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# 175830 13-Jul-2015 11:38
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Later this year my wife and I are going overseas for a holiday and will be visiting 7 different countries which all have their own currency. 

ISK (Icelandic Krona)
NOK (Norwegian Krone)
DKK (Danish Krone)
SEK (Swedish Krone)
Euro
Hong Kong Dollar
Chinese Yaun

What I'm trying to work out is how best to sort out money for each country whilst keeping the fees at a minimum.

Anyone have experience with this that they can share?





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  # 1342065 13-Jul-2015 11:40
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I've found that a decent credit card is the best bet, and some cash for each destination (usually it's best changed at the destination, if you put your card into credit then that's a good way to draw down).

Find a card without exchange fees (they exist) and with reasonable exchange rates.  The multi currency cash cards they push at travel agents are a scam, they rip you on fees and rates, and sit on money you transfer in for days.



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  # 1342067 13-Jul-2015 11:47
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Yeah from what I have found online it looks like the best option for cash is to withdraw from an ATM in the country you are visiting and use credit card for large purchases.




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  # 1342068 13-Jul-2015 11:49
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I guess 2 credit cards would be a good way to go, one in credit, one not, then you get the interest free purchasing and can draw down cash easily.

You can do draw downs from eftpos at a lot of places (via Plus) but I am pretty sure it attracts more fees.  Would pay to check with your bank.

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  # 1342080 13-Jul-2015 12:18
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ubergeeknz: I guess 2 credit cards would be a good way to go, ...


At least two credit cards, one Visa and the other MasterCard, just in case one merchant provider or the other is embarassingly unacceptable (or suffers an outage) at a particular locality.

I'd guess that if push came to shove you could use Euro cash in most of the big centres in the Scandinavian countries, too


Happy travelling!


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  # 1342087 13-Jul-2015 12:29
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If you are going to china they are very cagey about 100 rmb notes. Some places will refuse them for small purchases. So get some smaller notes too before you go. Apparently there are load of fakes.




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  # 1342095 13-Jul-2015 12:40
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With BankDirect (part of ASB) I found it cheaper to load our credit card up with cash so it had a credit balance, and then make withdrawals from ATMs in each country.  By doing this, we avoided the $5 per withdrawal fee that would otherwise be charged.  The other option is to use your EFTPOS card and withdraw a decent amount at a time, say 500 Euros.  Then the $5 fee isn't really significant.

Have a close look at the T&Cs for your credit card and see what the rules are.  I have found the foreign exchange commission varies significantly between banks, so for this reason we don't make overseas transactions via Kiwibank (which we use for most of our banking in NZ), but stick to BankDirect (ASB) when overseas, or when buying products from offshore websites.





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  # 1342096 13-Jul-2015 12:41
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We did a world trip just a couple of credit cards...at that time a visa and a mastercard.  The mastercard was for any purchases/dinners etc.  The visa was in credit and was used for cash withdrawals.   At the time just attracted the conversion service fee, but not a cash withdrawal fee.  Worked well for us, and we didn't come home with heaps of overseas currency.





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  # 1342224 13-Jul-2015 14:21
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Some good tips, thanks guys.




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  # 1342260 13-Jul-2015 15:13
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Have you looked at the Cash Passport MasterCard?  You can pre-load it with cash in different currencies, so that you pay in the local currency when you're overseas.  You can switch from one currency to another as you travel, and transfer extra funds to the card by setting it up as a bill payment in online banking.  You can use it as a debit card and in ATMs and it's accepted pretty much anywhere MasterCard is accepted.  They give you two cards, so you can carry one with you and lock a "spare" in the hotel safe.  And they have a 24x7 help line.

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  # 1342300 13-Jul-2015 15:28
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Those cash passport ones are terrible. Rates are bad. Can't directly load foreign currency and they have terrible support for charge backs compared with using one from your real bank who have an incentive to keep you happy.




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  # 1342328 13-Jul-2015 16:01
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Also most of my time is spent in countries that arent supported by Cash Passport or OneSmart.




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  # 1342409 13-Jul-2015 17:43
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Hong Kong and China are cash countries, for things such as hotels and other large purchases you'd use a credit card. As long as you get the notes from a trusted place eg NZ bank before your trip, or like the others say at an local trusted banks ATM you'll have no problems, don't use some dodgy atm on the streets. 

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  # 1342499 13-Jul-2015 18:50
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I'm not aware of any credit cards in the NZ market who don't charge foreign transaction fees. This is becoming increasingly common in other countries, and Aussie now have quite a few cards that offer this.



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  # 1342507 13-Jul-2015 19:11
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Take some small bills for purchases in each of those countries. You should be able to get most of those from your bank or Travelex before you go. With 10-15 days warning, Travelex can certainly order in the more obscure currencies if they don't routinely hold them (that's what they did for me).

Then take extra Euros and US Dollars. I think that all of those places will have foreign exchange places where the local stuff can be easily exchanged for either or both of those currencies. The airports certainly should have such outlets. Plus, you can easily change unused US and Euro notes back when you return.

I would also take a pre-paid credit card with a couple of hundred loaded on it here that you can use in local ATMs, and which won't cause a major problem if the number is skimmed like it would for your real main credit card. Which is what I did in the Middle East and it worked fine (albeit with a circa 4% conversion charge). They cost about $20 from the bank.

Just accept that you may have to pay some conversion fees, and be left with a few tens of dollars of small change in each of a number of currencies at the end. Chalk it up as a cost of traveling and enjoy the trip.

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  # 1343388 14-Jul-2015 22:03
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Not to discourage you from enjoying Iceland - fantastic place - but you'll find you can't preload a multi-currency card with ISK, and you'll get dinged in the neighbourhood of 10% for converting your ISK purchases into NZD.

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