Card to use in UK/Ireland/EU

Joined
Sep 17, 2009
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I'm planning (as far as I can!) to travel to these parts for a stay of at least 6 months in 2022. It could turn into a year or 18 months.
I would like to set up the use of an international brand CC (or debit card or both).
I will also need somehow to transfer or have available from Australia about $50,000 for a vehicle purchase.
Any thoughts please on good combinations of low cost or free money transfers from a bank in Australia?
I am aware of Citi, ING, HSBC and Amex. And are there also others I should be aware of?
Of these companies I only have a relationship long-term with the Amex green (not credit) card. And Amex is not universally accepted.
I also once used to have a Barclaycard.
Any and all suggestions on suitable cards please. If any have QFF or other inducements that would be a bonus.
 

ZigZagWanderer

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Pretty much any cc will charge ruinous fees and/or ruinous exchange rates. Find the best, but pay very close attention to the exchange rates. These can be 3 or 4% less than the published rates.

Foreign exchange companies are best for large transactions. Typically I get a rate at about 1% less than published rates, sometimes better. That's a 2% saving over my bank. Not much, but on $50k that's $1k.

I use and recommend oz forex, and their uk operation uk forex, no fees over 10k iirc, but there may be better. These guys have excellent customer support, although very rarely needed.
 

VPS

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I would strongly recommend Wise which used to be Transferwise as well - you can load most of the major currencies on it

Have a look at this thread



There are lots of referrals available. I'll PM you mine but don't feel obliged

I was lucky that I was able to get a UK bank account which helps in the UK
Cheers
 

Jacques Vert

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Coles rewards mastercard is my go to card when overseas. $99 annual fee, no overseas transaction fee (except cash advances), 2 flybuys per $ (up to $3,000 per statement) = 1 VA point per $.

Transfer VA to SQ currently suspended.

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Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Posts
78
I would strongly recommend Wise which used to be Transferwise as well - you can load most of the major currencies on it

Have a look at this thread



There are lots of referrals available. I'll PM you mine but don't feel obliged

I was lucky that I was able to get a UK bank account which helps in the UK
Cheers
My query is more about best non Australian travelling cards than money transfer. And I would love to be able to open a UK or Irish bank account again with the least hassle.
 

CMA222

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My query is more about best non Australian travelling cards than money transfer. And I would love to be able to open a UK or Irish bank account again with the least hassle.
As mentioned in the links, Wise provide (not coming soon as its been available for ages) a debit Mastercard that utilises the FX you hold in your account. Works everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Wise sells FX at the mid-market rate (see Xe.com) that I find very favourable. The debit card has worked faultlessly so far but there has not been much opportunity to use it for a while. The account is totally on line and you can buy and transfer FX on your phone to backup the Mastercard. Better than any of the banks.
 

CMA222

Active Member
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I forgot to mention you can also transfer FX into your Wise account from external sources (e.g. other banks or from business payments) and get cash from ATM's, but the daily and monthly limits for ATM withdrawals are not high.
 

albyd

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FWIW I’d look at Revolut. Their rates are the same as the interbank rate on my data feed. The card comes with a Visa debit card. If you upgrade to ‘metal’ it comes with a rewards program. It’s pretty puny in AU but earn is meant to be better overseas because of higher interchange. I haven’t done much investigation into the value or otherwise of the rewards program. May be worth looking into.

Honourable mention to Amex pound sterling ICC. I know it’s a charge card but does have a rewards program & no currency fees while you’re in the UK spending Pounds.

YMMV
 

albyd

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I’ve more thing …
You might consider HSBC Premier if you qualify. They reckon their forex rates are good but I’ve not used them for that but can top up your UK account from Australia quickly & easily via Online banking. Also AU Premier status is recognized offshore so they will set you up with a local bank account & optionally a HSBC Premier CC which has no AF. I haven’t investigated the rewards program.

Check with HSBC they will give you a Premier CC as non UK resident otherwise get it through HSBC Expat which is based in Jersey. They can also get you a UK bank account.

Can just use your AU address while setting these up.

YMMV.
 

VPS

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I’ve more thing …
You might consider HSBC Premier if you qualify. They reckon their forex rates are good but I’ve not used them for that but can top up your UK account from Australia quickly & easily via Online banking. Also AU Premier status is recognized offshore so they will set you up with a local bank account & optionally a HSBC Premier CC which has no AF. I haven’t investigated the rewards program.

Check with HSBC they will give you a Premier CC as non UK resident otherwise get it through HSBC Expat which is based in Jersey. They can also get you a UK bank account.

Can just use your AU address while setting these up.

YMMV.
When I tried to do that they would only do it if you had British residency or citizenship. If you have that you can open a bank account anyway - YMMV
 

albyd

Established Member
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Looks like the same as my experience with the UK. Got what I needed via HSBC Expat. Get a UK bank account and can apply for a Premier MC which is administered through HSBC UK. YMMV
 

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