Originally Posted by goboatingnow
..... Remember these countries have banks too.......Dave
Sorry but speaking from experience here, local banks are next to useless. An example that happened to me, I needed 3500 euros in cash to pay for some boat repairs
and items I had bought. Went to local bank and was told point blank, there was NO WAY they could arrange to have the money
paid to me as I held a UK account, not a Spanish one. 'Fine', I thought, 'no bother, Gibraltar
is 20 mins down the road by car and it's a UK territory that even has several branches of the EXACT SAME UK bank
that I hold an account with'.
Walked into the branch and was told that the only way to get the money
i required in cash was to A, Telephone my actual BRANCH
and speak to the manager PERSONALY (ever tried doing that in these days of centralised callcenters? Not easy to say the least!)
, then B, Ask him to write out a manual letter authorising the withdrawal and the ask him to FAX
it to the branch in Gib'!
Was this in the 1980's? No, last year, 2010! So, I did get the cash but it took an entire day and that was with the same flipping bank that I use in the UK!
So, my original point still stands (and dont forget this is in the EU where we are "all one happy family" not some random 3rd world country), if youre doing any extended cruising
, a cash reserve is a very good idea. Doesn't matter if it's not the local currency as you can always get it changed.
Another point to make about cards is banks have a habit of stopping you using them if they see unusual activity, like suddenly making a large payment in a foreign country. Again, this happened to me last year and I only found out when my card was declined
when I went to pay a months mooring fees
. I was glad I had a cash reserve to pay it as, even after contacting the bank and assuring them my card had not been stolen and answering the relavent security
questions, it took 24 hours to unblock it!