5 mistakes you're making with your money abroad
5 mistakes you're making with your money abroad
Getty ImagesHidden fees, confusing payment options and bad exchange rates mean those travelling soon could be spending more than they need to. But fear not, pop that OOO on, kick your sliders off and quickly get clued up on how to make your holiday money work for you.
Your bags are packed, your flight is booked and you’re feeling smug that you've got a winter break planned, but with the Great British Pound at a low and a no-deal Brexit on the horizon, your saganaki or patatas bravas could feel more expensive than ever before. So how can you make sure your money goes further and that you’re not unknowingly spending money on fees and getting unfair exchange rates?
1. Being charged to use your card abroad or take out moneyGetty ImagesMany banks charge for each transaction abroad (in addition to the local fees you will be paying) so it's important to understand what your bank policy is to avoid any hidden charges. Plus, some banks promote free cash withdrawals but end up capping the amount within a given period. Starling Bank doesn’t charge any fees for debit card transactions abroad and doesn't add ATM fees. And, unlike many other banks, it doesn’t cap fee-free ATM withdrawals at £200 or £300 a month.
2. Not investing in a no-charge cardEven if you’re on the way to the airport, if you have your passport to hand you can open a Starling Bank account in the back of a cab or on the train – it takes five minutes to apply*. You won’t get your bankcard in time, but you can connect your new account to Apple Pay and start spending immediately. You’ll benefit from Mastercard’s globally accepted exchange rate and Starling won’t add anything on top. Banks often take advantage of the fact that many of us can’t be bothered to swap accounts – that’s how they get away with charging fees. But opening a new account doesn’t involve as much paperwork it once did, so even the most admin-averse among us can do it in the check-in queue.
3. Not paying in the local currencyStarlingYou know when you pay for something on your card and the terminal flashes up with a choice of whether to pay in pounds or the local currency? Always choose local. If you choose pounds, the shop or restaurant can set its own currency exchange rate and will likely be
. Your bank’s rate will be more favourable.4. Getting charged ATM feesThe quickest and easiest way of getting foreign currency is to take it out at an ATM when you first arrive, but if your bank charges a flat-rate ATM fee for international withdrawals it’s better for you to take out all your money in one transaction rather than €20 one day and €30 the next. It’s not ideal to be carrying loads of cash, but it will save you money – so think about the safest place to keep it and don’t carry too much in one bag or purse. Starling Bank doesn’t charge for using ATMs abroad, but certain ATM operators do – they will display this on the screen before you confirm withdrawal, so you can always look around for an ATM with no fees.
5. Not tracking your spendingShutterstockWhen you’re spending in a different currency it’s harder to mentally stay on top of how well you’re sticking to your budget. Look at your bank account daily and set up alerts that tell you when you’ve spent money. Starling does this for you - its app sends you instant notifications every time money enters or leaves your account and its Pulse feature gives you your balance in real time (and in local currency and GBP.)
*All accounts are subject to approvalBe part of the Starling's banking revolution and join Britain’s Best Bank todayFind out why Starling have been voted Best British Bank and Best Current Account Provider Read more: Red Magazine »
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