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usa gift cards that can be used in Europe

Old Feb 16th, 2012, 09:58 AM
  #1  
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usa gift cards that can be used in Europe

I have a daughter living in the Netherlands for 2 years. I would like to send her a gift card for her birthday (like a visa card). What card(s) can I buy here (USA) that she could use in the Netherlands?
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Old Feb 16th, 2012, 01:00 PM
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I should think a Visa gift card could be used most anywhere. although obviously they are not chip&pin, so it would have to someplace where any American credit card could be used.
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Old Feb 16th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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Why not just give her money? Wire it directly into her bank account.

Giving a U.S. gift card is going to be fraught with issues (hidden and excessive fees, difficulty in getting it accepted where she might want to use it, loss on the currency exchange, etc.).

There are some chip-and-pin debit cards from Travelex that are meant to be used in Europe (once loaded with funds they are free to use and can be used anywhere). If I were going to give her a card, I'd give her that ... but you have to realize that you're going to lose about 12% of the value of whatever you give just to load it onto the card because of fees and bad currency exchange. But at least that could be used in as an emergency source of funds later since you can add money easily from the U.S.

I'm guessing that a a Visa or American Express gift card can be used abroad, but you'd want to check the company web site to make sure. It's not a given. American Express is generally more portable, particularly overseas, since there are Amex offices throughout Europe.
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Old Feb 16th, 2012, 04:46 PM
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Agree to give cash versus a gift card. I just got an AmEx gift card award at work and it states on it clearly for use in the US only. If you want to give a giftr card you wold hae to to contact Vis and MC to find out if they have cards that can be used in eruope and what sort of premium you would have to pay for them.
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Old Feb 16th, 2012, 05:46 PM
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I'd also have the bank transfer funds driectly into her bank account. Very easy.
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Old Feb 16th, 2012, 05:47 PM
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. . or directly
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Old Feb 17th, 2012, 06:17 AM
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Thank you very much for the suggestions. I don't think I will have money wired into her account as I did have a money transfer done to Switzerland for a vacation rental and it cost me a $40 fee. I will look into contacting the gift card companies and finding out if they have a card that will be usable in the Netherlands. Thank you again for all the good advice!
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Old Feb 17th, 2012, 06:31 AM
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"it cost me a $40 fee."

But your daughter will face fees w/the gift card. A bad exchange rate plus fees will add up. Maybe not to $40 worth, but not cheap either.
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Old Feb 17th, 2012, 08:17 AM
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This article might offer you some tips:

http://traveltips.usatoday.com/cheap...eas-63199.html
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Old Feb 18th, 2012, 10:08 AM
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Thank you so much Betty! This is exactly the information I have been looking for. You are a doll!
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Old Feb 18th, 2012, 10:15 AM
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Yes - but what is the fee to buy a card good in europe here? And what is the per use charge? The AmEx card I have is $3.95 charge for each purchase you make - plus whatever they paid for the card to begin with. So I'm being careful only to use it for bigger ticket items (it's $3.95 per puchase - not per item) to avoid wasting money. You don;t want to be paying $3.95 for each $25 or $30 purchase.
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Old Feb 18th, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Be careful re that article: As is often the case in these sorts of "travel advise" pieces, some of the info is misleading and some is just wrong. Western Union is quite risky and gift cards are not cheap.
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