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  Reply # 1062181 9-Jun-2014 20:57
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kdn:
PenultimateHop: Is there any particular reason you want to head down the path of prepaid cards rather than simply using a credit card? 

I can (perhaps) see the argument for using these sorts of products for cash withdrawals, but given most places (US especially, and some countries in Europe) it's relatively easy to use plastic everywhere, I don't really see the need for these sorts of products. The additional complexity and the need to lock money up in advance, and them not really being any more cost effective versus the forex-on-the-day-of-transaction by banks, I do wonder what the benefit is.

I'm just back from yet another week in Europe where I used <$100 in cash (and left over cash from past trips at that); everything else happily on plastic - with no headaches.


Well my bank charges a 2.50% fee on all foreign currency transactions. Plus if you use the wrong ATM its an $8 fee. As far as my research goes there are no foreign currency fee free cards in nz. Plenty in other countries though. Plus you will be at the mercy of the forex for every transaction.


Yeah I just got back from 5 weeks in Europe and noticed ASB stung me a nice fee for each transaction. Luckily I hardly used my CC, was only towards the end when I didn't want to draw another lot of cash from an ATM.

I don't normally carry cash, but it did make budgeting easier as it's so easy to spend up large when you're spending in stronger currencies. 



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  Reply # 1062217 9-Jun-2014 21:40
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I actually recommend using EFTPOS, if you're there for a short amount of time.
Reason why?
- Withdrawal fees for international ATMs are usually cost the same on the travel cards as on your standard EFTPOS card
- The conversion fee is usually the same

Only get out what you need. The disadvantage is that you can't lock in the exchange rate.

Of course, if you plan to do lots of electronic payments then it would make sense to get a travel card, but for cash I don't see the point

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1062224 9-Jun-2014 21:56
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jnimmo: I actually recommend using EFTPOS, if you're there for a short amount of time.
Reason why?
- Withdrawal fees for international ATMs are usually cost the same on the travel cards as on your standard EFTPOS card
- The conversion fee is usually the same

Only get out what you need. The disadvantage is that you can't lock in the exchange rate.

Of course, if you plan to do lots of electronic payments then it would make sense to get a travel card, but for cash I don't see the point


yikes! The only place I would recommend doing that is in aussie, and if you are with westpac. a cash passport, or travel card, is the equivalent of having a local eftpos card. Using your nz eftpos card overseas attracts a fee on every transaction and an atm widthdrawal fee. Plus I would say that "carry an amount of money you could handle being robbed of" would be a fair statement for travelling abroad. so withdrawing bulk money once every week or 2nd week is very risky.

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  Reply # 1062234 9-Jun-2014 22:09
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kdn:
jnimmo: I actually recommend using EFTPOS, if you're there for a short amount of time.
Reason why?
- Withdrawal fees for international ATMs are usually cost the same on the travel cards as on your standard EFTPOS card
- The conversion fee is usually the same

Only get out what you need. The disadvantage is that you can't lock in the exchange rate.

Of course, if you plan to do lots of electronic payments then it would make sense to get a travel card, but for cash I don't see the point


yikes! The only place I would recommend doing that is in aussie, and if you are with westpac. a cash passport, or travel card, is the equivalent of having a local eftpos card. Using your nz eftpos card overseas attracts a fee on every transaction and an atm widthdrawal fee. Plus I would say that "carry an amount of money you could handle being robbed of" would be a fair statement for travelling abroad. so withdrawing bulk money once every week or 2nd week is very risky.


Yeah it definitely wouldn't be good if you're doing many transactions with it, but I know with Kiwibank Loaded for Travel the ATM withdrawal fees are the same as the standard EFTPOS withdrawals. We found it easier in Europe to use cash for most things, but used the credit card for big items. We split the money three way on each withdrawal (hid some, shared the rest), thankfully were traveling with a big group in winter time (good coats) so had a lower risk of being robbed.


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  Reply # 1062259 9-Jun-2014 23:02
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I used a credit card anywhere it was accepted. Yes, there's a 2.5% fee (differs slightly between banks) but the conversion itself is at the visa/mastercard internal calculation rates, so instead of incorporating the fee into the exchange rate they add it on as a fee. Overall the rate's usually the same or better than travelex/onesmart.

I used onesmart for ATM withdrawals as there was a $7.5 cash advance fee (plus immediate charging of extortionate interest) on my credit card for cash advances. Back then though there was no limit of 3 free withdrawals a month, they added that just after I got back.

