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Alternative to Credit Card while in europe

Hi Guys,

Me and my friend plan to travel to europe this August, I was thinking of an alternative to Credit card as form of payment during our travel. BTW I don't have a credit card and never wanted to have one, due to some personal reasons. I don't want either to bring big amount of cash during our trip as we find it unsafe. What other form can you suggest that you think it is universally acceptable in major establishment in europe?

I was thinking of debit cards... but I don't know how they go about it? What are the Pro's and Cons?

Please shed some light on the matter...

Comments

  • If you dont like CC's then traveller's cheque is for you.. It's the best alternative.. Debit Cards are fine too but say you need to withdraw some cash, u'll get charged by it a lot.
  • where to apply for TC?
  • I used my debit card during my 10-week backpacking trip to Europe last year. The withdrawal fee is not a lot but it could add up if you withdraw a lot. So what I did, everytime I needed to withdraw, I always withdraw the maximum amount I can. The best alternative is to use a Visa Travel Money / Cash Passport (if it's available), but unfortunately it wasn't available in the city I live in when I left for Europe. I brought along traveller's cheques with me for emergencies only but I never had the chance to use it.
  • DJQuimbyDJQuimby PEx Rookie ⭐
    American Express Travellers Cheques.
  • Me and my friend plan to travel to europe this August, I was thinking of an alternative to Credit card as form of payment during our travel. BTW I don't have a credit card and never wanted to have one, due to some personal reasons. I don't want either to bring big amount of cash during our trip as we find it unsafe. What other form can you suggest that you think it is universally acceptable in major establishment in europe?

    Happy Travels

    August is not a good month to go to Europe, since the locals will be on holiday too. This means stores will not always be open, prices will be higher and hotels/accomodations are hard to come by. Also, most of the touristy places will be packed to the gills.

    Take cash and do not bother with travellers checks. Most banks and money changers will charge a hefty fee to change travellers checks.

    Most important, use a money belt whenever you travel in Europe. One pickpocket incident will ruin your vacation. In your money belt, place cash, plane tickets, train tickets/pass and your passport/visa. Make sure your money belt is tucked under your clothes. A money belt attached this way means, they have to undress you in order to get you valuables.

    Don't use a fanny pack attached outside your clothing, it is not safe and very easy to get robbed with. Buy a cheap nylon wallet for your day to day use, in it only place your hotel/hostel calling card, 20 euro (for lunch/snacks), underground day pass or carnet of metro tickets.

    The best monetary instrument to bring is an ATM card from the Philippines. I used Metrobank Metrocard in my last journey to Europe (Spring 2004) and it was a joy to use. I call ATM machines in Europe as my "best friend", even the smallest town has an ATM (think Oberamergau in Germany). Just open an account at your nearest Metrobank branch and ask for a Metrocard with Cirrus and Maestro, these cards will open up ATMs anywhere in the world. When you withdraw you get Euros, even if your Philippine account is in Pesos (no need for a Foreign Currency Account). The transaction charge is around US$ 2.00 per withdrawal, so always draw the maximum amount per transaction (i.e. Euro 300) and you will minimize the charge. The other thing about using ATM, is that you get the best exchange rate, better than that quoted by currency changers in Europe.

    Before you go, stock up on at least Euro 100 to 200 in cash, some banks will have them here in the Philippines. This is to make sure that once you land, you will have money for coffee or snacks before your adventure. Also, small change as in coins will be good, since toilets in Europe are not free.

    Maybe you have issues with using a credit card, but it is a must in travelling abroad. Use self restraint and hide it, if you always think of "Charging It".

    You are right, avoid bringing cash. If you do bring dollars, make sure you only carry US$ 100 denominations with the big picture (new issue), European Money changers seem to only like in dealing with this type of note.

    Enjoy your vacation.
  • on the other side of the fence, would you guys suggest that I apply for a credit card here in Europe? Taking into account that I might go home to the Philippines and use it over there...
  • umm... foreign credit cards are starting to be useless around the metro.. everywhere andami ko nang signs na nakikita that says, 'we only accept local creditcards'

    i guess it's the bank charges that kills them or something.
  • whow!! Thanks a lot for the Info. I paln to travel in Germany two years from now and this is a very valuable information. I highly appreciate this!!
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