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Money tips for foreign travel
Old 06-07-2012, 07:02 AM   #1
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Money tips for foreign travel

Some travel tips (cards with chips, ATMs, etc.) for globe-trotters in today's NYT article:

Money Tips for Globe-Trotters -


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Old 06-07-2012, 07:33 AM   #2
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A chip-and-signature card, as recommended, would cause major confusion in Europe, especially if you don't speak the language and the clerk doesn't speak English. You don't normally need to convey "no chip, please swipe", since the absence of a chip is visible, but even if you do need to, it's a lot easier than "no PIN, please swipe".

My money-saving travel tip for Americans is: take your prescriptions with you. Most European pharmacies will /a/ honour US prescriptions and /b/ tell you in advance what it will cost to get them filled. Even without the prescription, it may be worth blowing $30 on a doctor's visit (that's what you pay in France) given the subsequent savings on meds.

Age 55, retired July 1, 2012; DW is 59 and working for 4 more years. Current portfolio is 1950K split 50 stocks/20 bonds/30 cash. Renting house, no debts.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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The article validated what I've learned recently.

Regarding VISA card fees and PIN's, our VISA card from our credit union charges only a modest interest rate to use it. If you pay it off when you get home it's really no bother. So I'm getting a PIN for it since that is another source of emergency cash. The prime cash source will be a debit card used to access our credit union checking account. In the past I've used cash whenever the credit card will be taken out of sight in the transaction.

Also have been advised to copy the front/back of the cards you travel with. Then carry the printout or place the info in an email available on your on-line mail site -- just in case. Will then have the emergency info you need if things go really bad.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:09 PM   #4
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I had an issue with capital one being overseas. I called and let them know when I was going to be gone. Their fraud department still hounded me every few days about making charges. I'm glad Penfed has no transaction fees now. No hassle...right

If you have a tablet or iPhone. Onesafe is a great secure app you can take pictures of your cards and passports.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:50 PM   #5
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We use a nofee debit card from Fidelity to access ATMs while traveling Intl.
Get good exchange rates, use any ATM, no transaction fees.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:21 PM   #6
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We've been traveling for the last 20 months and use a Capital One card. We chose it because they do not charge an international fee, which can save significant money. As notmuchlonger mentioned, we had issues the first few times we used it when we started our trip, but after that they have been absolutely wonderful. I call them every 2 months just to update our records with the next countries we are visiting.

Plus, we're earning points with every purchase we can use to offset some of our travel costs. It is the perfect solution for overseas travel in our opinion.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:55 PM   #7
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Here's a tip that I learned the hard way.

Put some extra money in your ATM account for when your bank decides to flag your credit card for fraud, even after you called them to let them know which countries you were going on which dates.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:11 AM   #8
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When we are overseas we find we spend very little cash. We tend to use no forex fee credit cards for most expenses. Chase is strong in this department. Also the Platinum American Express is another that has no forex fees. None of our American CCs are chipped and haven't never been able to use them overseas.

If we need cash we withdraw using our ATM card. We also normally take US$500 in cash as backup in cash of ATM issues.

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:29 AM   #9
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I use a no-fee/fee-reimbursed debit card to get cash at foreign ATMs. Overseas I pay for everything possible in cash. (I do the same here at home.)

My tip for overseas travellers would be: when you set up your debit or credit card, choose a PIN that is no more than four digits, and use only standard letters and numbers. I have come across foreign ATMs that restrict your PIN to four characters, which must be numbers or letters.
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:28 PM   #10
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I spent 4 months in Italy last fall. Even in Rome, smaller restaurants, gelato stands, grocery stores, pensions/smaller hotels--and of course street vendors--expect cash. Major stores, tourist traps, hotels, and fancy restaurants--places I rarely went--take credit cards. I set up a no-fee debit card with my home bank and used it at ATMS, and I used my no foreign transaction fee Capitol One credit card as back up. It worked out just fine.

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