To have no bank transaction fees or charges on holiday
, you must travel within the Euro zone: thirteen countries since Slovenia
joined the new currency club on the 1st January 2007. These destinations - which offer security and proximity - allow you to leave for the sun (Greece and its islands
), with everybody (Spain
), romantic holidays (Italy
), the roads of Port (Portugal
), hikes (Germany
), in a caravan (Ireland
), weekends (shopping in Belgium
, museums in Holland
, discovering Luxembourg
as a cultural destination of the year 2007), not forgetting France
, through which we pass, but hardly ever stay, according to how much tourists have spent.
In the Euro zone
In the Euro zone, pay as many of your travel expenses as possible by bank card: hotel
, meals in restaurants, shopping in big stores. When you withdraw cash from a machine: the charges depend on the banks. Call your bank before departure to know what to expect. Generally, if there are any charges, they will be around 0.80 pound every time you withdraw.
Outside the Euro zone, but inside the European Union
Outside the Euro zone, but inside the European Union (that is to say the 14 countries that complete the EU-27), there will be charges for any purchase or withdrawal by card (in machine or at the counter). The commission on the transaction is around 2%. For a withdrawal, the commission is higher (around 2.5%) and the added fixed charge (one or more pounds according to the sum withdrawn). It is even more expensive at bank counters, where the fixed charges have doubled. According to the bank, there can be partnerships where the fixed charges are free (but not the commission). In the rest of the worldAnd finally in the rest of the world, whatever the operation may be (transaction or withdrawal), one is subject to the charges and fees (unless the bank is exceptionally generous). Depending on the bank, the commissions and fixed charges are identical to the zone outside the Euro or slightly higher (not over an average 4% commission and 5% fixed fee). In this situation, it is also more expensive to go to the counter than to the cash machine. Make sure before you leave that you know your maximum withdrawal capacity, and - different thing - your weekly allowance payable by bank card.
The major international cards
The most important network across the world for international cards is Visa. Then comes Eurocard/Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club. An international card is required for all bank operations (payment or withrawal) in the Euro zone, the European Union and the rest of the world.