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Travelling without a credit card

Ewan

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  • Added on: August 15th, 2007
Hi,

I will be travelling all around SE Asia & India in a few months. Countries on the list are Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and India. I cant get a credit card currently. Will I be ok with just a Visa debit, or would it be smart to have a Cirrus/Mastercard debit aswell? (this would mean opening another current account) What about travellers checks, I read they are less used now, and sometimes a bit of a hassle?

Irishpride

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  • Added on: August 15th, 2007
Hi Ewan,

I would strongly Recommend you get a credit card before travelling, you never know what type of emergency might pop up. I work in the travel industry and advise my clients against using travellers cheques, they are just a hassle in my experience, and banks will charge you a percentage in commission. I travel quite a bit, and never leave without making sure i have space on my Credit Card.

just my 2 cents, hope that helps.

I'll be doing alot of the same countries you are, but i leave in 8 days! can't wait!

Safe Travels Cool

disaster

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  • Added on: August 15th, 2007
So here's an advice from another travel agent: I've traveled through Asia and other continents without credit cards, without debit cards and without traveler's cheques having only a cash on me, which is very stupid and which I don't recommend. You'll be fine having your debit card with you, especially visa debit. As for the traveler's cheques you can exchange them everywhere in Asia even though less and less people use it, and yes you will be charged percentage for exchange. Check which traveler's cheques will be the best for those countries, sometimes ones are more recognised then onthers.
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elAdi

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  • Added on: August 15th, 2007
While I usually do carry two credit cards (one master and one visa), they are just for emergencies. On the last trip (Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore), I didn't use the cards once. These days your normal bank card (cirrus network?) will work in most of the places (I know, that they also work on the Philippines and I made even better experiences there with the bank card than the credit cards). If you have such a card, use this one - it'll be cheaper than credit cards (credit cards are not 'meant' for cash withdraws - that's why you are charged a big fee if you do).
So, if you have a cirrus network card, you should have no trouble. Just to be on the save side: get enough cash out in the big cities where you can be sure to find a suitable ATM. Always have 100 us$ in cash stashed away somewhere - in case you need an emergency trip to the next ATM, which happens to be two over-night buses away. Wink
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Ewan

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  • Added on: August 15th, 2007
What about booking flights on the road? I heard lots only accept credit card? Is that correct or incorrect. Ill need to buy atleast 3 flight tickets while im out there.

ickis

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  • Added on: August 15th, 2007
What about hotels? I know basically all hotels (and all hostels I've stayed at) around here demand a credit card before you can check in (for a deposit, apparently). The last one I stayed at (in Adelaide) wouldn't accept my cc because it was maxed and they couldn't charge anything to it (they charge a small amount to check it's legit, then refund it if all is okay). They also wouldn't accept cash as a deposit... luckily a work colleague was staying in the same place and they let me check in using his card.

So yeah, travelling in aus without a cc has to be a total pain in the butt, is it like that elsewhere?

I'm interested because I want to get rid of my current card (stupid fees) but I have no income as of next week so I can't replace it... so I don't know whether to keep it or not :/

whalewatcher

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  • Added on: August 16th, 2007
Don't get rid of the card, just use it less.

I was in a position where I couldn't book a hotel for a conference in the States because I didn't have a CC, and my then debit card didn't work abroad. It's a hassle having to ask colleagues for favours.

I still don't have a credit card, but I'm using my Visa debit card everywhere and it's just as good. Make sure you let your bank know that you will be abroad or they may freeze the account, thinking that the card was stolen. That's happened to my hubby twice!

Haci Richard

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  • Added on: August 16th, 2007
quote:
Originally posted by Ewan:
What about booking flights on the road? I heard lots only accept credit card? Is that correct or incorrect. Ill need to buy atleast 3 flight tickets while im out there.


I lived in Japan for 5 years and Turkey for 3 before that and never owned a credit card. (Couldn't figure out how to fill in the bloody forms in Japanese!) During that time, I took dozens of flights, international and domestic, from Japan/Turkey and elsewhere. I always paid for the tickets in cash; in fact, many travel agents in those two countries only take cash.

I now have a couple of credit cards and do find them handy for buying tickets on-line, but travel without one is definitely no problem.

By the way, I do find it hard to believe that you can't get a credit card.
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Ewan

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  • Added on: August 16th, 2007
Im 18, have no credit rating and no job, and im not technically a student either cause I havent applied to Uni yet (will be applying in a few months). I may be able to open a student account once ive applied through UCAS, not sure, will try when ive applied I guess, which will be before I leave anyway

alisonchesson

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  • Added on: August 17th, 2007
Hi,
When we lived in Thailand (2002-2005) I had a credit card but almost never used it. It is easy to get around SE Asia with just a debit card... there are lots of ATMs in Thailand, but some other countries there aren't. (Cambodia comes to mind...) for those countries we just exchanged moeny and were careful... still didn't use the credit card. It is possible to go to a bank for more money if you need it... Travellers cheques are a hassle these days I think...
It is handy to have a credit card to do online transactions (eg for booking flights) but you can get around it if you need to.
Have fun!
ALISON

Haci Richard

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  • Added on: August 18th, 2007
quote:
Originally posted by Ewan:
Im 18, have no credit rating and no job, and im not technically a student either cause I havent applied to Uni yet (will be applying in a few months). I may be able to open a student account once ive applied through UCAS, not sure, will try when ive applied I guess, which will be before I leave anyway


Sorry, Ewan, didn't mean to offend. I confused you with another Ewan on these boards, one who's in a very comfortable financial situation, being a famous movie star and all.
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heymikey

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  • Added on: August 19th, 2007
quote:
Originally posted by Haci Richard:
Sorry, Ewan, didn't mean to offend. I confused you with another Ewan on these boards, one who's in a very comfortable financial situation, being a famous movie star and all.
Oh my god! Ewan McGregor posts on these boards? If so, what's his username?
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Ewan

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  • Added on: August 19th, 2007
quote:
Originally posted by Haci Richard:
quote:
Originally posted by Ewan:
Im 18, have no credit rating and no job, and im not technically a student either cause I havent applied to Uni yet (will be applying in a few months). I may be able to open a student account once ive applied through UCAS, not sure, will try when ive applied I guess, which will be before I leave anyway


Sorry, Ewan, didn't mean to offend. I confused you with another Ewan on these boards, one who's in a very comfortable financial situation, being a famous movie star and all.


LOL

quote:
Originally posted by heymikey:
Oh my god! Ewan McGregor posts on these boards? If so, what's his username?


http://boards.bootsnall.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/17909075...00011416#62000011416

x_ine

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  • Added on: August 20th, 2007
just a question - by Visa debit card do you mean those cards that you can get from Visa or MasterCard that you preload with cash and then use like a debit card? I've heard about them and I'm wondering if it's worth getting instead of traveller's cheques (leaving in 5 weeks for a 3 month tour of SE Asia).
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Ewan

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  • Added on: August 20th, 2007
No I mean a regular debit card, and arent those called prepay credit cards, I cant think why you would want to get a prepaid debit card? They are easy to get hold of anyway, its credit cards not everyone can get. One thing to check about prepaid cards is the charge for cash withdrawal abroad, I have a feeling its no better than a debit card


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