Every time I travel I always seem to spend more than I plan. And why is this? It’s not because I go seriously crazy in Marc Jacobs USA (well, not that crazy), it’s because every time I withdraw cash I get charged a withdrawal fee; and extra money gets taken because they’re translating the currency from UK to USA or Europe.
You used to be able to get around this by using the infamous ‘free withdrawal’ Nationwide card, but seeing as they’re stopping this, and no longer absorbing the authorisation fee charged by the Vis , what’s a girl to do? Currency rates keep changing as well, so one day you’re getting a great deal and next you find that it’s cheaper to hang out in Bond Street than in Europe.
The FairFX card may be a useful solution, as it’s set FOREVER at the currency rate you buy it at.
You sign up for the card which works like a debit card worldwide, and choose from a variety of options. You can opt for a USA exchange rate, or a Euro rate, and load it up with cash, that will automatically be set at the exchange rate you purchased the card at.
You can spend up to £3000 a day on it, and there are no transaction fees or renewal fees. Sadly, it will still cost you to make withdrawals from a cash machine, at around £1 a time, and their customer service charges a whopping 80p a minute to speak to them- but it’s free if you’re reporting a lost or stolen card.
So, a useful service that’s probably best to get when the exchange rates rise- if only I’d got this card when the dollar was 2:1 to the pound!
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