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Which Bank?

Old 18th Apr 2013, 16:22
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Question Which Bank?

Does anyone have any recommendations as to which bank they use for a long haul pilot, like myself, who constantly has the debit card declined overseas, or has to call so the bank can check that it's really me who was in LAX, then DXB, then SIN etc., etc.? I've tried Lloyds TSB & they were diabolical; I'm now with HSBC & they are marginally better. Also, any ideas who gives the best rates when traveling overseas on the expense of foreign purchases & ATM fees/commission?

Thanks,
X-C
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Old 18th Apr 2013, 16:33
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Based in what country?

My main account is in UK with NatWest Offshore (Jersey) and for the last few years I've had, compared to other people I know who travel a lot, relatively few transactions declined on my cards. My Visa debit card is linked directly to my Jersey account, and the Mastercard credit card is a normal mainland one but is paid from my Jersey account.

In the last few years they've actually picked up more fraudulent transactions than they have declined real ones, although I did have a silly incident with them in the summer where they suspected a regular payment of 15 (FFS!) to a UK cellphone provider to be fraudulent and then blocked my account - according to them a technical error.

I gave up trying to use my SA credit card outside SA long ago as it was declined regularly and frequently. I also have a EUR credit card linked to a EUR account but have never tried to use it outside the Eurozone, and have never had a problem using it within the Eurozone.

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Old 19th Apr 2013, 11:13
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I've never had a problem with First Direct, and they're the easiest bank to access/deal with that I've ever come across.
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 11:31
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I have heard many good things about First Direct but they wouldn't open an account for me because, according to them, I don't exist as I'm not on the Electoral Register in the UK, and although I have property in the UK I don't have utility bills because I don't live there.
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 14:18
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Both of the bank debit cards I use for company purposes have been refused from time to time for "security" reasons, sometimes at the hotel checkout, taxi waiting, flight to catch etc etc. That's Natwest and RBS. Same bank, really.

Notifying them of a trip makes no difference.

Both local bank manager's said "Nothing we can do, sorry, it's those people in 'Security' and we're not allowed to talk to them. Why are you using such bad language?"

Neither of my two credit cards, (Mastercard; LLoyds and Virgin) has ever had this problem. So I usually use them and transfer the funds from the bank accounts.

FWIW. Debit cards seem to be more vulnerable to refusal, based on a sample of 4 cards!

Mind you, as mentioned on another thread, RBS willingly pay large sums from my account to any obvious fraudster who comes in to a branch and asks for it waving an equally obvious fake cheque printed on copy paper, or submits a DD demand using my account number and sort code ONLY. Pity the 'security' people can't get on top of that one, isn't it?.
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 15:10
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Thanks for the feedback, Folks; it looks like they are all pretty much the same. If I use my UK MBNA credit card then I'm charged 2.99% overseas transaction fee, as well as a pretty poor exchange rate. The banks also charge 2.99% but at least their exchange rate is slightly better.

The whole fraud thing is really geared up in their favor & I lost count of the amount of times that I was left high & dry with Lloyds TSB offshore, it was beyond a joke. I understand that they need to protect themselves but their debit card was virtually unusable.
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 13:03
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Sainsburys Gold credit card. no overseas fees. cash withdrawals with no fees abroad and in uk. 5pm fee, inc travel insurance. just make sure you pay in full every month.
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 14:40
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Cheers deltahotel thank you for the heads up.
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 15:08
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No worries. I use it in UK, all over Europe (Eurozone and non), USA, Nigeria, Oz, HK, NZ with no probs at all. The exchange rate for overseas transactions always seem pretty good.
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 15:18
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............ there's me getting all excited thinking maybe this Sainsbury's Gold Credit Card is an answer to my problems.

Sainsbury's Bank Sainsbury's Gold Credit Card
Full product details for the Sainsbury's Bank Sainsbury's Gold Credit Card, including card details, application criteria, introductory rates, standard rates, benefits, fees & charges and business credit cards.
This product is no longer available...
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Old 21st Apr 2013, 17:00
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Bugger! Hope they renew mine next year!
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