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Who has done some research into ATM card vs Foreign exchange?

Who has done some research into ATM card vs Foreign exchange?

Old Aug 24th, 2007, 03:17 AM
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Rd
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Who has done some research into ATM card vs Foreign exchange?

Hi this is an age old dilemma of mine. If I plan to travel to Mauritius from Cape Town, is it less expensive to buy Mauritian rupees before I go or should I use my credit card to draw cash there?
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Old Aug 24th, 2007, 04:39 AM
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Can't be specific re Mauritius, but it's not a good idea to use a credit card which incurs interest the minute you get the cash. You must mean your ATM card.

Do check with you bank whether they assess fees for using this card for such withdrawals; if so, amount (they're usually small; if big, then withdraw sufficient funds for your stay so you don't to to return to ATM daily)

Also advise your financial institutions that you will be away from home country, at which foreign destinations, dates, and when you expect to be home... don't want a stop put on your cards while on holiday.
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Old Aug 24th, 2007, 04:46 AM
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I understand about informing the bank etc but I was referring to my credit card as opposed to my ATM card. I have spoken to banks about the difference in costs ATM vs foreign exchange but that's like asking an insurance agent to explain the small print on an insurance policy??
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Old Aug 24th, 2007, 05:01 AM
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For running around local currency in your pockets, ATMs always give the best rate of exchange, the reason this card is recommended.

Using credit cards for foreign currency exchange, you're rates won't be as favorable and again, you're charged interest on the amount from the minute you exchange funds.

Credit cards, however, for large purchases (i.e.,sourvenirs) or restaurant meals, is a good option with probably the next best rate of exchange. But for cash, best to use the ATM/card.
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Old Aug 24th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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With both credit and ATM/debit cards, you'll pay anywhere from 0-3% as a foreign exchange fee depending on the issuing bank. With ATM/debit cards there may also be a per transaction fee depending on the issuing bank and type of account you have.

Use credit cards for purchases only and ATM/debit cards for cash withdrawal. If you use a credit card for cash withdrawal, this is considered a cash advance and you'll immediately accrue interest plus possible fees. Do you not have an ATM/debit card?

Despite the above fees and with the exception of using credit cards for cash withdrawal, credit and ATM/debit cards still generally work out to be more favorable than exchanging actual cash (either in country or before you leave, before you leave is usually worse).

If you look for your card issuing bank on this list, you can see how much they charge:

http://flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php...reign_Exchange
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