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Using British visa debit/credit cards

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11 posts
9 reviews
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Using British visa debit/credit cards

We are going to Banff in February next year and would like to use our visa debit and credit cards to withdraw cash from an atm, as and when required, instead of carrying around wads of cash. I just wondered whether these will be accepted in Canadian bank atms or is it better to take cash/travellers cheques?

Cheers

Rob

Calgary, Canada
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19,699 posts
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1. Re: Using British visa debit/credit cards

Can't answer your question when you give no clue which credit/debit cards you're referring to, but the vast majority of UK cards will work just fine in Canada.

You need to call your bank and ask them directly. Also, find out what they charge for foreign transactions... some UK cards are excellent, others will nail you with hefty service fees.

Have fun.

Cheers,

Terry

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11 posts
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2. Re: Using British visa debit/credit cards

Hi Terry,

Thanks for your prompt reponse, we bank with HSBC bank and Nationwide building society.

Regards

Rob

Calgary, Canada
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19,699 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Using British visa debit/credit cards

Both those institution's cards will be fine in Canada.

Nationwide has an interesting system... For every £5 you spend on purchases in sterling you earn the right to spend £1 on purchases in a non sterling currency without being charged commission. For non sterling currency purchases above this allowance they nail you with a 2% commission fee.

HSBC's foreign fees vary depending on which credit/debit card you're using... the debit can be up to £3 per withdrawal.

Again, talk to your banks directly so there's no surprises.

Have fun.

Cheers,

Terry

Penticton, Canada
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15,779 posts
26 reviews
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4. Re: Using British visa debit/credit cards

and,

call your bank to tell them that you will be away. Otherwise they may stop payments because of unusual activity on the card.

Chip and Pin cards have been adopted in Canada and there a lots of HSBC branches with ATM. It is usually cheaper to get cash from the bank issuing the card.

Toronto, Canada
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6,858 posts
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5. Re: Using British visa debit/credit cards

Credit cards are great for paying for purchases, hotels, etc. But don't use a _credit_ card to withdraw cash from an ATM (except in an emergency) -- that's a "cash advance" and, unless UK credit cards work differently than North American cards, you pay the highest rate of interest on that amount starting the moment you withdraw it.

Very few people use traveller's cheques any more.

Vancouver, Canada
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28,526 posts
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6. Re: Using British visa debit/credit cards

Yes - where the US hasn't converted to chip and pin yet, Canada has so using European cards shouldn't be a problem.

Nottingham
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59 posts
42 reviews
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7. Re: Using British visa debit/credit cards

It might be worth you having a look at the Halifax Clarity card Rob - they don't charge foreign exchange fees on transactions or cash withdrawals (although they do still charge interest on cash withdrawals like all the banks) We've already set one up for our trip to Canada next summer and it was very easy to do.

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8. Re: Using British visa debit/credit cards

Hi All,

Thanks for the good advice, I'm going to notify the banks that I'm planning to use my cards on our trip to Canada and look into the halifax clarity card.

Cheers

Rob

Calgary, Canada
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19,699 posts
2 reviews
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9. Re: Using British visa debit/credit cards

I believe that Post Office is another of the very few cards that don't charge for foreign transactions as well....

Have fun.

Cheers,

Terry

Camborne, United...
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40 posts
4 reviews
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10. Re: Using British visa debit/credit cards

We were in Lake Louise, Jasper and Banff this summer and were surprised how many ATMs didn't accept Visa (Barclays) debit cards as we prefer not to carry alot of currency with us and just get it as and when we need it. So when we found one that did we would make use of it. No problem at all using it for chip and pin purchases in restaurants, stores and fuel stations.