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Old 27-01-2007, 11:43   #1
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Advice on getting cash in the Med ???

Hi, I'm leaving England (Plymouth)in June for the Med. I just got back from Ireland (Southern) and whilst over there got cash using my ATM Debit cash card which is a sterling account. Ireland in the south is Euro's so I got charged for this transaction. As all of the Med is Euro's how can I get cash without being charged everytime ?????
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Old 27-01-2007, 12:04   #2
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Tony,

Using ATM machines is pretty universal. You may not be able to use all of them so check what system the bank uses. Normally if the card won't work you'll know. You'll also be charged a fee every time. You'll probably get two fees. One for the currency conversion and another for the transaction. Those fees can come from your bank as well as the cash machine bank.

In the olden days a credit card used to be the best deal as you got the best exchange rate but most credit card companies have slapped on a percentage fee on top too.

No such thing as free cash even when you really have the money. I can't go down the street for a free cash machine except at my own bank.
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Old 27-01-2007, 12:15   #3
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Open a Euro's account ?
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Old 27-01-2007, 12:57   #4
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I think this one has come up a few times over on YBW.com - I seem to recall that the "answer" is an ATM from Nationwide. But I don't recall exactly why this is! Sorry!

I beleive that a UK based EURO account would still attract the same foreign fees as sterling - cos's elsewhere is still foreign for the UK bank! (In fact I beleive that the same situation arises between the Eurozone countries - but I stand to be corrected).
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Old 28-01-2007, 06:35   #5
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Thumbs up Getting Cash Abroad

Wow !!!! thank you people. When posting the question, in a matter of hours, I got some constructive advice. Getting access to your cash (Sterling) via 'Debit' cards in Europe without paying 'fees' seems to be a problem !!. I've looked at opening a Euro Account but you need a fixed address in a european country that uses euros, which as you can appreciate poses a problem when you live on board a yacht and move from place to place. The best solution so far, is to open an account (Sterling) with Nationwide in England who provide you with a Debit Card which allows you to draw cash in Europe from ATM's with no charges !! (must have the cash in the account in the first place !! no Credit Cards) If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know !!
Regards Tony Wilkes
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Old 28-01-2007, 07:07   #6
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When we were in Croatia and then flew to London all our transaction were charged because we were out of the USA. The charges mount up. I think it best to make fewer transactions and get the most cash out of the ATM at one time. JUST LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER.

Now we are charged an foreign transation fee with every purchase on our credit cards; it's a lose, lose propositin.
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Old 28-01-2007, 07:11   #7
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PBLAIS,

If you can't get your money out of an ATM in the states without a fee then change banks I know of at least 3 banks on the east coast that don't charge ATM fees; and that is half listening to their commercials.
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Old 29-01-2007, 09:21   #8
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Hi Tony,
You've already found the easy route for most EU countries.
We also addressed same issue last year and opened a Nationwide A/c to take advantage of their no charge ruling.
It works.
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Old 29-01-2007, 17:26   #9
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Tony-
"I know of at least 3 banks on the east coast that don't charge ATM fees;" It isn't that easy, there are *two* sets of ATM fees. The first is the fee your own bank may or may not charge. I agree with you--if a bank charges you to withdraw by ATM, get a new bank.

But the second is harder to avoid. The ATM's owner can charge a second "dispensing" fee, and there's nothing you can do about that. If you want to use their ATM, you pay them. Small merchants often make a lot of money this way, charging $6-10 per use.

If the ATM is in a bank, or part of a network that your bank is a member of, there may be no fee at all. The question is, how many big networks is your bank part of? That's hard to tell.

And there's at least one small bank that reimburses ATM fees (up to $2 twice a month or something) simply because they have so few locations in their system, but that's really rare.

Bottom line? Big bank, big network, and you need to ask about locations in advance.

Sometimes credit or charge cards are a better way. Some vendors will charge you actual published rates, no surcharges, and process the charges on the same day at that day's rate. Others don't process them until end of month (at whatever the rate is then) and surcharge steeply as well. The only way to find ask, is to ask your card issuer.
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Old 30-01-2007, 14:45   #10
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Hi Guys,
Just so the pictures clear.
Tony is a UK resident and banks there. He'll already get cash out of most UK ATM's run by his bank and also some others without any charge - just like US people in the US.
But when anyone travels overseas it is normal for the ATM bank to first supply the cash at a rate that may or may not be the best one around. Most allow you to be charged back to your account in either the exchange rate when they send the charge to your own UK bank - or in what they say is the exchange rate on the day you take the cash.
All you need do is be aware of the right rate on the day or anticpate the exchange rates will move for or against you - and make the choice on the ATM machine.
But what Tony was unhappy and asking about (and I don't blame him) is that on top of any conversion charges - most UK banks then also hit him another charge (up to US$5 per transaction) for taking his own money out overseas.
Except - the UK Bank he's now been told of - Nationwide.
Hope that clears it up.
Cheers
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Old 30-01-2007, 19:04   #11
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Aloha Tony,
Welcome aboard the forum!! Hope you can sort the bank thing out. It has been a good 30 years since I did any check cashing in Europe so I know I can't help.
Good luck on your touring.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 31-01-2007, 01:30   #12
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In the Med now I use Nationwide via the Cirrus link.
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Old 01-02-2007, 12:05   #13
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Getting cash in the Med

Thanks to everone who replied to my question about getting cash in the Med with your Debit Card without being charged. Sorry I didn't make it clear that I was English living in Plymouth for all the American replies. So for all you Brits that have an address and bank account in England, take a look at the Nationwide Bld. Soc. They operate like a bank and issue you with a (Sterling) Debit Card (no Credit Card) and make no 'bank' charges for using your card in the Med to draw Euros out of a Sterling account.
Happy Cruising
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