'I GOT 99 PROBLEMS BUT THE EXCHANGE RATE AIN'T ONE'
We don’t talk about money much when it comes to travel. The best travellers are usually the free spirit types that don’t care that much about banking and credit cards, but we know not everyone is like that. At Zebee, we always aim to bring our crew the best practical advice gained from our years of travel, life and experience. So, we thought we would jot down some top finance tips to help with your travels.
THE NO FEES ABROAD CARD
MBNA recently launched a no fees abroad credit card with MasterCard, after noticing the trend — and realising they need a new offering after their split with Virgin Atlantic. But of course, we have FinTech game changers: Revolut and Monzo still leading the way. No fees abroad, and great real-time exchange rates on your spend, you really can’t go wrong. '
Monzo’s great new feature of rounding up your spend and putting the change in a savings ‘pot’ is our new favourite way of putting the cash away for the next trip. If you haven’t applied for your card yet — do it now, you won’t regret it — though you will get push notifications telling you how much you’ve spent on booze…
Oh and there are great new entrants like WeSwap, who are definitely worth keeping an eye out for; we are genuinely excited about the future of this space.
REWARDS POINTS ARE AWESOME
American Express is still the main player in this field, but the logic is ultimately to make your everyday spending help pay for your holidays. This is common practice for many working in industries with a lot of expenses, but we want to bring it to the people! In the U.K the American Express British Airways card is our office favourite. Great point rewards, good reward flight offerings and companion vouchers meaning 2–4–1 flights!
You can buy points to top up the balance and gain bonus points for referrals, and if that hasn’t convinced you, they even have a retail offering to help get even more extra points on your ASOS orders and Christmas presents. Whether you use your cards for big purchases or small every day spends, we believe that after a few months that a return flight could be easily covered by the points gained.
ALWAYS PURCHASE IN LOCAL CURRENCY
When using your card at a chip and pin in Europe or abroad, and the cashier asks if you would like to pay in pounds or local currency — always go for the latter option.
What most people don’t know is that when you pay in sterling, the overseas store/bank is doing the conversion, and rates are terrible — so they end up taking a huge cut for themselves. So, always play it safe and pay locally, even if you’re unsure exactly what the local currency converts into. This is the same at the ATM too!
NEED TO SEND MONEY ABROAD QUICKLY AND SAFELY? USE TRANSFERWISE
Getting stung by extortionate fees when sending money abroad is never pleasant. Thankfully, Transferwise is the answer we’ve all been waiting for. This remarkably simple-to-use company makes sending money abroad up to 8x cheaper than using your regular high street bank.
Following in trend with other FinTech startups, the best thing about Tranferwise is the simplicity of use. All fees are super transparent so don’t worry about additional charges or markups. 25% of all European transactions are delivered within seconds, but some further afield transaction take up to two days. Comparing this to the usual 3–7 days transaction time of most high-street banks, highlights Transferwise as the clear winner!
WE HOPE THIS MINI-MONEY GUIDE CAN HELP MAKE THAT SPECIAL TRIP A LITTLE MORE ACHIEVABLE! OH AND, FYI NONE OF THE ABOVE COMPANIES HAVE PAID US TO TALK ABOUT THEM — WE JUST WANT TO GIVE OUR ZEBEE FAM THE BEST PRACTICAL ADVICE IN TRAVEL.