Banking (and no, that isn’t Cockney Rhyming Slang)

19 Mar

Steve is off work today, so this morning we had an appointment at the bank.  For anyone who’s interested, here’s how we’ve decided to deal with banking while we travel.

We both currently bank with First Direct which provides an excellent service.  Steve does his banking over the phone and I do mine online.  Steve is going to start doing his online soon, which will obviously make it easier to deal with when we’re away.

Now, when you are taking money out of cashpoints abroad, almost every bank in the world charges extortionate charges.  But not Nationwide.  So this morning we opened a joint current account with Nationwide, which will be our day to day account when travelling.  We will now start transferring our savings and avoid the temptation to spend it.

When we are travelling, we will transfer money from First Direct to Nationwide in smallish amounts over the internet on a regular basis.  This means that if our Nationwide cards get stolen, most of our money will be safe, and importantly, still accessible via our First Direct cards.  The thought of being stuck in Luang Prabang without the ability to access any money for even a day, is not a happy one.

Another reason to have two accounts, is that we hear many tales of cards being stopped randomly, or not working well in some countries.  More cards means more options.   We will keep our First Direct cards in a safe place (if I told you where, I’d have to kill you) and only use them in emergencies.  One thing we will need to do is regularly remind both banks that we are travelling, at least every time we go to a new country.  Otherwise they will consider our behaviour suspicious and stop our cards every three weeks, which would be very tiresome indeed.

If you have read to the bottom of this post and are still awake, congratulations!  You are the proud winner of a Nationwide spot the difference magazine and crayon set.  Leave a comment and I’ll put it in the post.


8 Responses to “Banking (and no, that isn’t Cockney Rhyming Slang)”

  1. TheMadHouse 19/03/2010 at 4:30 pm #

    That was one of the reasons we had Nationwide Cards!!

  2. Brit In Bosnia 19/03/2010 at 6:44 pm #

    I didn’t know that about Nationwide, just found that they had annoying adverts.

    I bank with Smile (part of the cooperative bank) and have found them to be great whilst we have been abroad. They are very helpful, good customer service and don’t blink an eye over us having to withdraw our entire months spending from several dodgy Bosnian cash machines in 2 days at the end of each month (we did tell them this was likely, they have taken it in their stride). When are you actually off again?

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 20/03/2010 at 11:57 am #

      Let’s hope Nationwide do as they say. We’re not off until 1st November, but I’m trying really hard to cross things off to do list now as I know time will fly.

  3. Very Bored in Catalunya 19/03/2010 at 7:15 pm #

    We quite often get our English credit cards stopped if we make a few successive payments on them over here, which is damn annoying but I can see why they do it. Yours sounds like a great plan.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 20/03/2010 at 11:43 am #

      I forsee that this will become a very annoying problem.

  4. Vic 19/03/2010 at 7:49 pm #

    We’ve had trouble before with cards being stopped abroad even after we’d informed the bank of our exact holiday dates and where we’d be.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 20/03/2010 at 11:55 am #

      Expect future blog posts on this issue, when we’re trying to hire a car in the Australian Outback and none of our cards work…

  5. Janet 20/03/2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Thanks so much for my very thoughtful, nifty Secret Post gift!!

    I’ve written a short post on

    Enjoy YOUR adventure!!!

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