With the sun shining without interruption across much of Europe, many of our holiday plans are now in full swing.
Being a banking service, we’re probably not the best go-to source for general travel advice, at least in terms of recommending destinations (although we’re confident enough in extolling the virtues of wearing lots of sunscreen).
Wherever you choose to holiday this year however, we’re happy to offer you a few tips on how to use your card while travelling abroad.
First off, we recommend paying in the local currency whenever possible. Holidaymakers collectively and unknowingly amass millions of pounds in unnecessary fees when paying by card due to something called ‘dynamic currency conversion’ (DCC). These are alternative exchange rates offered by firms handling transactions in anything other than the local currency.
In real terms, a round of drinks at a beach bar could be costing you up to 18% more. This applies to both card payments and ATM withdrawals.
Choosing to pay in the local currency means your home bank handles the currency conversion - which means it will be far more closely aligned to the ‘true’ currency conversion rate, therefore making it far cheaper in most cases. This is especially true when banking with Monese, where you access our wholesale currency exchange rate and low fees.
Another good idea, specific to the use of your Monese card, is to keep your card locked whenever you’re not using it. Locking your card is an easy-to-use security feature accessible within the Monese app. One thing to remember, however, is that you will need data connectivity on your phone in order to unlock. With this in mind, it’s also a good idea to keep your phone charged.
Locking your card is also the first thing you should do if you misplace your card. That way, if someone tries to illicitly use it, they won’t be able to complete any transactions and the app will immediately let you know about any unsuccessful attempts.
While it’s generally a good recommendation to travel light financially, you may also want to consider packing another card. As a Monese user, we can quickly provide you with the means to do this. By opening a free secondary Euro IBAN account (or UK current account if you already have the Euro IBAN account) you can order a Euro card as back-up, and you’ll be able to transfer funds to it from your primarily Monese account in-app, instantly.
When you’re having a good time abroad, money concerns should be the least of your worries. That’s why it’s a good idea to do a little forward planning and have a few contingencies in place - to mitigate risk and unnecessary over-spending. You’ll always be able to check the Monese app which provides an overview about any fees you’ve incurred on each transaction.
And remember, you can always see a full outline of our rates and charges relating to each of our three pricing tiers here. Now go enjoy your well-earned travel break...
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Next up in our travel series – how to make the most of your money once you’re on the road