but if I did it this way what would this be classed as on the credit card for interest rate purposes? Would it just be the normal rate for purchases or would it be classed as a cash withdrawal? If it's classed as a cash withdrawal then it's pointless and I might as well just withdraw the cash!
    Thanks again for your help
    • _Mrs_W_
    • By _Mrs_W_ 13th Apr 18, 6:08 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    _Mrs_W_
    • #6
    • 13th Apr 18, 6:08 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Apr 18, 6:08 PM
    Thanks Emily Joy, that M&S card sounds great. It's a Halifax credit card (not the one that's recommended for travel though!) so it would be classed as a cash advance to buy foreign currency on it
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 13th Apr 18, 6:21 PM
    • 8,251 Posts
    • 10,519 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    • #7
    • 13th Apr 18, 6:21 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Apr 18, 6:21 PM
    What are the fees for a cash advance?

    2.95%? Any minimum fee?

    Putting the card in an ATM overseas will almost certainly get you a better exchange rate than buying currency in the UK.
    • _Mrs_W_
    • By _Mrs_W_ 13th Apr 18, 6:26 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    _Mrs_W_
    • #8
    • 13th Apr 18, 6:26 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Apr 18, 6:26 PM
    Hi. The minimum fee is 3 and we'd have to do it in 2 transactions as it's over the 250 a day withdrawal limit, so total would be 6 in fees, plus the extra interest
    • Emily Joy
    • By Emily Joy 13th Apr 18, 6:30 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    Emily Joy
    • #9
    • 13th Apr 18, 6:30 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Apr 18, 6:30 PM
    Thanks Emily Joy, that M&S card sounds great. It's a Halifax credit card (not the one that's recommended for travel though!) so it would be classed as a cash advance to buy foreign currency on it
    Originally posted by _Mrs_W_
    If you are going on holiday in a weeks time, there still time to get a specialized travel card by then? Perhaps you can check via MSE Credit Club if you/your husband are eligible for one?
    • John-K
    • By John-K 13th Apr 18, 6:38 PM
    • 516 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    John-K
    If money is spthat tight is going on holiday a great idea? It sounds like you are planning to spend money that you don!!!8217;t have.
    • _Mrs_W_
    • By _Mrs_W_ 13th Apr 18, 6:55 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    _Mrs_W_
    Money isn't that tight. We've managed to save a good deal of money for the holiday with no issues, as we do for our 2 holidays each year every year. As I said above, we don't have any credit card debt and don't generally use them, or any form of credit. However, we had an unexpected outgoing of 300 ten days before a holiday. Yes, we could just take 300 less and still have a lovely time. But when on holiday I don't like having to count pennies. As I get an annual bonus of 1000 in June which we don't have any plans for, I thought I'd rather use 300 off the credit card and pay it back in June, which I can more than easily do and it will cost me what, about 10-15 in total? I'm hardly bankrupting myself over a holiday!
    • _Mrs_W_
    • By _Mrs_W_ 13th Apr 18, 7:05 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    _Mrs_W_
    Emily Joy - we are eligible for the Clarity card with Halifax, but we go next Friday and I'm worried 5 working days is cutting it fine to get both the card and pin! But if I'm going to have to use the current card anyway there doesn't seem to be much advantage of ordering currency on it now than withdrawing from an ATM over there, so I think we will just apply now and hope the Clarity card arrives on time! If not, we will withdraw cash in the States with the current credit card and at least we will have it for next time
    Thanks again for your help!
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 13th Apr 18, 7:15 PM
    • 8,251 Posts
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    PeacefulWaters
    Hi. The minimum fee is 3 and we'd have to do it in 2 transactions as it's over the 250 a day withdrawal limit, so total would be 6 in fees, plus the extra interest
    Originally posted by _Mrs_W_
    I don't think there's a 250 daily limit.

    That said, a percentage charge will exceed the minimum fee.
    • _Mrs_W_
    • By _Mrs_W_ 13th Apr 18, 7:24 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    _Mrs_W_
    I don't think there's a 250 daily limit.

