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Holiday money - how do you take yours?

(15 Posts)
notquitegrownup2 Tue 14-Jul-15 20:11:30

I'm ancient, so I always used to take a bit of local currency, then travellers cheques 'cause they couldn't get stolen (or at least, I got my money back if they did).

Then they moved to prepaid cards, which I don't really get, as I can just use my debit card.

You can still get travellers cheques and I am tempted to do so, along with my debit card and a reasonable dollop of cash. Am I being sensible?!

tribpot Tue 14-Jul-15 20:17:50

I looked at MoneySaving Expert for advice on this recently. I was accepted for the Halifax card recommended on that site, which is what I will use for cash withdrawals and payments (aiming to pay it off daily to avoid interest charges).

I am taking some cash as well, using the discount offered to MSE customers at Debenhams.

MSE was very firmly anti travellers' cheques in 2012, I can't imagine where they would be useful (thinking of the Greek crisis) except if your cards get stopped by fraud checks in the UK, as seems to happen quite regularly. (You then phone to get them unstopped).

Snowbell Tue 14-Jul-15 20:30:23

I came on here to ask this very question! The currency where we are going is Euros (Austria). DP wants to get hundreds of £ of Euros here before we go. Thinks it is better value than taking a small amount of euro cash and then using credit cards in shops and cash points. I have got a Halifax clarity card for this trip. I hate going anywhere with loads of cash, makes me nervous. We surely won't lose out that much by changing money there, will we?

tribpot Tue 14-Jul-15 20:54:35

No - that's the point of the Halifax card. It has no transaction fee so it's more euros in your pocket. I think it's somewhat completely unlikely that Austria is going to have a currency crisis whilst you're there, unless DP is planning to divert to Greece with his own rescue package!

You won't get a better rate by changing the money here.

MeganChips Tue 14-Jul-15 21:01:11

The pre-paid cards are actually very good. There are no charges and they're accepted everywhere.

You can use them as debit cards and withdraw cash for no charges. I took a small amount of cash with me.

notquitegrownup2 Tue 14-Jul-15 21:11:17

Ok, you are persuading me. So can I get the Halifax card on the day, or do I have to apply in advance . . . (running a bit short of time now.)

Thank you, oh wise MNetters

Snowbell Tue 14-Jul-15 21:42:08

Notquite - I would allow a good two weeks for your clarity card to arrive. When I ordered mine for a holiday last autumn half term it didn't arrive in time. Megan - tell me more about these pre-loadable cards, I hadn't heard of them.

tribpot Tue 14-Jul-15 21:44:44

I don't think you have time to get the Halifax card, although mine arrived within a week or so. A prepaid card might be a good bet, MSE favours the FairFX card.

MeganChips Tue 14-Jul-15 22:37:08

You get the pre-loadable cards from the post office. Ask at the counter, they give you one there and then with the amount of your specified currency on at their exchange rate.

They are pre paid Visa cards and you can top them up online. They're dead easy.

Oly4 Tue 14-Jul-15 22:42:19

I carry up to £1000 in local currency
Then use credit cards for
Meals and find an atm for visa debit if I need more cash

SingingSands Tue 14-Jul-15 22:45:20

We take about €100 in cash and put the rest on a FairFX card, which we use to pay for shopping/meals and withdraw about €100 at a time for cash in pocket. Been doing this for last 5 years now.

CMP69 Tue 14-Jul-15 22:56:22

We have a travel expenses card
We preloaded it with Euros and it works as a debit card or ATM.
We have never taken a free credit card but usually go AI so don't really need one

AuditAngel Tue 14-Jul-15 23:06:18

We have a € bank account and use that.

Had a bad experience in Australia when the bank told me I could use my Maestro card there, but the machine wouldn't accept it. Ended up prepaying the credit card by phone and using credit card and also drawing cash out (no charges as overpaid in advance)

MrsNuckyThompson Tue 14-Jul-15 23:06:51

We've got a stash of euros at home - notes and coins that we bring home from each holiday. We rarely take more than a couple of hundred in cash then use cards and local cash points.

However we've just got a couple of those pre-paid debit cards to save on the exchange rate rip offs.

iwantgin Wed 15-Jul-15 11:07:45

I take a wodge of cash in local currency. Usually Euros.

I also have a prepaid Euro card from Travelex. We tend to have more than one holiday per year, so the charges which are applied after a period of non-activity don't happen on our card.

We take credit card/s and debit card/s too - as back up.

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