Also, take a fair amount of cash, at least for the first country. There's a couple asian places on Queen Street with extremely good exchange rates. I used this place - https://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.etrans.co.nz%2F&ei=8ZOVU8-6GImRkQWv8oCwDQ&usg=AFQjCNFVPmsNYfRmPvhg1L6fMXoLGtvfng&bvm=bv.68445247,d.dGI . You'll notice in the US and some European countries that credit cards aren't quite as widely accepted as they are here so you'll want to have some on you.

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  Reply # 1062318 10-Jun-2014 07:17
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jnimmo: I actually recommend using EFTPOS, if you're there for a short amount of time.
Reason why?
- Withdrawal fees for international ATMs are usually cost the same on the travel cards as on your standard EFTPOS card
- The conversion fee is usually the same

Only get out what you need. The disadvantage is that you can't lock in the exchange rate.

Of course, if you plan to do lots of electronic payments then it would make sense to get a travel card, but for cash I don't see the point


Both are not quite correct.

I'm not aware of any bank in NZ except for Westpac (with their global ATM alliance with Bank of America, Barclays and a few others) who don't charge a hefty ATM withdrawal fee for regular EFTPOS cards. The benefit of the travel cards is that ATM withdrawal feea are typically not charged.

Even if the conversion fee is similar being stung $8 vs $0 makes a big difference if you're doing this often.





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  Reply # 1062335 10-Jun-2014 07:59
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kdn:
Well my bank charges a 2.50% fee on all foreign currency transactions. Plus if you use the wrong ATM its an $8 fee. As far as my research goes there are no foreign currency fee free cards in nz. Plenty in other countries though. Plus you will be at the mercy of the forex for every transaction.

You are going to pay the 2.5% fee whether it be at the time of transaction on a credit card; or up-front on the travel loading card. The upside to the credit card is the interest free period, and not locking up large amounts of cash in advance. To me, it's much more flexible and has much less impact on cash-flow. I'll take the chances with the forex fee at every transaction, as I can't really think of a time where I've ever come out badly on that front (maybe once or twice when some currencies were in free-fall in 2008 during the GFC crash), as typically what is charged on CC transactions beats what's available for forex transfers by banks or forex companies.

I agree - to an extent - on the ATM withdrawal front, since there's very few ways now to use ATMs overseas inexpensively with NZ-issued cards. Fortunately I don't have that problem (nor the 2.5% CC forex fee problem); but even when I was relying heavily on NZ cards I never found the travel card system to work for me, and I just don't see the attraction in them. They seem to be making a very easy problem more complicated, and often, more expensive.

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  Reply # 1063098 11-Jun-2014 01:26
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Yesterday just got back from a month away in Europe.
We did 2 Trafalgar tours. 8 Days in UK then 18 days in Mainland Europe.
Both of us used Onesmart Cards and found they were excellent.
Excepting one thing we noticed. Supposedly they are smart. It depended on the order of the Wallets loaded.
We had NZ$, Euro $, British Pounds and Singaore $
For instance we might be in UK obviously GBP has priority,, If NZ$ were at top of the list it wanted to convert from one to another currency.
So when In say France we moved the Euros to the top of the list and it then worked well.
Think we got free unlimited cash withdrawals also which was a bonus.
Our experience was good. So easy to use and load up from your bank account
As a rule of thumb I rarely had much local currency carried around either which was a slight disadvantage at times




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  Reply # 1068845 18-Jun-2014 20:27
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sbiddle:
jnimmo: I actually recommend using EFTPOS, if you're there for a short amount of time.
Reason why?
- Withdrawal fees for international ATMs are usually cost the same on the travel cards as on your standard EFTPOS card
- The conversion fee is usually the same

Only get out what you need. The disadvantage is that you can't lock in the exchange rate.

Of course, if you plan to do lots of electronic payments then it would make sense to get a travel card, but for cash I don't see the point


Both are not quite correct.

I'm not aware of any bank in NZ except for Westpac (with their global ATM alliance with Bank of America, Barclays and a few others) who don't charge a hefty ATM withdrawal fee for regular EFTPOS cards. The benefit of the travel cards is that ATM withdrawal feea are typically not charged.

Even if the conversion fee is similar being stung $8 vs $0 makes a big difference if you're doing this often.






Yeah you're right - looks like the Kiwibank Travelcard is a rip off in terms of ATM withdrawal fees (OneSmart giving 3 free a month, Travelex doing unlimited free).
I was giving my experience based on comparing Kiwibank EFTPOS with Kiwibank Travelcard - both have the exact same $6 fee for every overseas withdrawal. Hopefully their exchange rate makes up for it..

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