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Working abroad

(12 Posts)
Luckytwo Fri 12-Oct-12 18:59:15

My son is to work abroad for the skiing season. Probably not as glamorous as it sounds (hotel restaurant work) but he will get some skiing too, which he is excited about, being an unemployed graduate and all. grin

He will be paid into a NatWest bank account in GBP but will obviously need to withdraw cash when he's there. They charge in total something like 5% between commission and transaction fees on cash withdrawals so he is looking for a bank with a better rate.

Does anyone have any advice or experience ?


Rockchick1984 Fri 12-Oct-12 19:34:15

He would be better off opening an account over there to be honest, the cheapest way I'd usually suggest is a credit card (Nationwide never used to charge for use abroad, and I think the Post office is good as well) but unfortunately being an unemployed graduate he's incredibly unlikely to get a credit card sad so next best thing is having an account there. Any money he has left before leaving can be sent to his Natwest account by international transfer, or he can simply withdraw the cash and change it to GBP.

Luckytwo Fri 12-Oct-12 23:32:49

Thanks Rockchick - however as he is being paid in GBP it's not easy to have a FC account. He does have a credit card with his bank account, it may be worth using that

Rockchick1984 Fri 12-Oct-12 23:37:53

Most credit cards still charge similar amounts to debit cards, so check what the charges will be on it. He will probably be best off making as few withdrawals as possible no matter what method he uses, part of the fee is a percentage and part is a transaction fee, so cheaper to take out £300 than 3 lots of £100 if that makes sense smile

Rockchick1984 Fri 12-Oct-12 23:38:51

Sorry, just realised that's not very clear. Certain credit cards are excellent for use abroad, others are no better than debit cards.

Luckytwo Sat 13-Oct-12 10:04:07

We have some time before he goes, so we will look into what credit card is best.

Thanks for your help smile

trockodile Tue 16-Oct-12 16:48:19

With my First Direct account we pay 12£ a month and get free cash withdrawals overseas, as well as travel and phone insurance and some other bits and pieces. Called First Directory and I think it had a 6 month minimum. Might be worth it if he needs the other stuff too.

BanquoGhost Tue 16-Oct-12 18:04:31

Hello! One time chalet girl here! Dead jealous that your son's off to the Alps. Interesting that he's paid GBP into a UK bank account as we were all paid in cash in local currency - yes that was back mid-90s!
Two ways he can do this - 1. take out a Caxton currency card (Euro Traveller - assume he's in Euroland and not Swiss Franc land) - he can then load this card min 150 EUR on a weekly/fortnightly basis. This card comes with a PIN so he is able to make withdrawals without charges and as it's a Visa, can make purchases without fees. top-ups can be online, text or phone. Good thing about this card is that he doesn't need to close account at the end of season. loads are then debited off his NW debit card.
2. Open a local account (there are benefits to this as a good safe place for the tips - ski resorts can be a magnet for thieves too). Open a Caxton FastPay account. Get the foreign account's IBAN numbers and then transfer money (fee-free) as and when you need it.

As a chalet girl - was averaging £50 a week in tips. Those in bars and restaurants were making £200 back in the 90s. So - I'd use a combination of these things so access to cash can always be had.

All I can say - work hard, ski hard!

lou139 Tue 16-Oct-12 19:38:13

It was the best five years i had working abroad- all of the UK companies will ask for a UK bank account and pay in GBP. i changed my account to Nationwide before i left because the would offer me free withdrawals - so shop around.
But work hard and you can live off tips and build relationships that work for both of you - invite the bar staff for left overs.
Best money saving tip buy a local sim card.

Luckytwo Tue 16-Oct-12 23:24:32

Thank you Trocodile, BanquoGhost (loving the name) and Lou139.
Will check out what he needs to have in addition to just access to cash.
I'm liking the sound of the Currency card, and the tips - hoping he gets enough to survive on.

He is so excited, all he wants to do is ski, but he's not afraid of hard work either. I'm just gutted my baby wont be here for Christmas, but hey ho, I guess that's what we have to get used to grin

Joanna0603 Wed 17-Oct-12 06:38:05

Hi Luckytwo - sorry don't have any advice for you.... But my son is very keen to work a ski season next year - if you have a moment to let me know how your son found work that'd be a great help!
Many thanks!

ThursdayWillBeTheDay Wed 17-Oct-12 06:42:36

I have been abroad for 20 yrs and still use my HSBC account that I've had since university. I think I am charged about £2 for each cash w/drawal.

Joanna- there used to be a book about temp working abroad (it was our bible back in the 80s!) am guessing there is a website now?

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