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Nationwide Credit card


Chancer

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Some months ago I was in my NW branch in the UK and they mentioned that they could see from their records that most of my spending was in France and could they interest me in the NW credit card as it would have several advantages for me.

What they were offering IIRC was 6 months interest free credit on purchases and no transaction charges for foreign use anywhere in the world and thereafter only charges for outside of the Euro zone excepting cash withdrawals.

I signed up for one and quickly had it up to its limit, I increased the limit and since then have been paying some off each month to allow me to continue spending without foreign transaction charges.

I am not sure how long I have had the card, this months statement shows no interest charges but they have started charging me foreign exchange charges, I am also a bit confused as the statement shows that I have gained a bonus of few hundred quid of foreign purchases free of charges, I had understood that as there were no charges within the Eurozone I would only benefit from the bonus were I to travel and spend outside of Europe.

Can anyone enlighten me please?

Have I misunderstood the deal or has their policy changed? I thought that the debit card attracted exchange charges but the credit card din not within Europe.

Finally if I have misunderstood and/or been misinformed then is there any benefit in my using the credit card instead of the debit card?

In any case I have avoided the charges for a few months at least [:)]

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After your 6-month deal, all foreign purchases (incl € zone) attract a 2% fee. However, for every £5 you spend in sterling, you can make £1-worth of foreign purchases comission-free.

The debit card has a 2% commission fee on all foreign transactions, including € zone.

Regards

Pickles

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I think your problem is that as a new customer you do not benefit from the same T&C's as those who had the card prior to Feb. 2011

Compare them here: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money#checker

Compare all credit and debit cards here: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/overseas-card-charges

Being a long term Nationwide credit card holder, and depending on the exchange rate of course, it's my preferred spending medium. Otherwise it's my CA card.

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Exactly AnOther, I incur no charges from Nationwide for credit card transactions provided of course I pay off the due amout each month, which I have set up a direct debit so to do. This was obviously a good alternative when the debit card charges changed. Likewise when I need cash I draw from CA.

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[quote user="Pickles"]After your 6-month deal, all foreign purchases (incl € zone) attract a 2% fee. However, for every £5 you spend in sterling, you can make £1-worth of foreign purchases comission-free.

The debit card has a 2% commission fee on all foreign transactions, including € zone.

Regards
Pickles
[/quote]

Yes, it's just as Pickles has explained.  I wanted to tell you all this but, by the time I have thought about how best to express that, Pickles has come along and done it in his inimitable fashion.

If I had a new card like you have, Chance, I don't think I'd use it now that the 6 months is up.  Well, I might use it for sterling purchases to build up the fee-free euro amount but that will be about it.

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Hi, I agree with AnOther.  I have a Halifax Clarity credit card, which is almost as good as the old Nationwide debit card used to be.  I pay no usage or annual fees and get market exchange rates on all foreign purchases and cash withdrawals.  There are no fees for ATM transactions, all I pay is interest (at 12.9% AER) until I pay off the balance.  As soon as I withdraw cash and it is converted into sterling in my card account, I do an online transfer from my current account and bingo, virtually no interest.  Last time I looked there wasn't anything better than this, but Sainsbury were doing a gold credit card which was free of all fees, exchange charges and even interest on foreign ATM transactions.  I didn't go for it because there was a £5 per month fee for the card, and although it came with free family travel insurance, it wasn't something I needed.  If you still have a legitimate UK address it might be worth going for one of these other UK cards instead of the Nationwide CC.     
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Thanks for all the replies, I doubt that I was misinformed its just at the back of my mind I thought that Nw credit card users were not affected by the new charges, which seems to be the case but for new customers like me, how sneaky of them!

Looks like I will have to consider other alternatives, the halifax sounds good, are there any others?

As for being a UK resident, no problem with that, I can be either a Uk or French resident at the drop of a hat according to the circumstances or who is asking the questions [;-)]

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Interesting, does anyone use the Santander card?

I have whats remains of my savings in a Santander account at the moment, at the time it was the one paying the most interest, if you can use the word most to describe 2/10ths of 4/10ths of  **** all.

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[quote user="Daft Doctor"] I have a Halifax Clarity credit card, which is almost as good as the old Nationwide debit card used to be.  I pay no usage or annual fees and get market exchange rates on all foreign purchases and cash withdrawals.  There are no fees for ATM transactions, all I pay is interest (at 12.9% AER) until I pay off the balance.  [/quote]

Ditto...exactly the same reason I got one.

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[quote user="Anton Redman"]Can you avoid the interest charges if you prepay in the cash you are going to draw abroad ?[/quote]

I can see them making a small fortune out of transaction charges! Euros to sterling; sterling to euros.

I use a CaxtonFX card which I preload. But it has to be preloaded with amounts not less than the equivalent of €150 and at their exchange rate. However, I am not charged to withdrawing cash at hole-in-the-wall machines.  [8-)]

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Hi, the small print (which I think applies to all credit cards) says that you are not supposed to operate with a positive balance and they will pay it back to you.  Having said that, I once paid my balance off then forgot to contact Halifax to cancel the following direct debit payment, thus accumulating a £900+ positive balance.  I had to contact them and ask for it to be returned, not the other way round, so I think you could probably preload and avoid interest informally like that.     
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That hasn't been my experience, doc.

Just to give one instance that stands out in my mind, I put a couple of thousand into my credit card before I went to Spain "in case" and also so that OH could have excess to funds for purchases (he is a co-user of my card).

Also, I sometimes pay in extra if it's been a "light" month so that I could balance out months when the use is heavier, eg before Christmas, etc.

Never had any problem with the card being in negative balance. 

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As I said, I think you could very well informally preload without problems, I was just pointing out that the small print implies you shouldn't. I am quite sure Halifax or whoever are more than happy to have a positive balance sitting in a few credit card accounts, and as Anton said, if you settle by cheque, are they really gonna send you a cheque back?

My belief is that the Halifax card charges much less interest on cash withdrawals than the Santander Zero, otherwise their basic principles are the same. Before we move out to France permanently I may well open a Halifax Rewards current account, then they'll stick £5 per month in for every £300 spent per month on the card. Would also mean settling balances quicker (if I don't start preloading instead).
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Re preloading:

About 3 years back I accidentally transferred a moderate sum (£2k if I recall correctly) from my LloydsTSB account to my Nationwide credit card instead of my Flex account. I had no outstanding balance on the credit card so effectively preloaded it with £2k.

Several phone calls to Nationwide resulted in as many different pieces of advice as to how to recover the situation. These ranged from 'can't be done, you can only spend it' to 'we can send you a cheque but it will take 6 weeks' and 'draw it out from ATMs as cash'. That one generated it's own diverse opinions with one person saying I wouldn't be charged because I was drawing on a credit balance and another that I would regardless so on the promise that they would repay any charges which were levied I was on the point of going and making a test withdrawal when I got yet another person on the phone who straight away told me "no problem sir I can sort that out for you right now", and did !

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