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What credit cards are best?

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Joined: Jun 04
Points: 4
Posts: 1

Posted: 2004-06-17 22:00:00   

I'm looking to get a credit card that i can use at home, but i want one that i can use abroad. I know visa and mastercard are good, but some cards i've heard have good incentives like cheap currency conversion and such like for travellers.

Wondered if anyone knew of any good companies, Cheers Guys!

'He who laughs last... thinks the slowest!'

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Joined: Jul 04
Points: 251
Posts: 21

Posted: 2004-07-27 19:59:00   

Citibank Visa is tops !

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Joined: Aug 04
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Posts: 451

Posted: 2004-11-06 11:28:00   


i think citibank and master card are good


at bangalore /back 2 globo after a long

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Posted: 2004-11-06 13:39:00   


The only ones you should consider are Visa or Mastercard. The other ones are not that widely used.

Use the credit card for making purchases.

Use your bank ATM card for withdrawing money.

Or bring a bunch of traveler's checks if you bank with a small credit union that may not have a big ATM network.


"Linking you to the world of Italy"

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Joined: Jun 04
Points: 150
Posts: 5

Posted: 2004-11-11 14:44:00   

There are two major systems - Cirrus and Maestro which provide the backbone for ATM Cash withdrawls. The foreign exchange rate is determined by the bank which has issued your credit/ATM card and varies from day to day. All banks add a conversion fee these days to the benchmark foreign exchange rate so you need to check this out. Some banks may be only 0.7% but up to 1.5 % is common. Most banks also charge a foreign withdrawl fee per transaction which seems to be about €/US$ 3-4. This can get expensive if you only take out a $100 here and there. So you get double whacked .. a fee and and a markup on the exchange rate. So take out enough cash to get by for a week or so or as much cash as you can afford to have pick pocketed.

But just wait , there's more .. for credit card cash advances, the transaction fee can be higher again and in addition you will be paying interest on the cash advance from day one. This can inflict pain as you may get charged interest on all your purchases from day one as well unless you pay the total bill for the month PLUS the cash advances from the statement date to payment date. In short .. not a good idea to mix them credit card purchases with CC cash advances - use the ATM for savings account cash withdrawls.

Hence there is no simple answer to which is best. However, I will add that Visa seems to be the biggest worldwide although Mastercard probably has an edge in Europe. For practical purposes there is not much between these cards.

Amex and Diners aren't good cards for tourists .. really for business travelers as they are accepted in far fewer businesses (apart from the US).

Amex (dont know about diners) also convert using the US $ so the exchange rate always seems to be much worse than with Visa. Having used both on the same day for similar amounts the Amex gave a 3-4% worse exchnage rate which I attribute to € to US$ to AU$. Not a probem if you are a US client.

So talk to the banks you deal with and check out there fee structures and try to limit the number of cash advances you make whlist OS .. of course you must also understand that the credit card price can often be higher than a cash price...

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Posted: 2004-11-16 08:23:00   

Hi Adam,

VISA and Mastercard are the most common ones, AMEX is in some places hopeless, I have a business AMEX card, but in Hong Kong I don’t know of any ATM machine that accepts an AMEX card.

Go for a VISA card, these are accepted everywhere.

Like the previous poster said, the conversion rate of the AMEX card is worse then of the VISA card. I can second that, I have seen the same.

And also like the previous poster said, most banks charge costs for withdrawn money out of an ATM machine (a certain procentage of the amount with a certain minimum cost), so read carefully all the ins and outs. There is a big difference between the banks.

Here in Belgium there is a bank (Argenta) who issues an free VISA card (no annual fees) and also ATM withdrawn of money in Belgium and ATM withdrawn in the rest of the world is free of charge (no extra costs and a very good exchange rate).

Check the banks for their conditions and go for a VISA card.



We don`t regret the things we did, but the ones we didn`t do.

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