    That said, a percentage charge will exceed the minimum fee.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    Oh I assumed it would be the same as a debit card, and most of them are 250 a day aren't they? Or has that changed?

    Looks like the fee will be roughly the same whichever way I do it, but I have just thought that if I withdraw the cash over there I obviously wouldn't do it until near the end of the holiday (and only if I needed to). Whereas to order currency online, I'd be doing that now. So the ATM option would more than likely result in 11 or 12 days less interest, so definitely seems the best option

    Thanks again!
    • Dobbibill
    • By Dobbibill 13th Apr 18, 8:43 PM
    • 2,922 Posts
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    Dobbibill
    Oh I assumed it would be the same as a debit card, and most of them are 250 a day aren't they? Or has that changed?
    Originally posted by _Mrs_W_
    It's normally 500
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    • Emily Joy
    • By Emily Joy 13th Apr 18, 8:59 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    Emily Joy
    Emily Joy - we are eligible for the Clarity card with Halifax, but we go next Friday and I'm worried 5 working days is cutting it fine to get both the card and pin! But if I'm going to have to use the current card anyway there doesn't seem to be much advantage of ordering currency on it now than withdrawing from an ATM over there, so I think we will just apply now and hope the Clarity card arrives on time! If not, we will withdraw cash in the States with the current credit card and at least we will have it for next time
    Thanks again for your help!
    Originally posted by _Mrs_W_
    Once you are approved and get a confirmation email, give Halifax a call - they might be able to speed up the process. It might also help if you offer to go to a branch to pick it up. (They do have this option for customers who live in the areas where credit cards get stolen in the post often, but you might be able to charm them).

    ATM fees in the US varies from bank to bank and from the state to state. It might be worth checking in advance.
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 13th Apr 18, 9:02 PM
    • 1,437 Posts
    • 63,300 Thanks
    D_M_E
    If you go into a branch with your card and some form of ID then you can withdraw 300 or more over the counter in one go.

    Daily withdrawal limit from a machine is either 300 or 500 depending on what brand and type of card it is and how long you've had it.

    As it's going to be cash taken out on a credit card there will be interest added from the day you take it out - I have Halifax and they don't charge me a cash fee, just interest - only do this when I'm really stuck and the interst is usually no more than a few pennies and when I do take cash out I pay it back the same day.

    Shame about the car causing all this and I understand the need to enjoy the holiday, but if you are going with family, why not get them all onside and spend a bit less for once - it will make them more appreciative of even having a holiday!
    • YorkshireBoy
    • By YorkshireBoy 13th Apr 18, 9:16 PM
    • 30,133 Posts
    • 17,986 Thanks
    YorkshireBoy
    Shame about the car causing all this...
    Originally posted by D_M_E
    With all due respect to the OP, I think the lack of a suitably sized emergency fund has caused this. 300 is less than a weeks pay for many people, let alone those who holiday twice a year, including to the US.
    Last edited by YorkshireBoy; 13-04-2018 at 9:19 PM.
    • _Mrs_W_
    • By _Mrs_W_ 13th Apr 18, 10:43 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    _Mrs_W_
    I appreciate what you're saying YorkshireBoy as we don't have an emergency fund, never have. But never needed to before. I've just never been one to save just for the sake of saving. I can happily save for a holiday, or a dress or a pair of shoes, but find it hard to save for nothing (even though I appreciate it's not for nothing, it's for something that might happen one day). We don't have children, we both work hard and travelling and experiences are important to us, so any spare money we do have tends to go straight on things for us to enjoy. We don't generally use credit but we know we have it available to us if there ever was an emergency, so saving has never really been a priority. I know that doesn't sound very sensible but everyone is different, and I just need something to motivate me if I'm saving!
    • maxximus75
    • By maxximus75 15th Apr 18, 4:45 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    maxximus75
    Maybe a short term overdraft would be the easiest option? You can usually apply directly from your online banking and if approved...... the funds will be available immediately. That way you can withdraw the cash and purchase your currency.

    Remember, overdrafts are for short term borrowing such as what you indicate paying it back in June so should cost much using it for a couple of months.
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