Caxton fx card enquiry

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Tuesday 15 September 2015 5.40pm
Has anyone in SE1 used a Caxton fx currency card in Europe recently?
Wanting to find out more about them, and if the deal is as good as it looks on the publicity.
Any hidden catches?
Many thanks
Tuesday 15 September 2015 5.47pm
We tried one about 18 months ago. When it works it works well, but had issues with loading the card on a couple of occasions. Didn't use it extensively as cash is king, but worked well in terms of transactions.

Why not just take cash? You can get excellent exchange rates at Best Foreign Exchange (Strand, Embankment, etc), as long as you reserve it beforehand. If you can be bothered to argue the toss, the bureau de change in Tesco will also match their rates.
Tuesday 15 September 2015 6.26pm
Gavin Smith wrote:
Why not just take cash? You can get excellent exchange rates at Best Foreign Exchange (Strand, Embankment, etc), as long as you reserve it beforehand.

I tend to agree with Gavin, all card solutions have some drawbacks even if it's only that not everyone accepts card payments. I've used BFE a few times and also ICE at Waterloo Station (same principle, you print off a "voucher" beforehand from their web site to get preferential rates). MoneySavingExpert can guide you to the best deals for the specific currency you need.

The only real drawback to cash I can see is it's nickability, which can be a worry if you don't have the use of a safe at your destination.
Zoe
Tuesday 15 September 2015 6.55pm
I have used a Caxton card and found it useful, as I think it is good to have a balance of cash and card. It also comes in useful at places like petrol stations, which I have found can often be card only out of hours. I have never had an issues using it.

I used a money exchange on borough high street, which had a great rate but felt rather dodgy when I was in there! Can't recall which chain it was part of. The ICE at Waterloo is great and has a really wide range of currencies.
Tuesday 15 September 2015 6.58pm
Ace FX at London Bridge have good rates.

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Tuesday 15 September 2015 10.06pm
I used one for a few years but stopped using it in favour of a Metro Bank current account. The Metro Bank account has a mastercard debit card which you can use in Europe with no additional fees.

Compared to Caxton it's better because:

1. You pay a better rate (the Mastercard FX rate compared to Caxton's own rate)
2. There are fewer limits (e.g. Caxton only allows a certain number of ATM transactions per day)
3. You are free to move money (in GBP) into and out of the account. With a Caxton, when you load it your money is converted to EUR and it's costly to get it back as GBP. With Metro Bank I just transfer some money from my real current account before going away, and transfer back whatever's left when we get home (usually not that much once we've visited the duty free).

I prefer not to carry a large amount of cash on trips abroad - in the UK I barely have over 30 in my wallet so try to stick to the same principals when on holiday.
Wednesday 16 September 2015 8.49am
Thank you so much for all your helpful comments.

Next question. Has anyone come across DCC, or Dynamic Currency Conversion?
Wednesday 16 September 2015 9.17am
DCC is basically making a purchase in a foreign country and having the cost converted into your home currency at the point of sale. This allows you to see the exact amount your card will be charged in your home currency, but the exchange rate is usually less favorable than through your credit card company. I make it a rule to always say no, when asked if I want to pay in Sterling. Best to always go for payment in the local currency. Hope that helps.
Wednesday 16 September 2015 9.29am
I've just started using the Travelex Supercard for foreign transactions.

It's a sort of hybrid solution that operates as a card, but links to your bank account. It has so far given me very good exchange rates and zero fees. The bit I like is that the companion app shows each transaction and the sterling amount charged almost instantly.
Wednesday 16 September 2015 5.19pm
Another question.
How much currency in euros can you take out of the country into Europe. Is there a limit?
I too prefer not to carry lots of cash around, but the dodgy DCC is putting me off. I have been reading about it on the web, and it seems it is a big rip off and should be called DRCC, or Daylight Robbery Card Charge.
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