Could anyone advise on best method for using money in Germany.... it's been so long since I've been abroad! Someone I know said no-one takes TCs anymore, but to take my debit card and some currency..... but am worried about not knowing how much I'll be charged for taking out money from an ATM abroad, etc... can anyone help me with best way to do this? Thanks!
I lived in Germany in 2005/6. Don't take cheques. Take Euros in cash. Take cash out of ATMs using your UK debit card. Check with your bank for specific charges, but taking out say 150EUR in one go from the ATM is cheaper than paying for things in shops on your card.
If you'd prefer the security of a card , try loading up a travel money card from the Post Office [[http://www.postoffice.co.uk/travel-money-card here]. It's a mastercard and allows you to use it like a debit card.
I am German, Worked in German retail Banking and am frequently there due to work and holidays.
Forget cheques, they were outdated when I left Germany over 10 years ago.
Unless you are in large cities with big chains take cash. In Germany they have their own card system to pay which doesn't accept MasterCard or Visa. So I always spent large sums of cash when I am there.
I have found, having been there on holiday for the last 2 summers, that generally it was cheaper to pay on a card than to withdraw money from an ATM. We never had a problem paying with Visa - everywhere you would expect seemed to take it. We were generally in larger cities though.
Might be a long shot but if you have a Nationwide account, their credit card is pretty much the best way to pay for anything in Europe (no fees). Most debit cards will charge you a fee to withdraw cash (generally a percentage) and generally also a fee to pay over the counter, which is why the Nationwide credit card is great.
contact your bank who will tell you the charges - both percentage and fixed fee. Some banks are part of alliances with other banks abroad which might mean you don't have to pay the fixed fee.
your bank and credit card company also need to know the dates of your trip so they don't stop the cards due to an unusual usage pattern. Some online banking sites allow you to tell them this.
never use the credit card to withdraw cash (only to pay for things) and if you get offered the choice of paying in Euros or sterling on a card, choose Euros. The exchange rate on the other option is loaded.