Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Nationwide backtracks on transaction charges in Europe from 1st November

In April 2009 I covered the news that Nationwide had started charging for overseas card transactions, but fortunately had still kept European cash withdrawals and debit card payments as fee free - which I was delighted about as we'd had occasion to use French cash dispensers when we didn't have enough Euro's in our French bank account.

Well I am really upset to learn the news reported on MoneySavingExpert that Nationwide has killed this and will start charging for all overseas transactions from November 1st this year.

Nationwide will introduce a new 2% payment handling "loading" fee for European currency and it will introduce a £1 fee per cash withdrawal.

Currently there is no loading fee and there is no cash withdrawal fee so it's a double whammy if you go and get €100 out of the cash machine.

The society tries to sweeten the deal by providing free European travel insurance if you pay in at least £750 per month, which is a nice-to-have benefit but is only worth £50 to £100 for a typical family. Splash the plastic a lot and you could be worse off.

MSE advises looking at their analysis of cheap credit cards for foreign spending (which includes Nationwide's credit card which isn't going to introduce these fees) and switching to another card provider. Think I'll be taking this advice.



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