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Going Abroad for a Gig Guide: Money

Keep your hard earned cash safe and know what to use where and how

Make yourself aware of the currency of the country that you are going to… most countries in Europe now use the € euro, but not all … Switzerland is one.

Get familiar with the exchange rate… if you don't know how much £1.00 is worth you won't know if someone's trying to rip you off. Changing cash can be done in the UK at banks, airports, post offices etc. the rule should be to shop around before leaving. Try changing money at an establishment that will allow you to change any leftover money back commission free … this can save you a few pounds.

Credit cards are a good tool to have whilst you are abroad here are some tips …

What credit cards do I need to take with me?

Take your major credit card, such as, Visa, Master Card and American Express, make sure you have enough credit.
Make sure they are really credit cards and not just debit cards with a credit card company's logo on them. Many locations require a credit card and will not accept a debit card, so they may have limited use on your travel.
Leave all your local store credit cards in a secure location at home; there will be no need to carry them with you.

Why should I contact my credit card companies before I leave?

You want to notify them of your trip. They may delay you if they are unaware you are travelling. The unfamiliar spending patterns might cause them to suspect that the card is being used fraudulently and delay your approvals. They will be able to explain many of the services that they can provide while you are on your trip.

How can my credit card company help prepare me for my trip?

  • You can arrange to pay bills that will come due while you are gone.
  • They will be aware that you will be making charges from another country.
  • They will be able to give you an idea of how acceptable their credit card is in that particular country.
  • They can verify acceptance at certain foreign locations.
  • They'll be able to see if your PIN number will work in the countries you are visiting. They can also issue you another PIN number if your current PIN is unacceptable to the foreign bank's system.
  • They can explain cash advance, ATM, foreign purchase and foreign exchange rate policies and fees.
  • They can explain any services they offer, such as, extra insurance for your rental car, luggage or purchases. Make sure the coverage offered extends outside the United Kingdom and will be valid in all the countries where you'll be travelling. Also, be sure to note any other exceptions.
  • They may need to give you another phone number to call in case you need to reach them. The 800 number listed on the back of your card may not work from foreign locations.
  • You can find out if they charge a currency conversion fee, so you can find the most economical card on which to place your foreign purchases.

Should I use my credit card when I travel?

Yes, using your credit card can be more valuable than using cash, so use it when you can. You'll probably be able to get a better exchange rate than changing money to spend yourself. You'll be in a stronger position; the credit card company can often charge back disputed charges. Many times your credit card will offer an extra guarantee or warranty when you purchase items with your card, but you'll want to read the fine print for exceptions. You won't have to risk your safety by carrying and displaying large amounts of cash. If you lose your card, most credit cards have a low maximum liability limit if you quickly report the card as lost.

Should I use my ATM card while travelling?

Yes, with the ability to draw out small amounts of cash as needed, you can avoid the risk of travelling with large amounts of cash. Using your ATM card can also be a good way to get cash in foreign countries. The ATM will issue money in local currency. You should exchange at the bank's wholesale exchange rate. You may still want to shop around to different banks since some will charge a high usage fee for their ATMs. Although, even high ATM fees may be less than others will charge for currency exchanges. Don't wait until you're out of money to go to an ATM, the machines can run out of money or break down.

How can I make sure I'll be able to use my ATM card while travelling?

  • Call your bank to make sure your PIN number will work in foreign countries.
  • Find out your daily limits and plan ahead. You may need to take out money little by little or ask to have your daily limit increased.
  • Use your ATM card before you go, to make sure it is still good.
  • If you go through many airport security checks, remember that the security scans can demagnetise your cards. You might want to ask for a visual inspection.
  • Don't wait until you're out of money to go to an ATM, the machines can run out of money or break down.

Where can I get quick access to cash while I'm travelling? - Visa's ATM locator web page. This site provides a searchable database that locates ATM's belonging to the Visa, Visa Electron and Plus ATM network worldwide. - MasterCard's ATM locator web page. This site provides a searchable database that locates. ATM's belonging to the MasterCard and Cirrus ATM network worldwide.

Travellers Cheques are another method of payment…

What should I know about using travellers' checks?

If the particular brand of travellers' checks are accepted in the country and area you'll be visiting.
How widely they are accepted within the countries and areas you'll be visiting.
Any fees for purchasing and using the travellers' checks.
The travellers check company's loss, replacement and refund policies.

How can I protect my travellers' checks while travelling?

Take the same precautions you would to protect your cash. Be sure to learn and follow the procedures required if you lose your travellers checks. You'll also need to make copies of your travellers' checks before you go and keep separate from them the following information.

The serial numbers of the travellers checks.
The denomination of the travellers' checks.
The date and location of their purchase.
The phone number to call to report them missing

Leave a copy at home and take a copy with you (keep it separate from the travellers' cheques)

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Article Info

Going Abroad for a Gig Guide
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Going Abroad for a Gig Guide Index
Part 2. Tickets and Accommodation
You really need to make sure of this one
Part 3. Travelling abroad
Air travel, car rentals, public transport and taxis
Part 4. Passports and Visas
Make sure that you have this sorted
Part 5. Travel and Health
Be wise, be safe, take care
Part 6. Money
Keep your hard earned cash safe and know what to use where and how
Part 7. Speak the Language
Learn some basics to get by - could pay dividends and you might make new pals
Part 8. At the Event
Getting in and getting out - where is this gig?

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