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Old 09-04-2012, 10:47 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2012
Home Port: Portland
Vessel Name: Endurance of Portland
Posts: 9
Default Banking abroad


About to start a couple of years or more of long distance cruising abroad, both Europe and the States/Caribbean.

I have a private pension paid in sterling into my current account in the UK

Can anyone give me up-to-date advice on the best way to do my banking whilst abroad, best banks, credit cards, ATM cards etc, etc

Also, which is the best way to have cash funds transferred to me whilst away?

Many thanks and fair winds


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Old 09-04-2012, 11:08 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,917

So far, I have only been accessing my bank through South East Asia and Japan. I am using a standard debit card against my savings account. I bank with a small bank in Australia and have had no difficulty in getting funds as I need them. I haven't needed to grab a big fist full of dollars as yet. I have used my credit card for large purchases and merely transfer the money into the credit account next time I am online.

I had hoped this arrangement will continue when I go to the US and Mexico, and also when I cross the south Pacific.

Perhaps the best thing to do is to go and see your local bank manager and ask for advice specific to your plan. Please let us know how things turn out.

"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 09-04-2012, 11:27 AM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2012
Home Port: Portland
Vessel Name: Endurance of Portland
Posts: 9

Thanks Auzzee,

I was trying to get a few independent ideas before I spoke to the bank, bearing in mind the 'criminal' activities of the banks in the UK recently. Whose hype do you believe!

PS I sent a lengthy response to your question about sleeping patterns whilst single-handed, but where did it go? Didn't want you to think I'd ignored it.

Regards Graham
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:49 PM   #4
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Graham british banks are criminal in that IF you use your credit card with them they give you full protection on the purchase and give you the bank commercial rate of exchange on the currency. IF you use your debt card they add an average of £1.50 per transaction to the fee. IF you have a fully paid off credit card and can keep it paid off then you are okay.

But they also want to have your planned travel for the entire time you plan on being out of the UK and you can still run into problems. Chip and PIN cards do not work with all US cash machines (we used our Direct Debt card to pull cash and used that as it worked better for us). It all depends on how you deal with and how early you tell the bank you are traveling as some banks will see if they can give you a travel credit card just to give you the safety of the credit card (and them the fees).

That is just experience we have had and we have friends living in Chile who have to let their bank know everytime they come back to the UK and when they are going back to Chile.

Good Luck and take care.

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Old 09-16-2012, 01:15 AM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2010
Home Port: the boat
Vessel Name: Skipping Stone
Posts: 79

You really need to be very careful. I'm finding that the banks I am dealing with now are really gouging me.
Fees up to us$40.00 a month for absolutely nothing and something called "international transaction fee" which can be over 16% on each transaction are charged me without permission or explanation.
Even the formerly free debit card withdrawals are now costing up to ec$8.00 each.
Do research, ask a lot of questions about fees, both on the account and on transactions. We're already gone so it's too late for us now.
"Any a**hole can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one"
Spike Africa, aboard the Schooner Wanderer, Sausalito, Ca. 1964
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