Holidaying overseas - money

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15 years 2 months ago #267 by Ellenitter
We have booked a months holiday later this year to go to Canada to visit family. I am sure there are some of you out there who have done this, and I would be interested to know the finance side of it,ie money. I can't decide whether it is best to take cash, travellers cheques, or use Eftpos. I don't want to use the Credit Card, - hate coming home to bills, though I could put the spending money on the credit card before we go. I know everytime you use the card, be it Eftpost or C/c there will be charges, and also buying cash there is a charge, but am just not sure the best way to go, and would appreciate any ideas from anyone who has been overseas.

Lyn
Sold the Lifestyle, now a lovely house in Temuka.

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15 years 2 months ago #42343 by beedee
Replied by beedee on topic Holidaying overseas - money
Well just listening to the news, with the NZ$ soooo high Id be buying the stuff now.. as for the safety and best way.. the last time I travelled was many years ago and used travellers chqs would go into the bank and cash the days allowance.. the problem now is that I think the banks can charge great amounts for the pleasure.. but you would have to wait for others to answer.. for when I pop across the ditch, I just used EFTpos but that was a $6.50 per transaction, so once again I took out the days allowance at once... guess it depends on your financial circumstances.
what ever you do do have 2 methods available, Ive seen folks in tears cos their cards didnt work at the machines, and they were stuck[:0][xx(]

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15 years 2 months ago #42345 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Holidaying overseas - money
We use a mix on big overseas trips, credit card, some currency and travellers cheques. Keep in mind that if you have a joint credit card and one person loses theirs and you have to cancel it, usually both cards become invalid - so we also both carry our own personal credit cards (individual ones) as a back up. Also helps if something happens like a card gets damaged.

If travellers cheques make sure you carry a list of cheque numbers and tick them off when cashed. If you lose the remainder, you can then claim back from whomever you bought them from BUT you have to provide the exact numbers of the ones that haven't been cashed to do so.

Load your cards up with money before you go! And be aware that if the exchange rate changes suddenly while you are away (as happened to us once!) it can be a nasty shock when you return home to your bills!

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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15 years 2 months ago #42346 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Holidaying overseas - money
We travel overseas a lot and mainly use eftpos machines to withdraw cash and use that and credit cards. Travellers cheques are a pain. I've drawn money from my NZ bank account in the USA, UK, Moscow, Singapore in the last couple of years. There are charges so check with your bank.

Cheers
Kate

Web Goddess

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15 years 2 months ago #42351 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Holidaying overseas - money
You can always cash up the credit card before you go so its in credit... but be aware that visa (in the least, wouldn't surprise me if the other cards are the same) now have an individual item transaction fee when making o/s purchases (supposed to cover the mathematics of calculating the exchange rate).
It can make a hefty difference to the fees charged, and of course the exchange rate isn't the peak rate either...

I certainly agree with the others to check your o/s withdrawal fees out of ATM's etc. I did it once here (aust) for my BNZ account and the fee was substantial. Ok for a once off, but I wouldn't want to be doing it every day etc.

Have a great trip, i wish I was going. This week my Uncle just flew over part of Canada and he said it looked beautiful just from the aeroplane...

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15 years 2 months ago #42358 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Holidaying overseas - money
I agree with what Kate says:

1) EFTPOS cards to withdraw cash -- best to do it in large lumps say NZ$500 equivalent so it lasts a good few days. Fees are usually NZ$5 per withdrawal which is minimal on a $500 transaction.

2) Credit cards where it makes sense to use them e.g. larger transactions. So long as you pay the amount owing on or before the due date, you can have up to 55 days use of the bank's money for free... makes sense don't you think?

3) Take a few US$ in cash (maybe US$100 or US$200). This has got us out of a jam a couple of times like the campground in Germany who didn't take credit cards, or the time we went to Taiwan and found all the ATMs in town could not do any transactions with NZ banks because the communications link was down.

Travellers Cheques ARE a real pain as Kate says, and I don't see any reason to use them anymore. They are just as easily stolen as credit cards and at least with a card, you can phone an emergency number to cancel your card at any hour of the day or night. It isn't so easy to cancel Travellers Cheques.

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15 years 2 months ago #42360 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Holidaying overseas - money

quote:Originally posted by GrantK

2) Credit cards where it makes sense to use them e.g. larger transactions. So long as you pay the amount owing on or before the due date, you can have up to 55 days use of the bank's money for free... makes sense don't you think?

Make sure for purchases only, not for cash as cash is charged at credit card rates from the moment you withdraw the money :)

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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15 years 2 months ago #42364 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Holidaying overseas - money
Yes, exactly right Tigger, I should have pointed that out.

