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Old 18-11-2017, 17:35   #1
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Travel credit cards

Hello, I'm new to this site. I'm just wondering as my husband and I are getting prepared to start sailing does anyone have advice on best credit cards to use while travelling in many countries?
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Old 18-11-2017, 18:11   #2
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Re: Travel credit cards

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Originally Posted by Soontobesailing View Post
Hello, I'm new to this site. I'm just wondering as my husband and I are getting prepared to start sailing does anyone have advice on best credit cards to use while travelling in many countries?


Hi Soontobesailing and Welcome to CF.



Your question depends very much on which bank you're with and what they offer. For example, if you're Private Client with Chase, they offer credit cards (and debit cards) with no annual fee that waive any foreign transaction fees you may incur and any out of network ATM fees.. You'll be using cash a lot! Each bank will offer different or varying products...
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Old 18-11-2017, 18:11   #3
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Re: Travel credit cards

Any Visa card that had no foriegn transaction fees. In the US there are Capital One cards, USAA cards and I'm sure many others. More important is a debit card that does not have fees or refunds fees. We use the debit card at ATMs much more than credit. Schwab has debit card fee reimbursement. Many places add credit card fees of 1.5% to the transaction over the cash price.
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Old 20-11-2017, 00:00   #4
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Re: Travel credit cards

For Europe I found N26 excellent, happy to provide more info if need be.
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Old 20-11-2017, 08:58   #5
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Re: Travel credit cards

In some European countries Visa is less widely accepted than you might expect - I carry a Mastercard as well.
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Old 20-11-2017, 09:01   #6
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Re: Travel credit cards

Oh, and I don't know if there are still places that issue mag stripe only cards, but you definitely need a chip card with a PIN.
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Old 20-11-2017, 09:13   #7
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Re: Travel credit cards

It would help if you say what your home country is. The options are different depending on where you call home, and where you bank.

In Canada, there are far fewer credit cards available that offer zero foriegn transaction fees ó at least this was the case a few years ago when I went searching.

Debit cards operate cheaply and fairly globally, but you have to watch out for all the additional fees heaped on when using other companyís systems.
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Old 20-11-2017, 10:32   #8
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Re: Travel credit cards

1. chip
2. zero intl transaction fees

check.


Also:

3. 24/7 service (live agent)

4. Fraud protection. This is tough. I travel for a living, and twice HSBC has disabled my card for no reason and couldn't readily get it running. AND HSBC wasn't 24/7.

OTOH my debit card from my local bank (which rebates ATM and international fees!) has to be told when and where I will be so they don't disable it.

I'd get a couple cards.

Steer clear of Bank of America. FWIW I also don't like Citibank.
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Old 20-11-2017, 10:48   #9
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Re: Travel credit cards

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It would help if you say what your home country is. The options are different depending on where you call home, and where you bank.

In Canada, there are far fewer credit cards available that offer zero foriegn transaction fees ó at least this was the case a few years ago when I went searching.

Debit cards operate cheaply and fairly globally, but you have to watch out for all the additional fees heaped on when using other companyís systems.
Most of the larger Canadian Banks have US divisions though and you can open an account in the US through them. Most of the US banks have gone to 'VISA Debit' cards which for cruising had two nice features. It gives you a debit card with VISA's fraud protection (we had cards compromised at least 4 times in 3 years including once at an ATM) and second it automatically comes out of your account so you don't have to be connected at the time when your statement comes in to pay it.

We used RBC US, but if I was doing it again, I would look a lot harder at Scotiabank, particularly if I was going to be spending much time in the Caribbean. They seemed much more prevalent and the communication between the Caribbean system and the Canadian/US branches seemed much more seamless than RBC's. RBC's Caribbean branches are much more arms length and there was virtually no advantage to being with RBC when dealing with them, whereas friends who banked with Scotiabank found they could perform bank transactions at the local Scotiabank's in the Caribbean. None of the Canadian banks had any counterparts in the South Pacific or Asia that we noticed.
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Old 20-11-2017, 11:12   #10
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Re: Travel credit cards

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Most of the larger Canadian Banks have US divisions though and you can open an account in the US through them. Most of the US banks have gone to 'VISA Debit' cards which for cruising had two nice features. It gives you a debit card with VISA's fraud protection (we had cards compromised at least 4 times in 3 years including once at an ATM) and second it automatically comes out of your account so you don't have to be connected at the time when your statement comes in to pay it.

We used RBC US, but if I was doing it again, I would look a lot harder at Scotiabank, particularly if I was going to be spending much time in the Caribbean. They seemed much more prevalent and the communication between the Caribbean system and the Canadian/US branches seemed much more seamless than RBC's. RBC's Caribbean branches are much more arms length and there was virtually no advantage to being with RBC when dealing with them, whereas friends who banked with Scotiabank found they could perform bank transactions at the local Scotiabank's in the Caribbean. None of the Canadian banks had any counterparts in the South Pacific or Asia that we noticed.
Yes, a US dollar account is useful when travelling in the US (and related countries). But if youíre travelling in the rest of the world, youíre back to the same foreign exchange challenge. For me, the easiest and cheapest thing is to make sure weíre not getting dinged on the foreign exchange fee. Most Canadian credit cards charge at least 2% on top of all the other user fees and crappy exchange rates.

