The dynamics of spending abroad are very different to the UK. I was doing a quick interview for the Guardian today on the cheapest way to pay when overseas, and ended up mentioning the fact I have an overseas wallet…
As is self-evident, this is a specific wallet I only use when I’m abroad; the rest of the year it sits around waiting for holidays. Am I alone in this?
The key components of the wallet:
- My Nationwide credit card. While no longer the very cheapest way to spend abroad as it’s been overtaken by the Abbey Zero, it’s still very good and not quite worth trading in for the new one (see Cheapest Way To Spend Abroad.
The nature of specialist overseas card is they have good terms abroad, but not so good in the UK. Hence why its perfect to be kept in an overseas wallet – as I only use it when away. you simply never use it here. Provided you trip abroad a couple of times a year so there’s no dormant fee on any its fine.
Update May 2011: Many people think Nationwide has dropped its cheap overseas spending rates – yet that’s only for its debit card, its credit card terms have got worse too – but if you already have a card (its different for new applicants) its still load free in Europe (1% outside) – see the guide link above for more info.
- MY EHIC card. This is the card which entitles you to reciprocal health care when in any EU country and Switzerland. See Cheap Travel Insurance.
- Contact details for my travel insurance. I’ve an annual travel policy, and keep the basic details and contact number in the wallet.
- Euros and Dollars. Most times I need to travel its either to Europe or the US. Thus rather than changing what few notes (normally less than £50 equivalent worth) I have back at the end of a trip and take a massive hit on rate and fee… I simply keep them for use next time.
- No loyalty cards. Most loyalty cards can’t be used overseas, so for once you get to carry a nice light wallet…
If you have one, what do you keep in yours?