If you take a Cash Advance from a Credit Card, they charge you a fee of NZ$5 - NZ$10 depending on the bank, and then you also pay interest at an EXORBITANT rate immediately. It's never a good idea to do this unless you are completely stuck with no other options.

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15 years 2 months ago #42365 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Holidaying overseas - money
Or you've loaded up your card beforehand and are still in credit BUT they still charge you the withdrawal fee I think...

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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15 years 2 months ago #42366 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Holidaying overseas - money
Yes, Credit Card companies always charge the withdrawal fee whether your balance is in credit or not.

When you look at the interest paid on credit balances by VISA or MasterCard, it's miniscule (typically around 3%), so a far better idea is to keep your High Interest Savings Account in credit, currently paying better than 7%, and make $500 or larger withdrawals from there as needed.

And also be sure to pay your Credit Card on time...

Doing both of those things gives you the interest on the money in YOUR account for as long as possible, while taking advantage of the interest-free period on your credit card.

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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15 years 2 months ago #42395 by bsadler
Replied by bsadler on topic Holidaying overseas - money
i've spent most of the last 30 years out of nz and i travel a lot.

i think the best deal for cash is your debit card (lowest charges) though they won't work at all atm. visa credit cards are almost universally accepted at atm but charges for cash are higher.

you are safer, though, making purchases (goods, meals, tickets etc) with a credit card than a debit card as the credit cards offer a higher level of consumer protection against fraud

i don't carry much cash for obvious reasons but always have with me the equivalent of about $nz300 or so in each of various major currencies (ukp, usd, euro etc) plus the currency of the country i'm visiting

i consider travellers cheques a waste of time

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15 years 2 months ago #42410 by Gracelands
I agree, the last time I was overseas I found the travellers cheques an absolute pain. You have to dig your passport out from whereever you've stashed it, which makes it less secure, and it was hard to find a bureau de change, yet there was an eftpos terminal on every corner.

It absolutely amazed me that I could draw euros from my NZ cheque account when I was on a small Greek Island that barely had roads.

Travelling sure has got a lot easier since I started going away in the 80's.

"Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
Hans Christian Anderson

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15 years 2 months ago #42522 by The Kats Place
we are about to head overseas also and my agent gave me some information on a Visa product called 'travelmoney'.

Try www.cashpassportcard.com

Its a visa card - seperate to you current visa which carries the credit you have put on it, can be used in ATM machines to get cash in the currency of the country you are in, or to make purchase, ATM withdrawals $4.00, 2% commission rate, but at present have a special of 1%. If you load more than $5000 credit it gives you an extra travel insurance. You can only spend up to the value of what you put on the card, it doesn't allow you to go into debt. I think I will try it as I am going to several different countries.

In the past I have uses a combination of cash, eftpos (where it works) and credit cards. I find travellers cheques safe but they can work out expensive and not always easy to cash.

Have a great trip, When do you go? I love Canada, last time we were there it was Autum and stunning. What part of Canada will you go to?

kats
Live your life in such a way that it will be easy for people to say nice things at your funeral [;)]

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15 years 2 months ago #42525 by spoook
Replied by spoook on topic Holidaying overseas - money
The Cash Passport card is at a different rate than the exchange rate and is NOT cheap. We were almost sold on it by the travel agent but when I looked into it I realised what it would truely cost us. Their transaction fees were less but their rate was the killer.
We bought cash with no fees before we went away from www.intercash.co.nz/ .
I did a spreadsheet of what it would cost me to buy 500 of various currencies. Intercash always won, seconded by Nat Bank at the time.
We wore money belts under our clothes to store it in, spread it between both of us.

We also took credit cards for purchases only. Make sure the purchase is of a reasonable value or the fees may make it not so good a deal.
Another thing is to be charged on your credit card in local currency, not NZ$.

Try this site for any hints and tips you may need, I found it fantastic for when we went away.
www.tripadvisor.com/ForumHome
Locals or recent travellers will respond to your queries and help you, just like we do here.:D

Have a great trip.

There are no bad questions only those that are not asked.
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed"

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15 years 2 months ago #42688 by Ellenitter
Thanks everyone, we are off to Toronto end of September, to celebrate our 2 little grandaughters birthdays (4 and 1 year). I have been into BNZ and ordered some Canadian money they cahrge 1% of the NZ value. I was surprise (well maybe not) that the lady in the banks said when she goes overseas she won't use her cards as she refuses to pay the bank their fees for using it. She always uses cash and Travellers Cheques. I guess we can use Eftpos as a back up in an emergency. Westpac have advised (verbally) that if we don't get charged for using our Eftpos cards in NZ (we have no charges) then we won't overseas, only the 2.5% of each transaction, but I would like to get that in writing first.
It hasbeen really interesting to read all the replies.

Lyn
Sold the Lifestyle, now a lovely house in Temuka.

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