I think youíre right about Scotiabank and the Caribbean. Iíve yet to make it down there, but thatís what other Canadian/Caribbean cruisers seem to recommend. Iíve heard TD is stronger in Mexico and South American countries.
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Old 20-11-2017, 12:05   #11
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Re: Travel credit cards

Best deal I've heard of is Schwab One account with a debit card. Fidelity is not quite as good. Avoid all the fees from BofA and Citi, but you should have a backup ATM/debit card as well.
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Old 20-11-2017, 12:07   #12
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Re: Travel credit cards

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Yes, a US dollar account is useful when travelling in the US (and related countries). But if youíre travelling in the rest of the world, youíre back to the same foreign exchange challenge. For me, the easiest and cheapest thing is to make sure weíre not getting dinged on the foreign exchange fee. Most Canadian credit cards charge at least 2% on top of all the other user fees and crappy exchange rates.

I think youíre right about Scotiabank and the Caribbean. Iíve yet to make it down there, but thatís what other Canadian/Caribbean cruisers seem to recommend. Iíve heard TD is stronger in Mexico and South American countries.
When we left, my philosophy was that since we were going to be largely in a US$ exchange dominated world, I didn't want to be moving $ between Canadian and other currencies all the time and incurring exchange fees. Therefore, I maintained a portion of our investments in US$ and simply drew from that account to our US account while we were cruising.

It also helped that when we left in 2014 I felt the Cdn $ didn't have a lot of upward range compared to historical, so having more investments in US$ made sense anyway - but that was a personal evaluation & risk. Leaving now might be a different evaluation, but the fact that you're always going to get better rates exchanging from US$ to whatever, than Cdn$ to whatever still stands, and I'd probably still go with a US$ account for the bulk of my transactions to minimize exchange costs.
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Old 20-11-2017, 14:08   #13
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Re: Travel credit cards

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Originally Posted by Soontobesailing View Post
Hello, I'm new to this site. I'm just wondering as my husband and I are getting prepared to start sailing does anyone have advice on best credit cards to use while travelling in many countries?
I will add that it is best to have a few credit cards per person. In some countries, it is not always smooth sailing drawing money from ATM's. Sometimes credit/debit cards do not work for no reason and then work again the next time around.

You might also need more money than the daily allowance of a single credit/debit card or the maximum what you can draw at an ATM. Between my wife and I, we have a total of 8 credit/debit cards in Visa and Mastercard.

We also ran into the problem of not having not used a credit/debit card for more than 30 days, then to find that the bank stopped all transaction due to "so-called" inactivity. It is a great inconvenience and hassle to sort out. But check with your bank on this issue.
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Old 20-11-2017, 23:55   #14
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Re: Travel credit cards

We have been out 10 years and over 50 countries - we use Bank of America - sometimes get bank charges but we could not be happier with their service - they really watch over our account and if something does look right they intervene - a skype call to them and it gets cleared up automatically


In 10 years we have had only one issue with a bad charge and it was when we ordered on line from Cabelas - and they quickly took care of that.


In Belgrade a bank machine ate my card on a sunday. On Monday we went back to get it and they would not give it to me and wanted a call and email from my bank - I Called BOA and they got on it immediately and before I got back they had the call - still would not give it to me as they said no email - went to USA embassy and they sent email and still no card they said embassy was not sufficient and need BOA only- it was a bit of a shouting match as I called the employee a thief and asked for his boss who said I would have to deal with him - I called BOA again and they send they sent it but would send it again - by the time I walked 2 blocks they had the email and I got my card but alas to no avail as BOA blocked it when I made my first call as they were afraid that the teller was selling the info
BOA asked for an address and when we stopped for a few days sent me on overnight


they really watch and are extremely helpful and keep track of our travels
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Old 21-11-2017, 00:32   #15
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Re: Travel credit cards

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4. Fraud protection. This is tough. I travel for a living, and twice HSBC has disabled my card for no reason and couldn't readily get it running. AND HSBC wasn't 24/7.
Curious how long ago you had the HSBC problem, as I have found them incredibly diligent and accessible as a Premier customer

With their credit cards:

I receive a text or email within seconds anywhere in the world, once posted by cashier

With different currency cards they automatically debit from the same currency accounts in my Global accounts, so no exchange losses.

I have personal relationship managers for my primary and global acounts with their cell #s so I have 24/7 concierge banking service

Last few years all the International Banks have had to do very strict..."know your customer" documentation...... Maybe you for caught up in that?
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